Cultural Inclusiveness Contributing to International Students' Intercultural Attitudes: Mediating Role of Intergroup Contact Variables

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Abstract

This study sought to examine the relationships among Asian-born international students' perceived cultural inclusiveness and intercultural contact, along with the contributions these variables made to the students' attitudes towards culturally different domestic students. Based on Pettigrew's (1998) intergroup contact theory and previous research on educational cultural climate, we hypothesised that more positive intercultural attitudes would be associated with perceptions of a culturally inclusive educational environment and higher levels of intergroup contact as indicated by quantity of contact, quality of contact, and extent of intercultural friendships. Anonymous survey participants were 190 (76 male and 113 female) Asian-born international university students at an Australian university. Results showed small to moderate relationships among perceived cultural inclusiveness, all the dimensions of intercultural contact, and intercultural attitudes, except for an unexpected insignificant association between intercultural friendship and attitudes. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that cultural inclusiveness and quality of contact were the only significant predictors of intercultural attitudes. Mediation analysis indicated that quality of contact partially mediated the relationship between cultural inclusiveness and intercultural attitudes. The importance of an inclusive educational environment on intergroup contact and attitudes, from international students' viewpoint, is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-354
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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