Publication Date

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Barbara Gormley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Albert Tuskenis, PhD

Third Advisor

Darlene Wright, PhD


The purpose of this investigation was to explore the influence of adult attachment orientations and multicultural competence on higher education faculty perceptions of ELL (English Language Learner) students. My primary research question is whether difficulty working with ELL students, from the perspective of faculty members, is associated with individual differences in adult attachment orientations or cultural competence. There were 60 faculty members from three Midwestern American universities who completed the survey. Faculty perceptions, the dependent variable, were measured through faculty reports of their attitudes towards ELL students and their perceived adequacy of the English language proficiency of ELL students. The independent variables included adult attachment insecurity (i.e., adult attachment anxiety and adult attachment avoidance) and multicultural competence (i.e., personal sense of cultural awareness and self-efficacy in teaching culturally diverse students). Correlations to assess bivariate relationships among all the primary variables indicated a negative, moderate, and significant relationship between one aspect of multicultural competence, multicultural teaching efficacy, and one aspect of faculty perceptions, faculty attitudes towards ELL students. Limitations and implications of the findings were discussed.