Child and Family Development (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Jerri Kropp, PhD & Brent Wolfe, PhD


Data were collected from thirty college students who participated in an alternative break trip and approximately seventy college students who did not attend the trip. Study subjects served as counselors at a camp for adults with developmental disabilities. Data were collected using five measures: a) before the week started, students filled out a survey which questioned their comfort level and attitude when interacting with this population; b) this same survey was administered to a random sample of college students who did not attend the break trip c) at camp, students kept a journal throughout the week documenting their experiences; d) students answered open ended questions after their experience regarding their attitude and perceptions post-camp; e) the first author actively conducted participant observation throughout the course of the week documenting personal own interactions with the college students. (Analysis of measures d) and e) were not used in this paper.) It was hypothesized is that there would be a direct positive correlation between amount of interaction and the increase of positive attitudes and perceptions of the college students towards adults with developmental disabilities.