Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Family Science and Human Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jennifer Brown Urban

Committee Member

Miriam R. Linver

Committee Member

John Paul Wilson

Committee Member

Soyoung Lee


This dissertation explored perceptions and attitudes toward refugees and refugee resettlement and tested the impact of a prejudice reduction intervention derived from extended contact. This dissertation utilized a three-paper approach. Using qualitative data, the first paper explored resettlement workers’ beliefs about facilitators and barriers to successful refugee resettlement. Resettlement workers highlighted needs within resettlement service provision and highlighted the growing discrimination against refugees and refugee resettlement within the United States. The second paper examined American adolescents’ knowledge and feelings toward refugees. Findings revealed American adolescents’ limited knowledge of refugees and demonstrated the significant relationships between prior contact, media exposure to refugee topics, and knowledge of refugees as predictors of attitudes toward refugees and social emotional learning skills. Finally, the third paper tested the impact of a prejudice reduction intervention derived from extended contact with a sub-sample of American adolescents. Using a pre and posttest survey design, results demonstrated that the intervention significantly and positively predicted knowledge and intergroup attitudes toward refugees compared to a control condition. Program, policy, and future research implications are discussed.

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