Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study 'changes our understanding' of youth voting behavior

Date:
September 23, 2011
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Low-income youth are more apt to vote if they are engaged in political activism and influenced by friends and family, according to a new study.

Low-income youth are more apt to vote if they are engaged in political activism and influenced by friends and family, according to a study by Michigan State University education scholars that sheds new light on voting behavior.

Previous research held that poor youth tend to either vote or get involved in political activism such as peaceful protests, but not generally both. The new study, however, found a connection between political activism and the ballot box.

"This study changes our understanding of youths' political behavior," said Matthew Diemer, associate professor of education and lead researcher on the project.

The study is scheduled to run in the November/December print edition of the research journal Child Development.

It's well known that young people from poor and working-class families tend to vote less often than affluent youth. Diemer and doctoral student Cheng-Hsien Li, both from MSU's College of Education, set out to explore the factors involved in getting low-income youth engaged in politics.

They analyzed a sample from the national Civic and Political Health Survey, which gauges young people's attitudes about government and sociopolitical issues. Their sample included 665 surveys from low-income participants under age 25.

Diemer said he controlled for civic and political knowledge, as young people who know more about these issues tend to be more engaged.

The researchers found that it was largely discussions with peers and parents -- and not the influence of teachers -- that fueled political engagement among low-income youth.

In some cases, Diemer said, individual schools or school districts may choose to steer clear of emphasizing issues such as social justice and racism in civics class. In other cases, civics teachers may not feel comfortable discussing potentially controversial issues with their students.

If civics teachers had more autonomy and freedom to engage students in discussions about politics and social-justice issues, Diemer said it would likely affect their participation in politics.

"The traditional civics class focuses on things like knowing the three branches of government. That's still important, obviously, but I think it's also important for students to understand what motivates people to participate in political and social issues and to have lasting commitments," Diemer said.

"If we can have teachers spend time on this new type of civics," he added, "then maybe we can get a generation of younger people who are more engaged politically."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Study 'changes our understanding' of youth voting behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110923095811.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2011, September 23). Study 'changes our understanding' of youth voting behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110923095811.htm
Michigan State University. "Study 'changes our understanding' of youth voting behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110923095811.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins