The White Privilege Attitudes Scale: Development and Initial Validation

E. Janie Pinterits, V. Paul Poteat, Lisa B. Spanierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


In this article, the authors describe 3 interrelated investigations among White undergraduate and graduate students that document the development and initial validation of the White Privilege Attitudes Scale (WPAS). The WPAS assesses the multidimensional nature of White privilege attitudes, reflecting affective, cognitive, and behavioral dimensions. In Study 1 (n = 250), exploratory factor analysis suggested a 28-item scale with 4 factors as follows: (a) Willingness to Confront White Privilege, (b) Anticipated Costs of Addressing White Privilege, (c) White Privilege Awareness, and (d) White Privilege Remorse. In Study 2 (n = 251), confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the 4-factor model was a better fit of the data compared with competing models. The authors also found support for convergent validity between scores on the WPAS factors and theoretically related measures. Study 3 (n = 40) documented test-retest reliability of each of the WPAS factors and nonsignificant associations with socially desirable responding. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-429
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of counseling psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Whites
  • race relations
  • racism
  • scale construction
  • white privilege

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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