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Adolescents’ attitudes towards foreigners: Associations with perceptions of significant others' attitudes depending on sex and age

Burkhard Gniewosz, Peter Noack, Dirk Wentura, Friedrich Funke

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The present study examines associations between adolescents’ attitudes towards foreigners and their perceptions of the same attitudes among their parents, friends, and teachers. Questionnaire data from a sample of 518 students attending 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade of German high-track schools addressed students’ own attitudes and their re-ports on the reference persons in their proximal contexts. Analyses of individual profile correlations suggest strong correspondences between adolescents and their perceived contexts which slightly decrease depending on age. Processes of projection are discussed as a possible explanation of the strong associations observed as well as to the age-graded pattern of correlations.

Keywords: Adolescence, ethnocentrism, false consensus