Date of Award

Winter 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

Martha Smith Sharpe

Committee Member

Fred L. Adair

Committee Member

Rebecca S. Bowers

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


The purpose of this study was to determine the difference in White Racial Identity and degree of tolerance for Blacks between two samples of White male undergraduate students attending an urban Black university and those attending an urban White university. The theoretical framework for this study was based in Social Contact Theory as a contributor to racial tolerance and Racial Identity Development Theory as a factor in human growth toward increasing acceptance of diversity. This was a quasi-experimental post-hoc design using intact groups.

The study analyzed the responses of 182 White male undergraduates using three instruments. A Background Questionnaire, designed by the researcher, collected data on the age, military service, parents' education, length of enrollment, racial composition of high school, financial aid and upbringing of the respondents. Two additional tools, designed specifically to measure stage of White Racial Identity, the WRIAS/SAS, and level of tolerance, the Situational Attitude Scale, were also completed by respondents.

Three hypotheses were tested to address the question of whether White male students attending a historically Black university differ in their comfort with Blacks and their level of White Racial Identity development from those attending a predominantly White university.

The procedures for this research involved a mail survey sent to all participants, who were eligible to win a monetary award for their participation. Surveys were coded and analyzed using frequency analyses, t-tests to assess variance in mean scores on each stage of White Racial Identity, and a linear regression analysis to determine the relationship between background and level of tolerance.

Findings supported the hypotheses that White males attending the historically Black university were at higher stages of White Racial Identity and had higher levels of tolerance than their counterparts at the predominantly White university.


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