Revised Attitudes towards Amish questionnaire; Multicultural Awareness Scale; contact frequency; contact hypothesis; attitudes toward patients; prejudice


As Amish populations increase and move across North America, the likelihood grows that healthcare professionals will come into contact with them. No studies have been conducted to examine contact frequency with or attitudes of healthcare providers toward the Amish. The aims of this study were to examine attitudes toward the Amish among nursing and social work students attending a Christian liberal arts university in a Midwestern state, and, to determine the relationship between students’ cultural awareness, their knowledge of the Amish, their contact with the Amish, and their attitudes toward the Amish. The participants were anonymously surveyed using the Revised Attitudes toward the Amish questionnaire (RATA), the Multicultural Awareness Survey (MAS), a Brief Knowledge of Amish Culture questionnaire, and a demographics form which included questions about contact frequency. One hundred and forty-four students completed the survey (n = 106 nursing students; n= 40 social work students). Contact frequency was significantly correlated with knowledge of Amish culture (p <.001). Students who were more aware of other cultures had a significantly more tolerant attitude toward the Amish (p <.001). These university students had more tolerant attitudes toward the Amish when they had a higher level of multicultural awareness and more knowledge of the Amish culture itself. Educators may help students become more tolerant toward patients of other cultures by identifying strategies to increase students’ awareness of and knowledge about those other cultures. [Abstract by authors.]