Measuring and Modeling Intercultural Attitudes Among Adolescents Across Europe: A Multi-Level, Multiple-Group Analysis Examining Student Attitudes, Intergroup Contact, and School Climate
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CitationHigdon, Julia Dianne. 2015. Measuring and Modeling Intercultural Attitudes Among Adolescents Across Europe: A Multi-Level, Multiple-Group Analysis Examining Student Attitudes, Intergroup Contact, and School Climate. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractEuropean nations, built on democratic foundations, rely on participation that is inclusive of all groups. Among efforts to support social cohesion in Europe, investigating the development of intercultural attitudes—attitudes toward others on the basis of their intersecting group memberships—is a crucial area of research. Further, examining attitudes among adolescents is useful because of their growing capacity to understand complex systems, while still being engaged in formal education in which interventions aimed at developing positive attitudes are often applied. In this dissertation, I used data from the 2009 IEA ICCS (International Civic and Citizenship Education Study) to examine determinants of intercultural attitudes among adolescents (n=16,847) in seven countries across Europe—the United Kingdom (England only), Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Bulgaria, Poland, and Greece—focusing on cultural contexts and school climates. First, I established the measurement invariance of a variety of measures of intercultural attitudes to support the validity of cross-cultural comparison, using a novel approach in the Bayesian framework. Using this method, I was able to validly compare intercultural attitudes across contexts in Europe, and these findings are interpreted and discussed. Then, I examined the ways in which intergroup contact, gender, and school climates were associated with intergroup attitudes across these seven countries. I found limited evidence of an association between native-born and immigrant contact and positive intercultural attitudes. However, I found that positive intercultural attitudes were consistently associated with positive and democratic school climates, as well as with gender and attitudes toward gender equality. In this dissertation, I present these findings, as well as provide interpretation, discussion, and future directions with regard to educational interventions.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:16461055