Asian Adolescents’ Attitudes toward Equal Rights

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Abstract

The current study explored school-related variables that are likely to influence adolescents’ attitudes toward equal rights. Responses from adolescents in five Asian countries (South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia) were drawn from a large-scale internationally representative study, namely, the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) conducted in 2009 (n = 23,437). These responses were analyzed to investigate the extent to which school-related variables affect the development of attitudes toward equal rights, with a particular focus on differences between nations. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that attitudes toward equal rights varied by nationality for Asian adolescents. Highly Westernized Hong Kong residents and people in Chinese Taipei, who live in countries that actively seek interactions with Western countries, scored highly on items related to support for equality for ethnic groups compared with the other three countries. However, the results were different for support for equality for immigrants. Multilevel regression analyses also revealed that perceived class openness was positively related to attitudes toward equal rights. In contrast, political activities outside schools were barely related to students’ attitudes toward equal rights.