In the last years, researchers have been interested in understanding factors affecting the development of European identity. To contribute new insights to the literature, this study explored how age, gender and context variables influence the process of European identification and the attitudes towards Europeans in two different Italian groups: Northern Italians and Southern Italians. Interview data were collected from 1037 children and adolescents (472 males, 565 females), aged from 6 to 16 years old and living in northern and southern regions of Italy. They were asked to answer an individual interview during school time. For the particular purposes of the study, four main measures were used: (a) the relative importance of European identification; (b) the degree of European identification; (c) the trait attribution positivity towards Europeans; (d) the affect towards Europeans. Structural equation modelling analyses revealed important and interesting findings. Specifically, age was positively linked to European identification, but not to attitudes towards Europeans; similarly, gender differences relating to European identification were found, with males showing higher identification than females; context differences concerning both European identification and attitudes towards Europeans were also found, with northern Italians showing higher identification but more negative attitudes than southern Italians; and the European identification was a significant predictor of attitudes towards Europeans.These findings were interpreted from socio-developmental and cultural perspectives. Suggestions for promoting European identity for children and adolescents in different age, gender and context levels were discussed.
|Number of pages||0|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|