Contact Theory as a Framework for Experiential Activities as Diversity Education: An Exploratory Study

Academic Article


  • Participation in experiential education is said to enhance people's appreciation for diversity. This article reports on a study that found significant changes in participants' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors following a nonformal diversity education program using adventure-based and community-service activities. Additionally, hypothesized program conditions, as outlined by contact theory, were significantly predictive of outcomes, although majority and minority participants differed on their perceptions of these conditions. These findings suggest that experiential activities may be considered a viable approach to diversity education in nonformal settings, assuming key conditions are met. Implications for practice and directions for future research are discussed.
  • Authors

  • Seaman, Jayson
  • Beightol, Jesse
  • Shirilla, Paul
  • Crawford, Bart
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • May 2010
  • Published In


  • 7.3 Management and decision making
  • Clinical Research
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 207
  • End Page

  • 225
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 3