The Social Effects of Ability-based School Integration

Doctoral Dissertation


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.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07032003-092209

Author David Richard Parker
Advisor Cindy S. Bergeman
Contributor Anre Venter, Committee Member
Contributor Scott Maxwell, Committee Member
Contributor Cindy S. Bergeman, Committee Chair
Contributor John Borkowski, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Defense Date
  • 2003-05-21

Submission Date 2003-07-03
  • United States of America

  • contact theory

  • developmental disability

  • prejudice

  • disability

  • school integration

  • mental retardation

  • intergroup contact

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Access Rights Open Access
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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