Youth bulges in communities: the effects of age structure on adolescent civic knowledge and civic participation

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Discipline 1 Developmental psychology
Discipline 2
Publication Title Youth bulges in communities: the effects of age structure on adolescent civic knowledge and civic participation
Description Youth bulges, cohorts of 16- to 25-year-olds disproportionately large relative to the adult population, are linked with social upheaval in historical research. Limited civic knowledge and heightened civic participation in adolescence, resulting from socialization in communities with large populations of children, are hypothesized to be developmental precursors to the political activism characteristic of youth constituting bulges. In two studies with nationally representative samples, adolescents in communities with disproportionately large populations of children were found to have less civic knowledge than equivalent adolescents in communities without large populations of children. In both studies, civic participation was predicted by the interaction of a community's proportion of children and its poverty level. Similar patterns were identified in a third study using country-level data. Together, the findings demonstrate that the youthfulness of communities and countries influences civic development.
Publication Year 2004
Publication Author Daniel Hart, Robert Atkins, Patrick Markey, James Youniss
Publication Type Study
Publisher Psychological Science
Major Funders
Publication Link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15327629