The relationship between favorable or unfavorable contact on the social distance attitudes of residence hall students toward residential subgroups

Robinson, Patricia
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The purpose of this study was to examine the levels of tolerance held by residence hall students toward persons with various ethnic and religious backgrounds, behaviors and athletic team affiliations that might be found in the residence hall setting, and to determine the effect of previous favorable or unfavorable contact with those persons on tolerance attitudes;The tolerance levels of 784 residence hall students surveyed with a modified version of The Bogardus Social Distance Scale (1925). The favorableness of the contact was measured using a scale developed by Crull and Bruton (1985). Responses to both scales were examined by the students' ethnic backgrounds, sex, and length of time they had lived in the residence halls;White American students were most tolerant toward behavioral characteristics. Minority Americans were most tolerant toward ethnic groups. International students were least tolerant toward behavioral characteristics and athletes;Women were more tolerant of all groups than were men. There was no difference in the tolerance levels between newer residents and longer term residents;A low, but positive correlation was found between favorable contact and increased tolerance r =.43, p <.01. Students who had favorable contact with the groups were generally more tolerant than students with no contact or unfavorable contact. Students who had no contact were more tolerant than students who had negative contact.

Professional studies in education, Education (Higher education), Higher education