Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Transgender people--Public opinion; Stigma (Social psychology); College students--Attitudes;


Individuals who identify as transgender experience subtle and direct forms of negative attitudes and discrimination. These attitudes and discrimination remain despite the large improvement in attitudes toward sexual minorities over the last few decades. Recent research related to transgender populations largely focuses on examining the existing attitudes, rather than attempts to reduce these negative attitudes. In the current study, we aimed to increase knowledge about transgender populations and reduce negative attitudes (e.g., Social Distance, Negative Affective, and Attitudes Toward Transgender Populations) by employing an online psychoeducational intervention module. This study assessed a 25-minute online psychoeducational module designed to increase knowledge and reduce the stigma of transgender populations in an efficient and generalizable way. The module surveyed 221 college students from a public Midwestern university where participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups; a module group and a control group. Potential changes in attitudes were assessed with pre- and post-test attitude measures as well as a pre- and post-test knowledge measure. Furthermore, we examined the role of contact and familiarity on stigma. We also investigated the role of a biological explanation of transgender on attitudes and stigma towards transgender populations. Our results show that knowledge increased from pre- to post-test for the experimental group. However, findings for stigma and negative attitudes are somewhat inconsistent suggesting stigma is a difficult construct to change. A better understanding of the efficacy and use of educational interventions will not only be beneficial for the future of transgender populations, but also for any population that experiences stigma and discrimination. This study adds to transgender stigma literature as well as identifies a technique that is useful for improving knowledge and may be effective in reducing stigma and negative attitudes.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dilbur D. Arsiwalla, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xiii, 157 pages)



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