International Education Journal


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Prosocial Behaviour and Political Culture among Australian Secondary School Students

Lawrence J. Saha
School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University




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This study investigates the extent to which forms of prosocial behaviour and values of social responsibility are related to various domains of political culture among Australian youth. Using data from a survey of 1311 senior secondary students from the ACT and South Australia, it was found that 14 per cent had participated in one or more volunteer activities and 26 per cent scored highly on social responsibility values. Furthermore, it was found that at least one or the other of these prosocial measures was positively related to five of the six domains of political culture, the exception being the feeling of political efficacy. Students who were prosocial also manifested higher levels of political knowledge, political awareness, political activism experience, and positive attitudes towards political freedoms and towards human rights. The implications of these findings for family practices and school programs for volunteer activities and for the instilling of a sense of social responsibility are discussed.

Prosocial Behaviour, Political Culture, Australian Secondary Students



 Saha, L.J.(2004) Prosocial Behaviour and Political Culture among Australian Secondary School Students. International Education Journal, 5 (1), 9-25.

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