© The Author(s) 2019. Although intergroup contact is an effective means to improve intergroup attitudes, it does not always have a positive impact on them. This study introduces contact capacity as a factor that may impede intergroup contact. Longitudinal social network data (N = 6,600; M age = 14.87 years) was collected in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden and used to accurately calculate participants’ out-group, in-group, and total contact. Multilevel models (L1: students, L2: school classes) showed that the total amount of contact at Wave 1 negatively predicts individuals’ out-group friends at Wave 2 while controlling for out-group attitudes, existing out-group friendships and sociodemographic variables. An additional robustness check showed that this effect holds true for future in-group friendships. The study highlights the importance of contact capacity for whether people engage in intergroup contact and the contribution of social network analysis to contact research.
Social Psychological and Personality Science