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How do you know all of that? Causes of political awareness among adolescents

Thomas Schübel
Universität Konstanz
Thomas Schübel
Universität Konstanz
Open Panel

Abstract

Innumerable studies indicate that political socialisation already starts during early childhood. It is assumed that children begin to learn about the political world at a very young age. Various factors (abilities, opportunities, motivations) are supposed to be relevant for the development of political knowledge. However direct empiric evidence is scarce for two reasons: First, research in this field is often restricted to adult citizens. Furthermore, the vast majority of previous studies in this field only considered effects of certain individual characteristics, which can be regarded as a result of political socialisation themselves. Therefore this paper will focus determinants of political knowledge among adolescents. Using German survey data from 2008/2009, multivariate models will, besides the ''usual suspects'', account for the influence of factors like e.g. general cognitive abilities (retentivity, numeracy skills), frequency of political discussions (with teachers, parents and peers), media usage and social enviroment for political learning during adolescence.