Although a variety of age-related processes are known to affect rates of political participation over the adult life span, little is known about their interrelationships and relative impact. We set out a theory of life span civic development that focuses on how age-related changes in community attachment, strength of partisanship, church attendance, government responsiveness, family income, and civic competence impinge on voting participation. To test the theory, we estimated the coefficients of a structural equation model using data from nine National Election Studies combined into a large, cross-sectional time series data set. The model specifies the age-related processes and also controls for the effects of a large number of other variables. Overall, about one-half of the age-related increases in voting participation were attributable to these processes.