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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence 11/2016

03-09-2016 | Empirical Research

The Kids are All Right? Income Inequality and Civic Engagement among Our Nation’s Youth

Auteurs: Erin B. Godfrey, Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 11/2016

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Abstract

Prior work suggests that income inequality depresses civic participation among adults. However, associations between income inequality and youth civic engagement have not been assessed. This is true despite evidence that other features of communities influence youth civic development. To fill the gap, we examine associations between county-level income inequality and civic engagement among a nationally representative sample of 12,240 15-year-olds (50 % female). We find opposite patterns than those suggested by the adult literature. Higher county-level income inequality is associated with slightly more civic engagement (greater importance of helping others, higher rates of volunteering often), and this is particularly true for low-socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic minority youth. Potential developmental and structural explanations for these differences are offered. In addition, practical implications of these findings are drawn, and future research directions for scholars studying youth are proposed.

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Voetnoten
1
Gini coefficients range from 0 to 1. Zero reflects perfect equality where every household in a given geographic area earns the same income. One indicates absolute inequality where a single household earns all the income in a given geographic area. According to the CIA’s world factbook, the Gini coefficient for the United States is 45.0.
 
2
The percentage of observations missing covariates ranged from 0 % to 14 %.
 
3
Results of sensitivity analyses are available from the primary author.
 
4
Individuals under 18 are approximately one-quarter of the US population. In 2010, there were 3143 counties and a population of approximately 318 million.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
The Kids are All Right? Income Inequality and Civic Engagement among Our Nation’s Youth
Auteurs
Erin B. Godfrey
Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng
Publicatiedatum
03-09-2016
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Youth and Adolescence / Uitgave 11/2016
Print ISSN: 0047-2891
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6601
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0557-4