Date of Award

Summer 1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Robert A. Lucking

Committee Director

Rebecca S. Bowers

Committee Member

Jack E. Robinson

Committee Member

Richard C. Overbaugh

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


This three-part study used quasi-experimental methodologies to: (a) determine how a computer literacy course affects the computer anxiety and computer attitudes of urban teacher education students over time, (b) explain and predict urban teacher education students who are resistant to reduction of computer anxiety, and (c) determine whether a humanistically-focused treatment is more effective than a traditional cognitively-focused treatment in reducing computer anxiety and improving computer attitudes.

For the first part of this study 75 subjects were measured over three observations using a 13-week interval. The treatment, a mandatory computer literacy course for teacher education students, was conducted between the first two observations. A significant reduction in computer anxiety means and a significant increase in computer confidence means were found across all three observations. Differences in computer liking and computer usefulness means were not significant. Orthogonal polynomial contrasts revealed that the relationship between computer anxiety and the three observations was 94.75% linear and only 5.25% quadratic, and the relationship between computer confidence and the three observations was strongly linear with a nonsignificant quadratic trend.

A multiple regression analysis was conducted for the second part of this study using 86 subjects. The results of this analysis revealed that 69% of the variance in posttest computer anxiety could be explained by the combined influence of computer confidence, computer knowledge, and trait anxiety. The addition of computer experience, computer liking, computer usefulness, and locus of control to explain the variance in posttest computer anxiety was nonsignificant.

For the final part of this study, 29 subjects were exposed to a cognitively-focused computer literacy treatment and 28 subjects were exposed to a humanistically-focused treatment with each treatment consisting of two groups that were taught by different instructors. After statistically equating groups on the pretest measurement of the applicable dependent variable, a significant increase in computer usefulness means was found in the humanistically-focused treatment group. No significant differences between treatments were found for computer anxiety, computer confidence, and computer liking, and no differences were found between instructors.