National identity and the Beijing Olympics: School children's responses in mainland China, Taiwan & Hong Kong

Patrick W C LAU, Michael H.S. Lam, Beeto W.C. Leung

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to examine the changes of national identity of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan before, during and after the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. It consists of three phases. The present study belongs to the phase 1. Phase 2 and 3 will be repeated measured in Mid August and December 2008. Likewise, the role of sport identity and physical activity level on the formation of national identity of Chinese children would be investigated among these three regions. Group differences of gender, age, birth and residential places, sport identity as well as physical activity level on national identity would be examined. Participants were 480 boys and 447 girls aged 12 to 17 years from junior secondary schools in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. A set of validated questionnaire was administered to assess the changes of national identity in the three time points. Correlation analysis revealed that national identity and sport identity as well as national identity and physical activity level were weakly associated. Multiple regression analysis was employed to examine the contribution of different constructs on children's national identity. Only birth-residential place and sport identity were found to be a significant predictor of national identity. Results of independent t-test indicated that junior secondary students had significantly lower national identity and sport identity but higher physical activity level than senior secondary students. On the other hand, no significant difference was found in national identity between the genders. Significant differences were only found in sport identity and physical activity levels, with boys higher than girls. Finally, One-way ANOVA demonstrated that the "China born-China residential" group had significantly higher level of physical activity than the 3 other groups. To conclude, the phase 1 cross sectional data revealed that Mainland Chinese children demonstrated greatest national identity among the three regions before the Beijing Olympic Games 2008. It suggested that the birth-residential place provided greatest contribution in national identity. And the role of sport identity and physical activity level had very limited predictive ability in the dependent variable. In order to further explore the associations between the constructs, repeated measures are imperative for tracking the changes of all variables during and after the Games.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6729-6738
Number of pages10
JournalProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Volume2
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)

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