Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Psychology

First Advisor

David Reuman

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Casserly

Abstract

This study introduces a novel concept, Extended Stereotype Threat (EST). EST is based on stereotype threat, whereby one is concerned that he/she may confirm a negative stereotype associated with being a member of a targeted group. EST extends stereotype threat as someone outside a targeted group (e.g., a parent of a dyslexic child) fears that a member of that group (i.e., his/her child) will confirm a negative stereotype associated with the group. Seventeen parents of dyslexic children between the 3rd and 8th grades were interviewed. Topics included beliefs about dyslexia, interactions with the child’s school, and how parents’ beliefs about dyslexia influenced interactions with their child. While 13 of the 17 parents experienced EST, the ways they interacted with their child and school personnel varied. Once children were determined to be dyslexic, EST parents became more emotionally accommodating, more pragmatic in providing support, or made no changes in their interactions with their child.

Comments

Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology.