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As the United States becomes an increasingly multicultural society (Colby & Ortman, 2014; Perez & Hirschman, 2009), there are greater opportunities for cross-culture interactions, especially in settings for healthcare practitioners. The profession of occupational therapy demands future practitioners understand culture and become skilled in the delivery of culturally competent care (AOTA, 2014). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of international service learning (ISL) on the development of intercultural competence in graduate occupational therapy students. Inquiry for this research followed a mixed-methods explanatory sequential design. Study participants were graduate occupational therapy students who engaged in an international service-learning experience. The quantitative data were collected utilizing a self-report measure, the intercultural developmental inventory (IDI; Hammer, 1999, 2009, 2011). This instrument is aligned with the developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS; Bennett, 1986, 1993), and identifies specific orientations that range from an ethnocentric mindset to a more ethnorelative, or intercultural mindset. The qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews and reflective journals, examining the participants’ perceptions about the ISL experience and the development of intercultural competence. Grounded theory data analysis protocols were utilized to systematically analyze the qualitative data and further explain the quantitative findings.


Open access Dissertation. Published by ProQuest LLC (). Copyright of the Dissertation is held by the Author.

Dissertation submitted to the Doctoral Examining Committee Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership College of Education, Nursing, and Health Professions, University of Hartford, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education 2019.





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