Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter Nine: Predictors of Youth Voting: Parent-Child Relationships and Young Adult News Use
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Predictors OF Youth Voting
Parent-Child Relationships and Young Adult News Use
ROSANNE SCHOLL AND CHANCE YORK
What can families do to help kids grow into young adults who are politically engaged? Young people’s traditional political engagement is changing in nature and perhaps even declining (Bennett, 2008; Dalton, 2008, 2009). Part of our nation’s gradual decline in voting rates overall is a generational shift to young adults who typically vote less frequently than older citizens (Flanigan & Zingale, 2010).Young citizens see their civic duty as somewhat distinct from one’s duty to show up at the polls armed with the news information that is the hallmark of a concerned citizen (Wattenburg, 2012). Despite gains in their electoral participation beginning in 2004, young adults still vote at just over half the rate of seniors, and far below the rate at which today’s seniors voted when they were young, decades ago (File, 2013).
Among the many proposals for boosting youth political engagement is the idea that citizenship should start at home. Parents are urged to set a good example or to enforce particular media and participation behaviors during childhood; and civics interventions in secondary schools are proposed as a backup to the family (Campbell, 2006; Finkel & Smith, 2011; Galston, 2004). The purpose of this study is to explore relationships between characteristics of an adolescent’s family and that same person’s later engagement as a young adult...
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