Stability and change in youths’ political Interest
2016 (English)In: Social Indicators Research, ISSN 0303-8300, E-ISSN 1573-0921Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Political interest is a key for the survival and development of democracies. Therefore, it is important to establish when political interest develops. We examined changes in political interest—when and in which directions—among youths between 13 and 28 years of age. We followed five age groups of Swedish youths over 2 years, with a total of 2621 participants. Analysis of stability coefficients supported the idea that political interest becomes more stable with age. From their early twenties, youths’ political interest was found to be as stable as has been earlier reported for adults. Among adolescents, the lowest stability rate was observed in the youngest cohort (ages 13–15). The results also showed that, when taking the increase in political interest into account, the proportion of youths losing their interest in politics corresponded to the proportion of youths gaining interest over time. On the whole, this study brings new insights on the development of political interest over time. It provides empirical evidence on when political interest is most susceptible to change and on how it is likely to change. Implications for research and intervention are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Political interest; Youths; Attitudinal stability; Longitudinal data
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54217DOI: 10.1007/s11205-016-1302-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-54217DiVA: diva2:1061304