Examining Public Housing Stereotypes and Building Intercultural Competence Through Service-Learning

Kim Skobba, Marilyn J. Bruin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


For students considering careers in the housing industry, moving beyond stereotypical views of low-income individuals is essential to ensuring fair housing opportunities. Using qualitative data from two reflective writing assignments, this research examines changes in the perception of public housing residents and the demonstration of intercultural competence among 69 undergraduate students completing a service-learning project in an affordable housing policy and management course. The majority of students entered the course with stereotypical views of public housing residents. A reflection writing assignment after the service-learning project provided evidence of intercultural competence through an empathetic, informed frame of reference shift. However, a small number of students held firmly to negative, ethnocentric attitudes. This finding suggests that the service-learning project affected students in different ways. More research is needed to understand the differential outcomes related to intercultural competence development and service-learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-359
Number of pages15
JournalFamily and Consumer Sciences Research Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.


  • Intercultural competence
  • Public housing stereotypes
  • Service-learning


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