DREAMzone: Testing Two Vicarious Contact Interventions to Improve Attitudes Toward Undocumented Immigrants

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Abstract

We used Allport’s (1954) intergroup contact theory as a framework to test the effectiveness of 2 vicarious contact interventions on improving attitudes toward undocumented immigrants. The first intervention was DREAMzone, a 4-hr ally certification workshop. The second intervention was a 30-min documentary film chronicling the stories of 5 undocumented immigrants. Participants (N = 239) experienced 1 of these 2 conditions or were part of a control group. Pre- and posttest assessments were conducted on various attitudes toward undocumented immigrants (i.e., empathy, anxiety, and prejudice). Our results indicated that both intervention modalities significantly improved attitudes toward undocumented immigrants. Attitudes of those in the control group did not change across assessments. Implications for higher education research and practice are discussed.

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