Title page for ETD etd-03292011-190359

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Collins, Tai A
Author's Email Address cfury1914@gmail.com
URN etd-03292011-190359
Title The Contribution of Implicit Stereotypes to the Overrepresentation of African Americans in the Special Education Category of Emotional Disturbance
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Frank Gresham Committee Chair
Clayton Cook Committee Member
Jeffrey Tiger Committee Member
  • stereotypes
  • special education
  • overrepresentation
  • disproportionality
Date of Defense 2010-11-05
Availability unrestricted
The overrepresentation of African Americans in special education is a problem that has plagued the field since its inception, yet very little progress has been made in alleviating the issue. The problem is especially troubling because of the host of negative outcomes associated with special education in general, as well as placing African American students into special education specifically. The current study sought to examine the contribution of implicit racial stereotypes to the overrepresentation problem. Participants were randomly assigned to conditions where they viewed vignettes about either an African American or Caucasian problem student, after which they completed a questionnaire about their willingness to refer the student for special education services and they completed the Implicit Association Test. The results indicated that the two groups did not differ in their referral ratings, and higher implicit stereotype scores as measured by the Implicit Association Test were not associated with higher referral ratings in the African American student condition.
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