A comparison of attitudes toward prisoners of religious and non-religious college students in Hong Kong

Wing Hong Chui, Kevin Kwok Yin Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While there have been numerous studies on the religious, namely, Christians', attitudes toward punishment, less attention has been devoted to the religious attitudes toward prisoners. This study aims to examine and compare religious affiliation and spirituality with respect to attitudes toward prisoners. Respondents were comprised of a sample of college students in Hong Kong divided into three groups: Buddhists, Christians, and those self-identified as non-religious. Both Christians and Buddhists displayed more positive attitudes toward prisoners with respect to perceived bad character and perception of negative interaction compared with the non-religious. Likewise, Christians and Buddhists exhibited more positive attitudes toward prisoners with respect to empathy and perception that prisoners are normal compared with the non-religious. Spirituality, however, moderated these relationships as spirituality interacted with religious affiliation to produce more negative attitudes toward prisoners. Possible implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1078
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume59
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • attitudes toward prisoners
  • Buddhists
  • Christians
  • Hong Kong Chinese
  • non-religious
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology

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