Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Stephen R Poteau, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Dawn DeBrocco, PsyD


The terrorist attacks of 9/11 have led to feelings of disdain against Islam and have perpetuated Islamophobia in America. Research suggests that intergroup contact can help improve intergroup relations and reduce both prejudice and discrimination against members of out-groups. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not intergroup anxiety moderates the relationship between intergroup contact and Islamophobia. Research has shown that intergroup anxiety has been associated with increased negative attitudes toward Muslims, but that reduced levels of intergroup anxiety lead to increased intergroup contact with Muslims and improved out-group attitudes. Participants included 214 community members of various liberal and conservative forums. Participants were given an online survey, which included a demographic questionnaire and measures on Islamophobia, intergroup contact, and intergroup anxiety. The hypotheses for this study were: 1) intergroup contact, as well as factors such as race, religious orientation, political orientation and media exposure will be significant predictors of Islamophobia; 2) intergroup anxiety will moderate the relationship between intergroup contact and Islamophobia. Results indicated that as contact with Muslims increases, Islamophobia decreases. Results also suggested that Republicans and participants that rely on Fox News for their main source of news tend to be Islamophobic. Furthermore, results indicated that intergroup anxiety does not moderate the relationship between intergroup contact and Islamophobia. However, results determined that participants who experienced intergroup anxiety were more likely to be Islamophobic. The findings of this study may serve to stimulate research on Islamophobia and address the various components that influence it.