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Comfort Level, Maximum in Ethnically Diverse Schools

Middle school students have expressed a high degree of comfort level in ethnically diverse schools, as the environment in these schools are safer// , and make the students feel wanted. Students are not subjected to bullying as much, compared to other schools.

Psychologists from UCLA and UC Davis have made this research after a study of more than 70 sixth-grade classrooms in 11 Los Angeles public middle schools that cater to a majority of low-income students who belong to the minority group.

'Bullying happens in every school, and many students are concerned about their safety,' said Jaana Juvonen, UCLA professor of psychology, chair of developmental psychology and lead author of the study. 'However, our analysis shows students feel safer in ethnically diverse classrooms and schools.'

Juvonen and her colleagues studied classrooms with lower and higher diversity among African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Caucasians. The researchers classified classrooms as diverse when multiple ethnic groups were represented in relatively similar proportions. The findings of the study held even when classroom differences in academic performance were taken into account.

The researchers were able to examine the effects of diversity on African American and Latino students -- the two ethnic groups that were represented across all the classrooms in this sample of public middle school youth in the Los Angels area. However, co-author Adrienne Nishina, an assistant professor of human development at UC Davis, said she expects that students from other ethnic backgrounds would experience similar benefits from ethnically diverse schools.

'Other research at the college level has found that students from all ethnic backgrounds may benefit from ethnically diverse environments,' Nishina noted. The researchers said the study has wider implications beyond the psychological benefits for students. 'We know that when students have positive
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