Of Attitudes and engagement: Clarifying the reciprocal relationship between civic attitudes and political participation

John W. Gastil, Michael Xenos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this essay, we draw on broader psychological theories of the attitude-behavior relationship to postulate specific reciprocal patterns of causality between the civic attitudes and forms of political and civic engagement featured in contemporary political communication research. We then examine the extent of these reciprocal relationships with a 2-wave panel survey of 2,872 Pacific Northwest residents. Spanning the 2004 elections, structural equation modeling of the panel data shows complex reciprocal causal paths between political/civic attitudes (internal and external efficacy and civic pride and faith) and a range of political and civic behaviors (voting, political action, media use, political/community talk, and group involvement). The conclusion suggests how to conceptualize these variables and model their relationships in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-343
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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