Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Social Welfare


Mimi Abromovitz

Committee Members

Michael Smith

Manny Gonzalez

Subject Categories



A quasi-experimental, non-equivalent comparison group design with pre, post and follow-up survey data was used to evaluate the effectiveness of an intergroup dialogue intervention on bachelor of social work (BSW) students' levels of cultural competence and social justice behaviors. The sample of convenience consisted of 115 who identified as social-work majors and participated in diversity courses, 76 were intergroup dialogue participants (Site IGD) and 39 were not (Site non-IGD). Five specific questions were explored in the study.

All 115 participants completed Lum's (2007) Social Work Cultural Competencies Self-Assessment and the Confidence in Confronting Injustice Sub-Scale (Multi-University Intergroup Dialogue Research project Guidebook, n.d.) at the beginning and end of the course. Intergroup dialogue participants also completed Nagda, Kim, and Truelove's (2005) Enlightenment and Encounter scale at the end of the course, as well the Roper's Political Questions and the Confidence in Confronting Injustice Sub-Scale at the end of the course and one year later.

The students who received the intergroup dialogue model displayed significantly greater improvement in the cultural competence area of awareness than students who did not receive the intervention. Students who received the intergroup dialogue model also showed a significant increase in social justice behavioral outcomes a year after course participation. The cultural competence area of knowledge acquisition showed change scores that were greater than Non-IGD participants, although not at a significant level. Lastly, mean confidence in confronting social justice changes scores were also higher for the IGD group, although the differences were not significant.

The study offers empirical research in determining effective teaching strategies for improved cultural competence within a social justice framework, highlighting the intergroup dialogue model. The data suggests that through enhanced educational experiences with models of intergroup dialogue, levels of culturally competence and social justice behavioral outcomes among social work students will improve.


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.

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