Intergroup contact and beliefs about homosexuality in adolescence

Justin E. Heinze, Stacey S. Horn

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78 Scopus citations


This study examines the relationship between intergroup contact and adolescents' attitudes regarding homosexuality and the treatment of lesbian and gay (LG) peers. Fourteen- through 18-year-olds (n = 1,069, 59.7% females) completed self-report attitude and judgment questionnaires about the acceptability of homosexuality, levels of comfort around LG peers, and the acceptability of excluding or teasing an LG peer. The results suggest that having an LG friend is related to more positive attitudes toward homosexuals/homosexuality and less tolerance toward the unfair treatment of LG peers. The findings lend further support to intergroup contact theory and provide evidence that the intimacy of contact is related to prejudice reduction, and offer general support that age is related to prejudicial attitudes, but less so -rftxt-tempo prejudicial behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-951
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Attitudes
  • Friendship
  • Homosexuality
  • Intergroup contact
  • Peers
  • Social domain theory


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