Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Josephine Naidoo

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Individual attitudes and beliefs have a deep influence on perceptions of others in the environment. This study was concerned with the attitudes of 10 year old Euro-Canadian children toward their South Asian (East Indian) peers and with the alteration of these attitudes in a more positive direction. A within subjects design was utilized to measure participants pre/post test attitude scores toward the South Asian minority children as a function of experimental exposure to selected cultural material. Specifically, three conditions were manipulated in two contrasting settings: active, passive and control, in either high or low ethnic density schools. The three treatment programs were conducted for 90 minutes/week over a four week period and involved 180 children from 6 schools. In the active condition the children participated in activities highlighting South Asian culture, in the passive they read stories of a South Asian boy adjusting to Canadian living, and in the control the children engaged in their normal classroom activities. Pre an post testing of attitudes was conducted one week prior and one week after a given treatment by utilizing judgments of pictures in a modified Osgoodian technique. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups. The results showed that, irrespective of treatment condition, pictures presenting children from the Euro-Canadian culture received more positive responses than children from the South Asian Culture (p<.08). Although, the pre-post test scores for children exposed to the active program showed positive change when compared to the scores of the passive and control groups, the results were not significant. This was also true for the passive versus control conditions. Limitations of the study, and suggestions for changing attitudes toward minority children in other ways, are discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season