ABSTRACT: The persistence of adolescents’ political attitudes and behaviors into adulthood is a perennial concern in research on developmental
psychology. While some authors claim that adolescents’ attitudinal patterns will remain relatively stable throughout the life
cycle, others argue that the answers of adolescents in political surveys have but a limited predictive value for their future
attitudes and behaviors. In this article, we tackle this question on an aggregate level, by comparing survey data for 14,
18 and 18 to 30year old respondents from eight European countries (n=resp. 22,620; 20,142 and 2800). We examine political trust, attitudes toward immigrants’ rights and voting behavior. The
analysis suggests that country patterns with regard to political trust and attitudes toward immigrant rights are already well
established by the age of 14. We find less indications for stability in the relation between intention to vote (for 14 and
18years olds) and actual voting behavior (for young adults). The latent structure of the political trust scale was found
to be equivalent for the three age groups we investigated. We close by offering some suggestions on why attitudinal stability
seems stronger than behavioral stability.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 04/2012; 37(2):155-167. · 2.72 Impact Factor
08/2010: pages 193 - 219; , ISBN: 9780470767603
ABSTRACT: An understanding of human rights among young people forms a foundation for future support and practice of rights. We have used data from 88,000 14-year-olds surveyed in the 1999 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) Civic Education Study to examine country differences in students' knowledge pertaining to human rights compared with other forms of civic knowledge, and in students' attitudes toward promoting and practicing human rights. A hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analysis examines student-level predictors (e.g., gender and school experiences) and country-level predictors (e.g., history of democracy) of rights-related knowledge and attitudes. Countries with governments that pay more attention to human rights in intergovernmental discourse (i.e., dialogue between nations and international governing bodies) have students who perform better on human rights knowledge items. Students' experiences of democracy at school and with international issues have a positive association with their knowledge of human rights. Significant gender differences also exist. Looking at rights-related attitudes, students with more knowledge of human rights, more frequent engagement with international topics, and more open class and school climates held stronger norms supporting social movement citizenship, had more positive attitudes toward immigrants' rights, and were more politically efficacious. Implications are drawn for psychologists and educators who wish to play a role in increasing adolescents' understanding, support, and practice of human rights.
Journal of Social Issues 11/2008; 64(4):857 - 880. · 1.96 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Deficiencies in current indicators of civic life skills are identified and the IEA Civic Education Study (conducted in 28
countries) is suggested as a source of psychometrically-sound indicators for early adolescents. The multidimensional nature
of indicators of expected participation is demonstrated with analyses of the profiles of participation found in different
countries and the predictors of different types of participation. A new analysis has identified four clusters of students
in the nationally representative sample in the United States based on attitudinal profiles. The largest cluster of students
(35%) is the Indifferents, willing to practice citizenship only minimally. Four percent of students are Alienated, in refusing to accept norms of citizenship. They do not respect the rights of others, agree to obey the law, or expect to
participate. The other two clusters are the Conventionals (28%) and the Social Justice Supporters (32%). Implications are drawn for researchers, policymakers, and the public.
Child Indicators Research 04/2008; 1(1):86-106. · 0.96 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Many studies have reported gaps between Latino and non-Latino adolescents in academic and political outcomes. The current
study presents possible explanations for such gaps, both at the individual and school level. Hierarchical linear modeling
is employed to examine data from 2,811 American ninth graders (approximately 14 years of age) who had participated in the
IEA Civic Education study. Analyses of large data bases enable the consideration of individual characteristics and experiences,
as well as the context of classrooms and schools. In comparison with non-Latino students, Latino adolescents report more positive
attitudes toward immigrants’ rights but have lower civic knowledge and expected civic participation. These differences were
apparent even when controlling for language, country of birth, and political discussions with parents. School characteristics
that explain a portion of this gap include open classroom climate and time devoted to study of political topics and democratic
ideals. Results are discussed within the framework of developmental assets and political socialization. Implications for educational
policy and ways to use large data sets are also discussed.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 01/2007; 36(2):111-125. · 2.72 Impact Factor
Prospects 04/2006; 36(3):343-354.