Are you happier if all your Facebook friends are the same race as you?

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We examined the relationship between subjective well-being and the ethnic/racial homogeneity of the Facebook friendship networks of first-year college students. We coded each participant’s “Facebook friends” into European Americans or not. Participants reported their life satisfaction, positive and negative affect, and felt understanding and misunderstanding. Among European American participants, having a more homogeneous friendship network was associated with higher life satisfaction and positive affect, as well as lower felt misunderstanding. Political conservatism was also marginally associated with having more homogeneous friendship networks, as well as marginally higher levels of life satisfaction but did not mediate the relationship between them. Among non-European American participants, we did not find any relationship between the homogeneity of friendship networks and subjective well-being.

Source: “Ethnic/racial homogeneity in college students’ Facebook friendship networks and subjective well-being” from Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 43, Issue 3, June 2009, Pages 438-443

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