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Changing Attitudes Toward the Homeless: The Effects of Prosocial Communication With the Homeless

Changing Attitudes Toward the Homeless: The Effects of Prosocial Communication With the Homeless AbstractOne hundred, thirty-four undergraduate students participated in afield experiment designed to examine the effects of extended, prosocial communication with homeless persons, upon attitudes toward the homeless problem, of behavioral intentions towards the homeless, and of causal attributions about homelessness. It was expected that prosocial interaction with the homeless would produce shifts in attitudes and behavioral intentions toward the homeless and homelessness and result in greater attributions of external causes to explain homelessness. Nineteen experimental participants worked 15 hours at a local homeless shelter. Their responses to a posttestquestionnaire that measured a range of attitudinal and behavioral orientations toward the homeless were compared with control participants who did not work at the shelter. Subsequent analyses furnished strong evidence of positive changes in attitudes and intentions toward homelessness among the shelter workers. These participants evaluated homeless people as less blameworthy and more socially attractive than did control participants; moreover, shelter workers indicated more personal responsibility and behavioral commitment to helping the homeless than control participants. They also perceived the homeless problem to be more serious and were more likely to attribute homelessness to bad luck than control participants. However, the two groups were equally likely to attribute homelessness to various external causes such as the economy, housing costs, and governmental policies. The results are interpreted as having policy implications for volunteer service. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Social Distress and Homeless Taylor & Francis

Changing Attitudes Toward the Homeless: The Effects of Prosocial Communication With the Homeless

Changing Attitudes Toward the Homeless: The Effects of Prosocial Communication With the Homeless

Abstract

AbstractOne hundred, thirty-four undergraduate students participated in afield experiment designed to examine the effects of extended, prosocial communication with homeless persons, upon attitudes toward the homeless problem, of behavioral intentions towards the homeless, and of causal attributions about homelessness. It was expected that prosocial interaction with the homeless would produce shifts in attitudes and behavioral intentions toward the homeless and homelessness and result in...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright 2000 Taylor and Francis Group LLC
ISSN
1573-658X
eISSN
1053-0789
DOI
10.1023/A:1009466217604
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractOne hundred, thirty-four undergraduate students participated in afield experiment designed to examine the effects of extended, prosocial communication with homeless persons, upon attitudes toward the homeless problem, of behavioral intentions towards the homeless, and of causal attributions about homelessness. It was expected that prosocial interaction with the homeless would produce shifts in attitudes and behavioral intentions toward the homeless and homelessness and result in greater attributions of external causes to explain homelessness. Nineteen experimental participants worked 15 hours at a local homeless shelter. Their responses to a posttestquestionnaire that measured a range of attitudinal and behavioral orientations toward the homeless were compared with control participants who did not work at the shelter. Subsequent analyses furnished strong evidence of positive changes in attitudes and intentions toward homelessness among the shelter workers. These participants evaluated homeless people as less blameworthy and more socially attractive than did control participants; moreover, shelter workers indicated more personal responsibility and behavioral commitment to helping the homeless than control participants. They also perceived the homeless problem to be more serious and were more likely to attribute homelessness to bad luck than control participants. However, the two groups were equally likely to attribute homelessness to various external causes such as the economy, housing costs, and governmental policies. The results are interpreted as having policy implications for volunteer service.

Journal

Journal of Social Distress and HomelessTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2000

Keywords: Attitude Changes; Homeless; Homelessness; Prosocial Communication; Behavioral; Intentions

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