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ERIC Number: ED555830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 128
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-9276-1
Responses to a Fire Emergency: Students' Knowledge and Willingness to Assist Another Student
Varghese, Susan
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
Recent statistics have shown an increasing trend in the frequency and severity of emergency situations around the world, with women and people with disabilities being disproportionally impacted by these emergencies. A review of the literature suggests that college campuses are particularly vulnerable during emergencies. With the increasing enrollment of women and students with disabilities on college campuses it has become essential to assess the knowledge levels of students regarding emergency procedures, and the willingness of students to assist others during a campus emergency. For this study, quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 436 undergraduate students through a paper and pencil survey. Each participant was randomly assigned to one of four vignettes describing a fire emergency on campus with a student (male with disability/male without disability/female with disability/female without disability) seeking assistance from the participant. The vignette was followed by questions to assess participants' knowledge of emergency procedures and their willingness to assist others, a demographic questionnaire, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, the Self-Report Altruism Scale and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that male participants reported higher levels of knowledge regarding emergency procedures than female participants. Participants who had previous experience with fire emergencies and previous training in emergency procedures also reported a higher level of knowledge of safety measures. Participants reported having less knowledge to help a student with disability as compared to a student without disability. Willingness to assist another student was positively influenced by personal factors such as higher levels of knowledge regarding emergency procedures and higher scores on the social desirability scale and the self-report altruism scale. Participants were more willing to assist another student if the student had a disability, and if the student was female. Analysis of the qualitative data revealed that students were more likely to seek input from a person requiring help if the person did not have a disability or was male. Further, willingness to help was influenced by stereotypes regarding disability and gender. Implications of these findings on research, training and practice are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Interpersonal Reactivity Index; Marlowe Crowne Social Desirability Scale