Emerging Political Identification of Young Adults
Isaacson, Jason Douglas
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Research has more than adequately established the importance of the role of parents in the political socialization of young people. However, there is surprisingly little research that examines if and when young people deviate from their parental influence. Once deviation occurs, who replaces parents in the role of influencing the development of the political self? This research examined the development of political identification in young people ages 19-24 to discover if young people deviate from their socialized political attitudes usually instilled by their parents. It also sought to discover what outside influence is having the strongest effect on the subjects after such deviation occurs. These variables include their university, parents, professors, peer groups, media outlets, and religious affiliation. Interestingly, after the parents, the subjects' peer groups tested as having the strongest effect on the subjects deviating from their parental political norms. In addition, specific political affiliation was correlated to specific variables; for example the variable "religion" was an accurate predictor of political identification for self-identifying conservatives. The research also reinforced the notion that interpersonal relationships arc the most influential in the development of the political self.