Social Distance And The Baccalaureate Transcultural Nursing Program (socialization, Student, Ethnic)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Educat.D.)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to explore one aspect of the professional, transcultural nursing curriculum--the students' sense of social distance.The study utilized a quasi-experimental, cohort design to explore the differences, if any, in social distance scores on the Modified Westie Summated Social Distance Scale between three groups of students: one entering and one completing the transcultural program, and a comparison group of students who had completed the former, more traditional program. In a separate sampling procedure equal subsets of Black, Hispanic and Anglo students were randomly selected from the total pool of students tested.The findings of the study showed that while the transcultural nursing seniors demonstrated slightly less social distance than the sophomores or former curriculum seniors, these differences were not statistically significant. There were differences related to the students' own ethnicity, with Blacks showing less social distance than either Hispanics or Anglos. The subjects also showed less social distance toward ethnically similar than toward ethnically different persons.The major conclusion of this study is that there is no statistical evidence that the transcultural curriculum in the program studied was effective in changing students' attitudes toward ethnically different others. Further, it was concluded that interactions with ethnically different others in the forced intimacy of the provision of nursing care is less comfortable for students than interactions with ethnically similar persons. Finally, it is concluded that the transcultural program poses a potential problem in the process of students' professional socialization by the addition of ethnically different referent groups of clients and peers.


Education, Curriculum and Instruction

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