A Semantic Differential Measure of Attitudes Toward Black American Patients



The development of an instrument measuring attitudes toward black American patients using a semantic differential technique is described. Subjects were 242 white senior students enrolled in baccalaureate degree, associate degree, and diploma nursing programs. The instrument consisted of 20 bipolar adjective scales for positive and negative racial stereotypes. A factor analysis resulted in five factors which accounted for the majority of the variance, with 30.2% for Factor I Evaluation. An alpha reliability of .84 for the same factor revealed a high level of internal consistency. To obtain an attitude score, the eight bipolar adjective scales comprising Factor I were summed and the scores obtained were in the neutral range. There were no significant differences among the attitudes of baccalaureate degree, associate degree, or diploma nursing students. Comparisons also were made between the perceptions of students toward black Americans and toward black American patients, with the latter perceived more favorably.