There has been little research on how youth make decisions about the kinds of political engagements they will pursue, how they perceive different forms of political engagement, and what they believe they are accomplishing through these engagements. However, campaigns such as Kony 2012 point to the importance of understanding why and how youth become politically engaged. People who are politically engaged throughout the course of their life often become involved when they are young, which means that youth engagement has potentially lifelong effects on civic engagement. As such, understanding youth political engagement is important because it includes the time frame during which enduring patterns of participation in democracy are likely to be ingrained in individuals.
In addition to understanding youth’s broad engagement, we’re also interested in understanding which political activities youth choose to engage in online. For example, online petitions have become very popular. We are interested in understanding youth engagement with those types of online tools and how they perceive these tools versus other forms of civic and political engagement.
Updates on Research
We are still getting our IRB approval and so we don't have updates yet!