The Social Effects of Ability-based School Integration

Thesis or Dissertation


Contact Theory (Allport, 1954) was used as foundation to develop an EducationalExperience Questionnaire (EEQ), which was designed to operationalize the tenets ofContact Theory based on the perceptions of nondisabled students who experiencedintergroup 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 theEEQ yielded a reasonable four-factor structure that was similar across primary/secondaryand developmental/physical disabilities domains. The EEQ was administered to a sampleof 444 college students along with the NEO-FFI, the Scale of Attitudes toward DisabledPersons, the Mental Retardation Attitudes Inventory, the Marlowe-Crowne SocialdesirabilityScale, and demographic questions. Correlational analyses found a strongrelationship between the quality of intergroup contact in ability-integrated educationalenvironments and long-term attitudes toward persons who have disabilities. Classificationand Regression Tree (CART) analyses revealed evidence of cumulative, negativeDavid R. Parkercumulative, compensatory, and reverse compensatory effects among predictor variables,indicating that there are a variety of complex interactions between the conditions ofintergroup contact and the characteristics of the individual. The importance of adequatelyoperationalizing the conditions of contact in school environments and the use of CART toassess the social outcomes of educational practices are discussed.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07032003-092209

Author David Richard Parker
Advisor Cindy S. Bergeman
Contributor Cindy S. Bergeman, Committee Chair
Contributor Anre Venter, Committee Member
Contributor Scott Maxwell, Committee Member
Contributor John Borkowski, Committee Member
Degree Level 2
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Defense Date
  • 2003-05-21

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

  • prejudice

  • contact theory

  • intergroup contact

  • disability

  • school integration

  • developmental disability

  • mental retardation

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Access Rights Open Access
Content License
  • All rights reserved