Sociopolitical Participation Among Marginalized Youth: Do Political Identification and Ideology Matter?

Aixa D. Marchand, Michael Frisby, Maura R. Kraemer, Channing J. Mathews, Matthew A. Diemer, Adam M. Voight


Engaging youth in the political system has promise for creating social change and ensuring the future of our democracy. Sociopolitical participation—individual and/or collective action to facilitate change—may be biased towards more liberal or Democratic views, which emphasize reform to create social equity. The aim of this study is to test if youth who vary in political ideology (i.e., conservative, liberal) and political identification (i.e., Republican, Democrat) participate at different levels and whether this measurement of sociopolitical participation is in fact biased. These issues were examined among 237 youth attending a large Midwestern high school who generally identified with historically marginalized groups. Results suggest that youth identifying as Republican exhibited slightly higher levels of participation, and that items were not biased by political ideology or identification. Further, political ideology and identification explained less than 5% of the variance in sociopolitical action, suggesting it is largely independent of political leaning.


critical consciousness; marginalized youth; MIMIC models; sociopolitical development

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