Jiyoung Moon

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Date of Award




Degree Level


Proquest Document ID





St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Tex.)

Size or duration

117 pages

Document Type


First Advisor

Constock-Benzick, Dana L.


The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to explore diverse intergroup contact experiences and attitudes toward diversity among professional counselors. A total of 137 participants were included in the first phase of the study, which was a quantitative survey of intergroup contact experiences and attitudes, and eight participants were interviewed for the second qualitative phase. The quantitative results indicated that the quantity of intergroup contact was positively related to the perceived importance of intergroup contact, and all intergroup contact variables were positively related to the overall attitudes toward diversity. While multicultural courses in graduate counseling programs were not found to be statistically significant to the overall attitude toward diversity, additional multicultural training was positively related to the overall attitude toward diversity. The qualitative findings were similar to the quantitative results regarding experiences with multicultural courses and training. Participants valued direct intergroup contact experiences, but personal intergroup contact was credited more often as the source of positive changes in attitudes toward diversity. Participants’ continuous exposure to intergroup contact and ongoing multicultural training was essential to learn how to deal with discomfort related to dissimilarities. The findings of the present study suggest that recognizing and understanding diversity issues is no substitute for the benefits of interacting and working with culturally diverse people.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.