Student Attitudes towards Asylum Seekers in Croatia

Drago Župarić-Iljić, Margareta Gregurović


This paper describes the construction of "The Scale of
Attitudes towards Asylum Seekers" based on a survey
conducted on a convenience sample of 277 students of
social, natural and engineering studies within the University
of Zagreb. Applied exploratory factor analysis, using the
direct oblimin rotation, resulted in three factors: "perception
of social threat"; "perception of cultural threat"; and
"perception of health and economic threat". The obtained
factors explain 60.8% of the instrument’s variance and were
used as foundation for the construction of additive subscales,
which were in further ANOVA analyses treated as the
dependent variables. The independent variables used were
selected socio-demographic, socio-cultural and contextual
variables. The results indicate that a greater perception of
asylum seekers as a social and cultural threat is expressed by
male students, who study engineering sciences, are politically
positioned right and extremely right, are convinced believers
or religious, and do not have, or have only one friend who is
a foreigner in Croatia (significant only for perception of
social threat). On the other hand, a greater perception of the
asylum seekers as a health and economic threat is expressed
only by students who study engineering or natural sciences.
The expected correlations between the attitudes towards
asylum seekers and the variables "personal experience of
displacement" (including refugee experience), "contact with
asylum seekers and asylees" and "primary source of
information on asylum" were not statistically significant.


asylum; asylum seekers; refugees; perception of threat; xenophobia

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096