Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

1377

Date

2015

Date of Award

4-27-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Psychology

Concentration

General Psychology

Committee Chair

Randy G Floyd

Committee Member

Thomas K Fagan

Committee Member

Idia Thurston

Abstract

After decades of advancement in education equality, a disproportional number ofUnited States racial minority students are placed in special education. One possible causeis the bias that exists in teachers’ referral and rating of behaviors for special education.This study investigated the effect that the student’s race has on teachers’ referrals forspecial education and resulting assessments. In an online-study, the race of an AfricanAmerican student, Asian American student, and European American student weremanipulated in a vignette of a hypothetical child. Participants read one of three vignettesand completed a comprehensive rating scale and a 7-item questionnaire. No racial bias inratings of internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors, referral for special education, likelihood of post-secondary education, quality of home life, and academic functioningwere found in this specific study. Psychologists should continue to measure and evaluatethe role of race and culture on the disproportionality.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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