Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Dr. Laconyea Butler

Second Advisor

Dr. Kesi Miller


According to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Criminal Justice Fact Sheet (2009), one in six black men have been behind bars in the United States. Several factors are thought to influence their ability to reintegrate into society; one of those factors is stigma. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between stigmatizing attitudes, previous contact, and desire for social distance regarding black males who are or have been incarcerated. Fifty African-American female college students from a single-sex institution in the Southeastern region of the United States were given a questionnaire that included demographic questions, as well as, the Level of Contact Report, the Devaluation-Discrimination Scale and the Roman and Floyd Social Distance Scale. The literature suggests that being familiar with a black male delinquent will be associated with less discriminatory attitudes and less desire for social distance. The results did not support the hypothesis and are inconsistent with the literature. Familiarity with a Black male who has been incarcerated was not correlated to stigmatizing attitudes nor desire for social distance. These findings suggest the immensity of the issue of Black male incarceration specifically within the African-American community because all participants identified as African American females.

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Psychology Commons