CCE Theses and Dissertations


Attitudes of Inmates Toward The Use of Computer In Tennessee Correctional Institutions

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Computer Education


Center for Computer and Information Sciences


John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

George K. Fornshell


The purpose of this study was to investigate inmates ' attitudes toward computers at the Tennessee Correctional institutions. Specific attention was given to the relationship between attitudes and gender, race, age, education and prior computer experience.

The instrument used in this study, the Computer Attitudes Scale (Loyd and Gressard, 1984), consisted of 40 items organized into four subscales (anxiety, confidence, liking, and usefulness). The subjects were 188 inmates from correctional institutions in the State of Tennessee.

The inmates in the control group were randomly selected through cluster sampling by the individual teacher of each correctional site. There were 94 inmates enrolled in a computer class at the four sites in the fall of 1992. The researcher had a 100% return rate. The number of surveys administered to the control group were given to equally match the number of surveys returned from the experimental group.

The data were tabulated and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Data related to the following variables: gender, race, age, education, and experience were analyzed using a Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA).

The results of data analysis revealed the following:

  1. There was a statistically significant difference between the experimental group and the control group in their Attitude Difference Score (ADS) in terms of computer anxiety.
  2. There was no statistically significant difference between the experimental group and the control group in their ADS in terms of computer confidence, computer liking, and computer usefulness.
  3. Gender, race, age, and education was not found to be significantly related to changes in attitudes toward computers.
  4. Prior computer experience appeared to make a statistically significant difference in inmates' attitudes toward computers.
  5. Word Processing was the most popular course taken and the IBM computer was the most widely utilized.

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