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Assessing the Predictors of Political Engagement among Northern Irish Youth

posted Jun 13, 2017, 1:51 PM by Naomi Naghi   [ updated Jun 13, 2017, 1:53 PM ]
Joseph P. Vitta1
Journal of Social Research & Policy
Volume: 7, Issue: 2, Online First
Date: December 2016
ISSN: 2067-2640 (print), 2068-9861 (electronic)

Abstract: Functioning societies aim to have their youth engage in the political sphere and Northern Ireland is no exception. To wit, Northern Irish academia devoted much effort to this issue with institutions such as its Institute of Conflict Research considering the matter a prime area of inquiry. This secondary data study, being focused on contributing to this discussion, employed a country-wide survey of Northern Irish youth to construct variables representing political engagement and its theory-grounded predictor constructs: social connectedness, income, gender, and educational attainment. Using these variables, a multi-linear regression model was constructed that accounted for 11.2% (r^2) of the observed variance of reported political engagement where gender (strongest), education level, social connectedness, and income (weakest) were all significant predictors/factors. The implications of the research are two-fold. On one hand, the model and its components’ being statistically significant imply that the research has identified the areas of inquiry needed to address the Northern Irish youth political engagement question. On the other, the observed weakness of the model’s predictive strength implies that more research is needed to unpack the measurements needed to properly address the issue.

 Keywords: Northern Ireland; Youth Political Engagement; Survey Research, Secondary Data Research. 

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