Intercultural sensitivity in university students: Preliminary results of a collaborative study in Scotland, Turkey, and Spain.

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Leguizamo F., López-Mas V., Yalçindağ B., Çoymak A., Schroeter B., González-Roz A., ...More

13th Congress of the European Society for Prevention Research, Tallinn, Estonia, 28 - 30 September 2022, pp.34

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Tallinn
  • Country: Estonia
  • Page Numbers: pp.34
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) encourage organizations around the world to positively impact global inequalities. Social inequities in health have been associated with lack of training of mental health professionals on disparities, while competence training has shown to be a key element for preventing these inequities. Cultural sensitivity represents the ability to distinguish between the different behaviors, perceptions, and feelings of a culturally diverse counterpart. This project aims to explore cultural sensitivity in potential mental health care professionals and promote cultural diversity through mutual understanding. Methods: We used the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS-15; Wang & Zhou, 2016) to explore the five components of cultural sensitivity: engagement, confidence, respect and enjoyment, and attentiveness to other cultures. Students implemented structured interviews with an international partner. This study received approval from the ethics committee of the University of the Balearic Islands (Exp. Number 234CER21) and has been conducted with the support of the Institute of Research and Educational Innovation (IRIE) of the University of the Balearic Islands. Results: A total of 103 Psychology students from three universities (Glasgow Caledonian University, Abdullah Gül University and University of the Balearic Islands) participated in the project. Engagement, respect, and confidence showed significant differences among students across countries. Students expressed a high level of satisfaction in their reflections about the experience. Discussion: These preliminary results highlight the relevance of the development of international experiences to foster culture as a driver of personal growth. Advantages and disadvantages of the project experience and potential improvements are discussed.