Attitudes of Children and Adolescents in Times of Crisis: Empirical Findings from Germany Between 2015 and 2018

  • Marc GrimmEmail author
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 20)


Triggered by the Syrian civil war, the number of people seeking refuge in Europe due to war or poverty has increased and peaked in 2015 with 1,090,000 applications for asylum. The question of whether the Federal Government’s policy was correct has polarised German society and in 2018 led for the first time to the entry of a right-wing populist party, the AfD (12.8%), in German parliament. In this context, public discourse in Germany has shifted to the right, and racist, anti-Semitic and historical revisionist positions are now being discussed as if they were legitimate opinions. Against this background Marc Grimm explores the question of how children and adolescents regard the issues of migration and xenophobia, which political developments they fear and how they see their personal future affected by these developments. For this purpose, Grimm analyses quantitative studies: the current 17th Shell Youth Study (Albert M, Hurrelmann K, Quenzel G, Jugend 2015. 17. Shell Jugendstudie. Fischer, Frankfurt, 2015), the SINUS Youth Studies (2016), as well as two recent studies, the Tui Foundation Youth Study (TUI Foundation, European Youth 2018) and Generation What? (BR et al, Generation What? Europabericht. Authors: Von Schwartz M, Calmbach M, Möller-Slawinski H.) coordinated by the European Broadcasting Union. The author combines the results of the study into a picture which allows statements about the attitudes of adolescents in Germany on issues that are central to right-wing populism.


Children Adolescents Crises Attitudes Racism Right-wing populism Prejudices 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Socialization Research and Centre for Prevention and Intervention in Childhood and Adolescence (CPI)Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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