Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Jason Popan

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Weimer

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen Merino


This project has attempted to offer an explanation for the differential roles of positive and negative contact, wherein negative contact more strongly predicts changes in prejudice than positive contact (Barlow et al., 2007). In an attempt to replicate and extend on this relationship, intergroup threat theory and social identity theory are incorporated in a model intended to explain this differential relationship. This study measured the attitudes of 227 Mexican Americans toward Caucasians and Mexican Immigrants. This analysis offers a partial replication of Barlow et al., with unfavorable attitudes toward Whites leading to stronger changes when contact was negative. When evaluating Whites, only negative contact led to significant changes in reported threat, which had a subsequent influence on reported prejudice. Both positive and negative contact led to significant changes in reported threat for Mexican immigrants. Social identity did not appear to moderate this relationship.


Copyright 2015 Jesse Acosta. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American