Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Robert Rando (Committee Member), Anthony Teasdale (Committee Member), Julie Williams (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


While diversity-training programs have gained popularity in the US, limited research has been done to establish the effectiveness of these programs in increasing awareness of oppression. The present study explored the effectiveness of the Tunnel of Oppression in increasing awareness of oppression among freshman students at Wright State University. Participants (N= 1736) were given a survey before and after participating in the Tunnel where they rated their awareness of levels of oppression for nine different oppressed groups. Data for this survey was analyzed employing descriptive and non-parametric statistics to determine significance in change of scores (Wilcoxon Signed-Rank and Wilcoxon Rank-Sum) and a correlation among variables (Spearman's Rho). Results found that students who participated in the Tunnel of Oppression reported a significant difference in awareness after participating in the event. Oppressed groups (female and racial minorities) reported higher levels of awareness of oppression prior to participating in the Tunnel. In addition, a gender difference was found in the change in awareness scores where female participants reported a higher rate of change as compared to male participants. In contrast, racial identity did not show an impact in the change in awareness scores. Furthermore, a small correlation between change in awareness and willingness to speak about/take action against oppression was found. Beyond the scope of this dissertation, further research should focus on components of the Tunnel of Oppression that are effective at raising awareness of diversity-related issues. Also, it is recommended that a standardization of the event be developed for future implementation and measurements.

Page Count


Department or Program

School of Professional Psychology

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Psychology Commons