Developing political trust in adolescents: Is there a role for schools?

Kerry J. Kennedy, Magdalena Mo Ching Mok, Michael Ying Wah Wong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Political trust provides the necessary legitimacy for political institutions and the actions they take on behalf of citizens. Political trust is especially important in democracies not only to sustain and build social cohesion but also to encourage citizens to work together for democratic principles. In this chapter we set out to investigate the role of schools and the contribution they can make to building political trust amongst young people. In addition, we want to focus on the use of multilevel modelling as an analytic technique that has the potential to tap results at different levels of education systems. The sample comprised 23,654 junior secondary students who had recently participated in the 2009 International Civics and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS 2009). The students were selected from schools in five Asian societies, namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. The schools were chosen through proportional probability sampling and students within schools came from a single intact class. The mean age of students was 13.5 years at the time of testing within each society. Results show that schools can play a role in the development of political trust in the five societies we have studied. Within societies schools utilizing generally democratic processes and structures for student are more likely to build political trust than those that are not. Nevertheless, there is substantial difference between societies in the mechanisms through which school exerts influence on students' political trust. Further, nuances are observed across societies in gender and parental roles. The findings reported in this chapter have provided important insights for future research in the political socialization of adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychology of Trust
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781612098432
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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