Britt Wilkenfeld

Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (11)8.36 Total impact

  • Carolyn Barber · Judith Torney-Purta · Britt Wilkenfeld · Jessica Ross
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    ABSTRACT: Using the Developmental Niche for Emergent Participatory Citizenship (Torney-Purta and Amadeo, 2011) as a framework, we examined differences between immigrant and native-born youth’s civic knowledge and support for women’s rights in Sweden and the United States, and explored whether experiences with peers and parents, and in formal and informal educational contexts, could account for such differences. Using data from the IEA Civic Education Study of 1999, we found that immigrants had lower civic knowledge and less support for women’s rights than their native-born peers in both countries. Differences in civic knowledge were partially explained in both countries by the lower likelihood of immigrants speaking the tested language at home, and remaining gaps were moderated by differences in the association of school activities with knowledge between the two groups. Gaps in support for women’s rights were partially explained by differences in language spoken at home (a possible proxy for cultural dissimilarity) in the United States, but not in Sweden. Experiences in various social or educational contexts, including perceptions of supportive classroom and school climates, were predictive of civic outcomes overall, but did little to account for differences in attitudes between the two groups in either country.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Research in Comparative and International Education
  • Daniel Hart · Cameron Richardson · Britt Wilkenfeld
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    ABSTRACT: Notions of citizenship and civic identity are central to political theory and political psychology. We explore the various meanings of civic identity, and suggest that the concept is best understood as having subjective, ethical, and political facets. The prominence of civic identity in constructions of citizenship is then considered. We use civic identity embedded in the context of citizenship to refract contemporary debates concerning globalization and immigration. Our review suggests that civic identity figures prominently in each debate, with proponents of different perspectives in these debates varying in their views about the kinds of civic identities morally desirable and politically necessary. In the final section, data from a large international survey of adolescents are used to explore the relations of different facets of civic identity and citizenship. We conclude with suggestions for future research and conceptual exploration.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2011
  • Britt Wilkenfeld · James Lauckhardt · Judith Torney-Purta

    No preview · Chapter · Aug 2010
  • Judith Torney-Purta · Britt Wilkenfeld · Carolyn Barber
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    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.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2008 · Journal of Social Issues
  • Judith Torney-Purta · Carolyn Barber · Britt Wilkenfeld · Gary Homana
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    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.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2008 · Child Indicators Research
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    Marc Hooghe · Britt Wilkenfeld
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    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.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · Journal of Youth and Adolescence
  • Judith Torney-Purta · Carolyn H. Barber · Britt Wilkenfeld
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    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.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Journal of Youth and Adolescence
  • Anthony D. Perry · Britt S. Wilkenfeld
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    ABSTRACT: The Agenda Setting Model is a program component that can be used in courses to contribute to students' development as responsible, effective, and informed citizens. This model involves students in finding a unified voice to assert an agenda of issues that they find especially pressing. This is often the only time students experience such a deliberative process in their studies. The process of developing the agenda begins in the classroom with students engaging in conversations regarding issues they consider most critical. Topics range from tuition increases to larger social issues, such as healthcare reform, unemployment, and the war in Iraq. Students learn compromise and empathy while they work to limit their agendas and to choose a finite number of issues to address. A coalition is formed among the students and one unified voice is achieved. From this, students then further research their agenda and begin lobbying to gain support for their issue. Every aspect of this process involves students in using a range of problem-solving skills and exploring core values of democracy, particularly values and skills related to participatory citizenship: each student's voice is heard, and all students are represented. Democratic leadership skills are also fostered throughout the exercise, especially as some students develop coalitions to push more effective political demands through consensus and collaboration.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2006 · Journal of Political Science Education
  • Judith Torney-Purta · Carolyn Barber · Britt Wilkenfeld

    No preview · Article · Apr 2006 · Prospects
  • Judith Torney-Purta · Britt Wilkenfeld

    No preview · Article · Jan 2006 · PsycCRITIQUES
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    Britt Wilkenfeld · Judith Torney-Purta
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates direct and indirect family, peer, school, and neighborhood effects on adolescents' civic engagement utilizing data from the 1999 IEA Civic Education Study and the U.S. Census. The nationally representative sample consists of 2,729 students from 119 schools in the U.S. Multi-level regression techniques provide precise estimates of the separate and shared impact of each context on adolescents' civic engagement. Individual students' civic experiences and discourse in school and at home predict higher civic engagement, although the effects of these experiences vary based on the larger school and neighborhood contexts. Overall, interactive effects indicate that students who may traditionally be deemed at a disadvantage (either because of poor school or neighborhood conditions) experience more benefits from increases in civic learning opportunities than do more advantaged students. Suggestions are made for secondary analyses of ICCS (the IEA civic education study of 2009).
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