Research & Publications

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The Program on Intergroup Relations brings together faculty, students, and staff from across fields to study key questions around intergroup dialogue. Through this collaborative and interdisciplinary approach, we uncover, evaluate, and share our findings on dialogue programming impact and the influence of pedagogy.

IGR researchers use a variety of tools and techniques, including qualitative methods, quantitative survey research, content analysis of student papers, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, intensive interviews, and more. Our faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers have published peer-reviewed journal articles, monographs, and doctoral dissertations inspired by IGR’s work.

View all research publications


Past projects

"A Multi-University Evaluation of the Educational Effects of Intergroup Dialogues" Patricia Gurin, University of Michigan; Biren (Ratnesh) Nagda, University of Washington; and Ximena Zuniga, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Quantitative (pre- post- and post post-surveys) & Qualitative (papers, videotapes and individual interviews); Funded by W.T. Grant and Ford Foundations; IRB approved through 2010.

The project evaluates effects of race and gender intergroup dialogue courses at nine universities. Three sets of student outcomes, emphasized in the Michigan affirmative action cases, are measured: social identities; intergroup communication skills/motivation; commitment to intergroup understanding/ collaboration.

The Multi-University Intergroup Dialogue Research Project Guidebook contains information about the implementation of the project.

Pat Gurin, Kelly Maxwell, Charles Behling, Adrienne Dessel, & Susan King Religious Diversity in the Public University: Intergroup Dialogues on Religion Qualitative (interviews); Funded by Ford Foundation; Timeline: Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30th, 2010; IRB approved.

This project will evaluate the dialogues on religions to determine how previous course work in religion impacts the dialogue experience, if at all.

Kelly Maxwell and Mark Chesler; Qualitative (papers pre and post). IRB approved. The purposes of this research project are to explore students' views of issues related to white racial identity and to assess the effectiveness of the White Racial Identity Dialogue.

Adrienne Dessel and Michael Woodford (U of M School of Social Work); Post dialogue papers from LGB/H dialogues. IRB approved.

The purpose of this research project is to explore the following questions: Why do Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual students take dialogue courses and why they might not take dialogue courses, what are the outcomes for them, what went well and might have not gone well for them, and what are the particular processes/activities within the dialogue courses that facilitated these outcomes.

Adrienne Dessel, Michael Woodford (U of M School of Social Work), Robbie Routenberg, Duane Breijak (U of M School of Social Work)

This project examines heterosexual student experiences and outcomes following participation in sexual orientation dialogues. Analysis of final student papers and qualitative interviews. 

Taryn Petryk and CommonGround Staff
1. Evaluation of CommonGround Workshops; Pre/Post Quantitative surveys; measures the level of content knowledge (before and after workshop), personal application of workshop, the environment of the workshop, effectiveness of facilitators and benefits of workshop.
2. Facilitator Development; Pre/Post Qualitative surveys; measures social justice knowledge, confidence in facilitation, self-awareness, preparedness to facilitate and connectedness to facilitator community.
3. Growing Allies retreat; Mixed Method, Longitudinal; Examines community, classroom and ally involvement.

(Team: Jennifer Yim, Melissa Sanders [team captain], Liwen Chen, Trishya Gandhi, Philip Cheng). Evaluation and assessment of International dialogues and global understanding; IRB in process. Quantitative survey and qualitative analysis of written assignments.

Adrienne Dessel, Monita Thompson and Johanna Masse

Pre and post quantitative surveys. Funded by the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT).

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the learning processes and learning outcomes for student peer facilitators who train in intergroup dialogue facilitation, and who then go on to a practicum facilitating intergroup dialogue courses. More specifically, we aim to understand if students who are trained in a peer facilitation model achieve four intended learning goals, as well as what other learning they may experience. We will examine the different processes and outcomes for the training and practicum course. Finally, we will compare this learning to that in other related peer facilitation courses.

Mark Chesler and Kelly Maxwell; qualitative: interviews; IRB approved.

The purpose of this research is to examine how trained peers (those who have been through training and/or the facilitation process) experience the impact of their race and gender identities on the facilitation process. Individual interviews were conducted by two undergraduate peer facilitators and supervised by Mark. Subsequent analysis was conducted by the two students as well as by Mark and Kelly for an upcoming book chapter.

Adrienne Dessel and Noor Ali

This study will examine the processes and outcomes of an Arab/Jewish intergroup dialogue course.  Individual interviews and final paper analysis will be conducted using NVivo software.  The outcomes of this research and resulting publication will inform our understanding of the experiences of the course participants and how dialogue pedagogy can be used to address campus conflict. 

Research request forms


Using and citing our work

We welcome the use, sharing, and citation of our publications in educational settings of all kinds. To facilitate ease of use, we've gathered key resources and information to help guide the appropriate use and citation of IGR's self-published resources, handouts, and working papers.


Meet the IGR research director

Patricia Gurin

Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita, Research Director

Patricia Gurin, PhD (she/her/hers) is the Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is a faculty associate of the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research and of the Center for African and Afro-American Studies. She directs the research program of The Program on Intergroup Relations, a curricular program co-sponsored by the College of LS&A and Student Life. A social psychologist, Dr.

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