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Building Trust in a Postconflict Society: An Integrative Model of Cross-group Friendship and Intergroup Emotions

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Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published online on


Across one longitudinal and two cross-sectional surveys in Northern Ireland, we tested a model of intergroup relations in which out-group attitudes and behavioral tendencies are predicted by cross-group friendship and positive intergroup appraisals, mediated by intergroup emotions and out-group trust. In study 1, out-group friendship at time 1 predicted out-group trust at time 2 (one year later), controlling for prior out-group trust. In study 2, positive and negative intergroup emotions mediated the effects of friendship on positive and negative behavioral tendencies and attitudes. In study 3, a confirmatory factor analysis indicated that trust and emotions are distinct constructs with unique predictive contributions. We then tested a model in which cross-group friendship predicted intergroup emotions and trust through intimate self-disclosure in out-group friendships. Our findings support an integration of an intergroup emotions framework with research highlighting the importance of cross-group friendship in fostering positive intergroup outcomes.