The Development of Students’ Engagement in School, Community, and Democracy

53 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2016 Last revised: 17 Jun 2017

See all articles by John Holbein

John Holbein

University of Virginia

D. Sunshine Hillygus

Duke University

Christina M. Gibson-Davis

Duke University

Darryl Hill

Wake County Public School System

Matthew Lenard

Wake County Public School System; Harvard University

Date Written: June 13, 2017

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the origins of youth engagement in school, community, and democracy. We examine the specific contribution of psychosocial abilities, like grit. Using a novel original large-scale longitudinal survey of students linked to school administrative records and a variety of modeling techniques — including sibling, twin, and individual fixed effects — we find that psychosocial ability is a strong predictor of youth civic engagement. Gritty students miss less class time and are more engaged in their schools, are more politically efficacious, are more likely to intend to vote when they become eligible, and volunteer more. Our work highlights the value of psychosocial attributes in helping young people develop into active citizens.

Keywords: political participation, political socialization, education, grit, non-cognitive skills

Suggested Citation

Holbein, John and Hillygus, D. Sunshine and Gibson-Davis, Christina M. and Hill, Darryl and Lenard, Matthew, The Development of Students’ Engagement in School, Community, and Democracy (June 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2793274 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2793274

John Holbein (Contact Author)

University of Virginia ( email )

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D. Sunshine Hillygus

Duke University ( email )

Christina M. Gibson-Davis

Duke University ( email )

Darryl Hill

Wake County Public School System ( email )

5625 Dillard Drive
Cary, NC 27518
United States

Matthew Lenard

Wake County Public School System ( email )

5625 Dillard Drive
Cary, NC 27518
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.wcpss.net

Harvard University ( email )

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