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ERIC Number: ED513519
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 269
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-2610-0
Paths to Active Citizenship: The Development of and Connection between Civic Engagement Involvement and Attitudes in College Students
Shuler, Lisa O.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College
Higher education has renewed its focus on civic engagement due to a growing recognition of the distinctive opportunities for students to internalize civic values during college. This unique role has become increasingly important in context of the shifting trend in American youth away from traditional political participation towards increasing involvement in civic life. Past research in higher education and youth civic engagement has suggested connections between participation in and attitudes supportive of civic engagement across both civic and political realms. To further investigate this relationship, this dissertation looked at how students' civic engagement involvement and attitudes develop over time, tracking how participation levels in civic, political, and expressive activities impact the acquisition of a comprehensive set of civic attitudes during students' undergraduate tenure. The specific attitudes of interest in this study were students' self-efficacy through community service, politics, and civic involvement, commitment to civic accountability, and tolerance of diversity. This dissertation utilized data from two cohorts (N=137) of a multi-year study at a single institution as its main data source, with data from a nationally-representative sample of college students used for scale development and anchoring. A mixed-method three-factor within subjects design was used to explore the development within and between students' civic engagement involvement and attitudes across their four years at college by gender and minority status. Through the Rasch rating scale model, repeated measures analyses of variance, and repeated measures analyses of covariance, students' longitudinal commitment to civic engagement was shown to be much more complex than expected. Canonical correlation analysis was then used to address the connection between students' involvement and attitudes within their freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years. While the results of this study were typically non-significant with regard to students' development of civic engagement involvement and attitudes, these findings provided valuable insights into the relationship between participation in specific types of activities at certain stages of students' college experiences and the acquisition of particular civic engagement attitudes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A