Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

The Social Science Journal


The last quarter of the 20th century witnessed a number of events and social transformations that have had great implications for religious and ethnic relations around the world. This study seeks to gauge the changes in sentiment towards various U.S. ethnic and religious groups by updating and replicating the Bogardus social distance scale. The Bogardus study, which was designed to measure the level of acceptance that Americans feel towards members of the most common ethnic groups in the United States, was conducted five times between 1920 and 1977 with very few changes in research design. Consistent with prior replications, the authors of this study collected a random sample of 2,916 college students and administered the social distance scale in the form of a questionnaire. The findings indicate that the mean level of social distance towards all ethnic groups, as well as the spread between the groups with the highest and lowest levels of social distance, decreased since 1977. Mean comparisons and ANOVA test also showed that gender, nation of origin, and race are all significant indicators of the level of social distance towards all groups.


Published Citation

Parrillo, V. N., & Donoghue, C. (2005). Updating the Bogardus social distance studies: A new national survey. The Social Science Journal, 42(2), 257-271.