Proxemic behavior of black and white first-, third-, and fifth-grade children

Stanley E. Jones, John R. Aiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Made unobtrusive observations of the proxemic behavior of interacting same-sex pairs of 1st, 3rd and 5th graders (N = 192) in classroom settings of an upper lower-class black and a middle middle-class white elementary school. In both subcultures, males were less direct than females, particularly in the 5th grade. Blacks faced each other less directly than whites, especially in the earlier grades. As in a previous study by the authors, blacks were found to stand closer than whites at the earliest grade level. In the present study, this difference disappeared by the 5th grade. These results indicate that while subcultural differences in distance and axis are learned early in life, only axis remains as a possible communication barrier between blacks and whites in the later elementary school years. (22 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1973

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • 3rd &
  • 5th graders
  • proxemic behavior, interacting same-sex pairs of black vs. white 1st &

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