Date of Award

Spring 1969

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Donovan, George F.

Second Advisor

DeRoche, Edward

Third Advisor

Zaret, Esther

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine if an integrated school does influence the racial attitudes of children. It was hypothesized that there would be no difference in racial attitude between children attending an integrated school, and those attending a non-integrated school, To test this hypothesis two devices already constructed, but slightly modified, were utilized in the research study: The Image of the Negro Scale developed by Tumin and others and the Integration Attitude (IA) Scale constructed by Greenberg. The questionnaire was administered to approximately 205 seventh and eighth graders, 133 of whom attended an integrated school. Of these 133 children, 39 were Negro and 95 were white. The statistical findings and evaluations were presented in three sections. Section one analyzed the results of the Image Scale, which was used to measure the students' racial beliefs and stereotypes. The integrated school attained a higher mean and a more favorable percentage for each individual scale item than did the non-integrated school. However; the majority of both schools felt that both races were equal in all characteristics. In section two the author examined the results of the Integration Attitude Scale which measured the feelings and policy orientations towards the opposite race. Here there was no definite difference between the schools in their overall integration attitude. Both groups were highly accepting of the other race. School differences did turn up however in those items which involved more intimate racial contact such as friendship formation, dating and neighborhood residency. Here the non-integrated school displayed a more favorable attitude than did the integrated school. The results indicated also that there is a strong relationship between the child's racial attitude and those of his parents. Section three outlined the Negroes attitude toward the white race. These students gave evidence of a very favorable racial attitude in both these scales. In addition, the results showed that these students did not have that poor image of themselves which is so typical of the Negro child. It was also found that the Negro had as strong a preference for his own race in those areas of intimate contact, as the white child did for his culture. It was concluded that the contact which is provided by school integration is sufficient to reduce prejudice on the level of beliefs, but such contact in itself is not enough to eliminate prejudice on all levels that is, at the level of feelings and policy orientations . Other factors besides mere contact, such as parental attitudes, social norms and economic factors must be considered if prejudice is to be eradicated.

COinS