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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53238
Doc. No:TL23192
Call number:‭3394918‬
Main Entry:Vani Murugesan
Title & Author:Impressionable years: The long-term effect of political environment on young adultsVani Murugesan
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:138
Abstract:Two studies further explore the Impressionable Years hypothesis (see Sears & Valentino 1997), in which political socialization occurring during a critical period of youth has long-term effects on political attitudes. Study 1 extends the hypotheses to political behavior, in addition to attitudes, using a 30-year longitudinal study to demonstrate that the political environment experienced when 17-18 years old has enduring effects on both attitudes and political activity well into adulthood. Specifically, a mediational model is tested using SEM, demonstrating that parental SES, college education, and parental political engagement have indirect effects on child political activity. Child political engagement, viewed to be forged by the interaction of parental environment, historical context, and college education, is presented as the only variable with direct, causal effects on child political activity. Study I expands Impressionable Years to behavior, demonstrates political engagement as a key mediating variable, and examines the endurance of the effects of childhood environment on political behavior. Study 2 considers political shifts in the current youth generation (Generation Y). Using Impressionable Years as a framework, Study 2 considers the hypothesis that the current youth generation has awakened from a period of relative political calm and inactivity to become more engaged in politics. It is argued that an unavoidably salient event, the September 11 attacks, was first in a line of historical events (including the Iraq war and the unpopular Bush presidency) that captured the attention of a previously politically uninvolved generation. Part I of Study 2 uses aggregate analyses of cross-sectional data from the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections to explore several different areas of improvement, including: candidate affect, party identification, political sophistication, and political engagement. While greater improvement is more evident in some areas than in others, generally speaking, the 18-29 age bracket appears to be more politically engaged in 2004 than in 2000. Part 2 of Study 2 summarizes the most recent surveys tracking gains in interest, participation, and partisanship post-2000, leading up to the 2008 election. Results indicate that the current surge in youth interest in politics is not specific to the 2008 election, but can be traced back as early as 2002.
Subject:Social sciences; Psychology; Youth; Impressionable years; Engagement; Generational effects; Political socialization; Young; Social psychology; Political science; 0615:Political science; 0451:Social psychology
Added Entry:D. Sears
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles