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Title page for ETD etd-07032003-092209

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Parker, David Richard
Author's Email Address
URN etd-07032003-092209
Title The Social Effects of Ability-based School Integration
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cindy S. Bergeman Committee Chair
Anre Venter Committee Member
John Borkowski Committee Member
Scott Maxwell Committee Member
  • prejudice
  • contact theory
  • intergroup contact
  • disability
  • school integration
  • developmental disability
  • mental retardation
Date of Defense 2003-05-21
Availability unrestricted



David R. Parker

Contact Theory (Allport, 1954) was used as foundation to develop an Educational

Experience Questionnaire (EEQ), which was designed to operationalize the tenets of

Contact Theory based on the perceptions of nondisabled students who experienced

intergroup contact with students who have disabilities in primary and secondary schools,

as a predictor of attitudes toward persons who have disabilities. A factor analysis of the

EEQ yielded a reasonable four-factor structure that was similar across primary/secondary

and developmental/physical disabilities domains. The EEQ was administered to a sample

of 444 college students along with the NEO-FFI, the Scale of Attitudes toward Disabled

Persons, the Mental Retardation Attitudes Inventory, the Marlowe-Crowne Socialdesirability

Scale, and demographic questions. Correlational analyses found a strong

relationship between the quality of intergroup contact in ability-integrated educational

environments and long-term attitudes toward persons who have disabilities. Classification

and Regression Tree (CART) analyses revealed evidence of cumulative, negative

David R. Parker

cumulative, compensatory, and reverse compensatory effects among predictor variables,

indicating that there are a variety of complex interactions between the conditions of

intergroup contact and the characteristics of the individual. The importance of adequately

operationalizing the conditions of contact in school environments and the use of CART to

assess the social outcomes of educational practices are discussed.

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