ERIC Number: ED356981
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Cross-National Comparison of Students' Political Awareness and Attitudes.
Boulter, Lyn T.; Swann, Martha
A total of 271 students in the 2nd, 7th, and 12th grades from the midwest, northeast, and southeast regions of the United States were surveyed. The survey consisted of fact-based questions about the recent events in the Persian Gulf, and questions designed to elicit value judgments about the international role and current leaders of the United States. There were no significant grade, gender or political party affiliation differences in knowledge base, although there was a developmental increase in knowledge with age. Television, school, and other media were more useful sources of information than the family. Developmental differences in moral judgments also were observed between the younger students who emphasized national roles that provide for needs and safety, and the older students who stressed more global, idealistic values. The 7th-graders demonstrated conventional support of the nation's leadership, whereas the 12th-graders were more critical of the current leadership. A cognitive-developmental theory of political awareness, understanding, and value judgment was supported. (Author)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Comparative Analysis, Developmental Psychology, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Familiarity, Grade 12, Grade 2, Grade 7, Knowledge Level, Political Attitudes, Psychological Studies, Secondary School Students, Social Science Research, Student Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (Knoxville, TN, March 25-28, 1992).