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Young Adults' Knowledge of Politics: Evaluating the Role of Socio-Cognitive Variables Using Structural Equations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2013

Silvina Brussino
Affiliation:
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina)
Leonardo Medrano
Affiliation:
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina)
Patricia Sorribas
Affiliation:
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina)
Hugo H. Rabbia
Affiliation:
Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina)
Corresponding

Abstract

The aim of this study was to create an explanatory model that allows analyzing the predictive power of a set of variables related to political knowledge; more specifically, to analyze the relationship between the education level of young adults and the variables, interest in politics and internal political efficacy. We also analyzed the combined relationship between these variables, together with age, and political knowledge. We worked with a sample group of 280 young adults between the ages of 18-30 from the city of Córdoba (Argentina). The data was subjected to a structural equation modelling SEM analysis, which allowed for the corroboration of the following hypotheses: the higher the education level, the more the interest in politics; the higher the education level, the better the perception of internal political efficacy; the higher the education level, the more the political knowledge; the more the interest in politics, the more the political knowledge; and the better the perception of internal political efficacy, the more interest in politics. Moreover, the following hypotheses could not be verified: the older an individual, the more the political knowledge; and the better the perception of internal political efficacy, the more the political knowledge. The model obtained allows for discussion of the explanatory value of these socio-cognitive variables.

El presente estudio tuvo como objetivo elaborar un modelo explicativo que permita analizar el poder predictivo de un conjunto de variables que mostraron tener relación con el conocimiento político. Específicamente, analizar la relación del nivel educativo de los jóvenes sobre las variables interés en la política y eficacia política interna; además, la relación conjunta de estas variables y la edad sobre el conocimiento político. Se trabajó con una muestra de 280 jóvenes de 18 a 30 años de edad, de la ciudad de Córdoba (Argentina). Los datos fueron sometidos a un análisis SEM, permitiendo corroborar las hipótesis que indicaban que a mayor nivel educativo mayor nivel de interés político; a mayor nivel educativo mayor percepción de eficacia política interna; a mayor nivel educativo mayor nivel de conocimiento político; a mayor nivel de interés político mayor nivel de conocimiento político; y a mayor percepción de eficacia política interna mayor nivel de interés político. Asimismo, no se pudieron corroborar las hipótesis que postulaban que a mayor edad de los jóvenes mayor nivel de conocimiento político y a mayor percepción de eficacia política interna mayor nivel de conocimiento político. El modelo obtenido permite discutir el valor explicativo de las variables sociocognitivas.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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