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Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2010 Apr;16(2):110-5. doi: 10.1037/a0018633.

Multicultural training on American Indian issues: testing the effectiveness of an intervention to change attitudes toward Native-themed mascots.

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  • 1Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47403, USA.


This study investigated attitudes toward Native-themed mascots in the context of color-blind racial attitudes. Results indicate that higher color-blind racial attitudes are related to lower awareness of the offensiveness of Native-themed mascots. The researchers tested the effectiveness of a training intervention designed to produce attitudinal change among master's level counseling students. Results demonstrate that the training intervention produced significantly greater attitudinal change than did a general training session on culturally sensitive counseling practices with American Indian clients, particularly among students with high color-blind racial attitudes. Results also indicate that this training intervention on Native-themed mascots contributed to lower color-blind racial attitudes, thus increasing the students' awareness of societal racism. Psychological training programs may benefit from augmenting their multicultural counseling curriculum by specifically addressing the offensive nature of Native-themed mascots. An awareness of the marginalization of American Indians, particularly as it involves racialized mascots, can reduce color-blind racial attitudes, and may provide psychologists with a more comprehensive understanding of aspects of the reality of American Indian clients that contribute to their worldview.

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