Educating tomorrow’s citizens: Globalization and gender equality in European young people

  • Elisa Caponera INVALSI, Italy
  • Laura Palmerio INVALSI, Italy
Keywords: ICCS, Gender equality, Civic knowledge


The present study investigates young peoples’ attitudes towards gender equality across 14 countries who participated in The International Civic and Citizenship Study (ICCS) 2016. The main aim of the present study is to verify whether students’ background variables, civic knowledge and civic self-efficacy contribute to explaining the attitudes towards gender equality. The relationship between these variables was evaluated using a structural equation modeling approach. Data from 50,000 students representative of grade 8 popula-tion from 14 European countries who participated in ICCS 2016 were analysed. A mediation analysis with structural equation modeling assessed the direct and indirect effects of the immigrant background and socio-economic and cultural background on attitudes towards gender through the mediation of civic knowledge and civic self-efficacy. The results showed the role of civic knowledge in mediating the effect of socio-economic background on gender equality. These findings suggest that school policy invests on improving civic knowledge at school.


Acker, J. (2004). Gender, capitalism and globalization. Critical sociology, 30(1), 17-41.

Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behaviour. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Ali, A., & Gordon, N. (2018). Traditional Gender Roles: Social and Cultural Influences on Oppression and Resistance. The War on Women in the United States: Beliefs, Tactics, and the Best Defenses, 1.

Ashby, J. & Schoon, I. (2010). The role of aspirations, ambition and gender in predicting adult social status and earnings. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77(3), 350-360.

Banchefsky, S., Westfall, J., Park, B., & Judd, C. M. (2016). But you don’t look like a sci-entist!: Women scientists with feminine appearance are deemed less likely to be scien-tists. Sex Roles, 75(3-4), 95-109.

Bandura, A. (1986). The explanatory and predictive scope of self-efficacy theory. Journal of social and clinical psychology, 4(3), 359-373.

Bandura, (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and function-ing. Educational psychologist, 28(2), 117-148.

Bandura, A. (2006). Toward a psychology of human agency. Perspectives on psychological science, 1(2), 164-180.

Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Caprara, G. V., & Pastorelli, C. (1996). Multifaceted impact of self‐efficacy beliefs on academic functioning. Child development, 67(3), 1206-1222.

Bandura, A., Barbaranelli, C., Caprara, G. V., & Pastorelli, C. (2001). Self‐efficacy beliefs as shapers of children's aspirations and career trajectories. Child development, 72(1), 187-206.

Burbules, N. C., & Torres, C. A. (Eds.). (2000). Globalization and education: Critical perspectives. New York: Routledge.

Davis, S. N., & Pearce, L. D. (2007). Adolescents' work-family gender ideologies and educational expectations. Sociological Perspectives, 50(2), 249-271.

Dreher, A. (2006). Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization. Applied economics, 38(10), 1091-1110.

Caprara, G. V., Fida, R., Vecchione, M., Del Bove, G., Vecchio, G. M., Barbaranelli, C., & Bandura, A. (2008). Longitudinal analysis of the role of perceived self-efficacy for self-regulated learning in academic continuance and achievement. Journal of educational psychology, 100(3), 525.

Carnoy, M., & Rhoten, D. (2002). What does globalization mean for educational change? A comparative approach. Comparative education review, 46(1), 1-9.

Castillo, J. C., Miranda, D., Bonhomme, M., Cox, C., & Bascopé, M. (2015). Mitigating the political participation gap from the school: the roles of civic knowledge and classroom climate. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(1), 16-35.

Cavaletto, G. M. (2017). A scuola di parità: Educare le giovani generazioni alla parità di genere. Milano: FrancoAngeli.

Cohen, A. K., & Chaffee, B. W. (2013). The relationship between adolescents’ civic knowledge, civic attitude, and civic behavior and their self-reported future likelihood of voting. Education, citizenship and social justice, 8(1), 43-57.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hilsdale. NJ: Law-rence Earlbaum Associates.

Cohen, A., Vigoda, E., & Samorly, A. (2001). Analysis of the mediating effect of per-sonal‐psychological variables on the relationship between socioeconomic status and po-litical participation: A structural equations framework. Political Psychology, 22(4), 727-757.

Croll, P. (2008). Occupational choice, socio‐economic status and educational attainment: a study of the occupational choices and destinations of young people in the British Household Panel Survey. Research papers in Education, 23(3), 243-268. Crompton, R., Lyonette. C. (2005). The new gender essentialism—domestic and family `choices' and their relation to attitudes. The British Journal of Sociology, 56, 601-620.

Davis, S. N., & Greenstein, T. N. (2009). Gender ideology: Components, predictors, and consequences. Annual Review of Sociology, 35, 87-105.

Eccles, J. S. (1987). Gender roles and women's achievement-related decisions. Psychology of women Quarterly, 11(2), 135-172.

Fernández-Ballesteros, R., Díez-Nicolás, J., Caprara, G. V., Barbaranelli, C., & Bandura, A. (2002). Determinants and structural relation of personal efficacy to collective effi-cacy. Applied Psychology: An International Review Special Issue: Challenges of Ap-plied Psychology for the Third Millennium, 51, 107-125.

Francis, B. (1998). Power Plays: Primary School Children's Constructions of Gender, Power, and Adult Work. Staffordshire: Trentham Books.

Furstenberg, F. F., Cook, T. D., Eccles, J., Elder, G. H., & Sameroff, A. (1999). Managing to make it. Urban families in high-risk neighborhoods. Chicago: The Chicago Univer-sity Press.

Goren, H., & Yemini, M. (2017). Global citizenship education redefined–A systematic re-view of empirical studies on global citizenship education. International Journal of Educational Research, 82, 170-183.

Gygli, S., Haelg, F., & Sturm, J. E. (2018). The KOF Globalisation Index–Revisited. KOF Working Papers, 439.

Hoskins, B. and Janmaat, J.G. (2014). ‘Comparing Young People’s Beliefs and Perceptions of Gender Equality across 28 Different Countries’, in Schoon, I. and Eccles, J.S. (eds), Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment: A Life Course Perspective (pp.475-94). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Iacobucci, D., Saldanha, N., & Deng, X. (2007). A meditation on mediation: Evidence that structural equations models perform better than regressions. Journal of Consumer Psy-chology, 17(2), 139-153.

Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2003). Rising tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Janmaat, J.G. (2008) ‘The Civic Attitudes of Ethnic Minority Youth and the Impact of Citizenship Education’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34(1), 27-54.

Janmaat, J. G. (2013). Civic competences. In Civic Education and Competences for Engag-ing Citizens in Democracies (pp. 51-63). Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

Koenig, A. M., Eagly, A. H., Mitchell, A. A., & Ristikari, T. (2011). Are leader stereotypes masculine? A meta-analysis of three research paradigms. Psychological bulle-tin, 137(4), 616.

Kulik, L. (2002). The impact of social background on gender-role ideology: Parents' versus children's attitudes. Journal of Family Issues, 23(1), 53-73.

Lackey, P. N. (1989). Adults' attitudes about assignments of household chores to male and female children. Sex Roles, 20(5-6), 271-281.

Leaper, C., & Valin, D. (1996). Predictors of Mexican American mothers' and fathers' atti-tudes toward gender equality. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 18(3), 343-355.

Marks, J. L., Lam, C. B., & McHale, S. M. (2009). Family patterns of gender role attitudes. Sex roles, 61(3-4), 221-234.

McMichael, P. (2011).Development and social change: A global perspective. London: Sage Publications.

Mendez, L. M. R., & Crawford, K. M. (2002). Gender-role stereotyping and career aspira-tions: A comparison of gifted early adolescent boys and girls. Journal of secondary gifted education, 13(3), 96-107.

Myrberg, E., Rosén, M. (2006). Reading achievement and social selection in independent schools in Sweden: Results from IEA PIRLS 2001. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 50(2), 185-205.

Oxley, L., & Morris, P. (2013). Global citizenship: A typology for distinguishing its multi-ple conceptions.British Journal of Educational Studies, 61(3), 301-325.

Parry, G. (1983). A British version of the Attitudes towards Women Scale (AWS‐B). British Journal of Social Psychology, 22(3), 261-263.

Powell, A., Dainty, A., & Bagilhole, B. (2012). Gender stereotypes among women engi-neering and technology students in the UK: lessons from career choice narratives. European Journal of Engineering Education, 37(6), 541-556.

Robinson, W. (2003). The Debate on Globalization, Science & Society 67(3): 353–360.

Schoon, I., & Eccles, J. S. (Eds.). (2014). Gender differences in aspirations and attainment: A life course perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schoon, I., & Polek, E. (2011). Teenage career aspirations and adult career attainment: The role of gender, social background and general cognitive ability. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35(3), 210-217.

Schulz, W., Ainley, J., Fraillon, J., Losito, B., & Agrusti, G. (2016). IEA International Civic and Citizenship Education Study 2016. Assessment framework. Amsterdam: IEA.

Schulz, W., Ainley, J., Fraillon, J., Kerr, D., & Losito, B. (2010). ICCS 2009 International Report: Civic Knowledge, Attitudes, and Engagement among Lower-Secondary School Students in 38 Countries. Amsterdam: IEA.

Schulz, W., Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Losito, B., & Kerr, D. (2008). International Civic and Citizenship Education Study: Assessment framework. Amsterdam: IEA.

Schulz, W., Ainley, J., Fraillon, J., Losito, B., Agrusti, G., & Friedman, T. (2017). Becom-ing Citizens in a Changing World. IEA International Civic and Citizenship Education Study 2016 International Report. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Slagsvold, B. (2012). Likestilling hjemme. NOVA rapport, 8. Stromquist, N. P. (2005). The impact of globalization on education and gender: An emergent cross-national balance. Journal of Education, 37(1), 7-36.

Tinklin, T., Croxford, L., Ducklin, A., & Frame, B. (2005). Gender and attitudes to work and family roles: the views of young people at the millennium. Gender and Education, 17(2), 129-142.

Torney-Purta, J. (2002). The school's role in developing civic engagement: A study of ado-lescents in twenty-eight countries. Applied Developmental Science, 6(4), 203-212.

Torney-Purta, J., Lehmann, R., Oswald, H., & Schulz, W. (2001). Citizenship and education in twenty-eight countries: Civic knowledge and engagement at age fourteen. Am-sterdam: IEA.

Turmo, A. (2004). Scientific literacy and socio-economic background among 15-year-olds—a Nordic perspective. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 48(3), 287-305.

Veugelers, W. (2011). The moral and the political in global citizenship: Appreciating differences in education. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 9(3-4), 473-485.

Wood, J. T. (1994). Gendered media: The influence of media on views of gender. Gendered lives: Communication, gender and culture, 9, 231-244.

World Economic Forum (2017). The Global Gender Gap Report 2017. Geneve: WEF. Re-trivied March 10, 2018, from

Zhao, X., Lynch Jr, J. G., & Chen, Q. (2010). Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation analysis. Journal of consumer research, 37(2), 197-206.