Multicultural awareness in college freshmen: An examination of measures and interventions

Clarissa M Uttley, University of Rhode Island


An increasing number of higher education institutions are paying conscious attention to enhancing students' experiences with diversity. The University of Rhode Island (URI) has implemented activities to address the growing needs of a diverse population. Students at URI are required to complete at least two courses designed as having a diversity emphasis as part of their undergraduate curriculum. Additionally, the Multicultural Center on the Kingston campus of URI conducts numerous diversity awareness and education programs throughout the year, including Diversity Week. The Munroe Multicultural Attitude Scale Questionnaire (MASQUE) was created in 2004 by Dr. Arnold Munroe to address the need for a psychometrically sound multicultural attitude assessment instrument. The MASQUE was specifically designed to address changes in attitudes of college students toward multicultural competence. The first purpose of this study was to replicate the initial MASQUE study using a sample from the URI. The second purpose: add to the construct validity of the MASQUE by utilizing related questionnaires. The third purpose: explore the usefulness of the MASQUE for examining the impact of the Diversity Week program at the URI. First year URI students were recruited to participate in two web-based surveys (September and October, 2007). One hundred thirty six students completed both survey protocols. Cronbach's alpha was conducted on participant responses to the first survey and show internal consistency of the MASQUE measure at α = 0.80. Results of construct validity analyses revealed statistically significant relationships among two of the expected subscales (MASQUE Know with adapted MES Efficacy, and MASQUE Care with adapted MPQ Cultural Empathy). Group differences in multicultural awareness were found when examining the variable of gender. Limitations include small sample sizes for particular variables and short time frame for collecting data post Diversity Week. Implications for practice include the validation of a strong measure for university and college administrators to utilize in the evaluation of diversity awareness initiatives. Directions for future research include recruiting a larger sample from multiple university settings, utilizing a sample from various grade levels, and extending the follow-up period to measure duration of any impact of diversity initiatives. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Psychology, Social|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Clarissa M Uttley, "Multicultural awareness in college freshmen: An examination of measures and interventions" (2008). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3328733.