Factors Shaping Youth Civic Engagement Of Rural Ireland and Pennsylvania

Open Access
Author:
Butterbaugh, Kaitlyn R
Graduate Program:
Agricultural and Extension Education
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
February 03, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Mark A Brennan Jr., Thesis Advisor
  • John Ewing, Thesis Advisor
  • Prof Pat Dolan, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Civic Engagement
  • Community
  • Social Supports
  • obstacles
  • Social Networks
Abstract:
This research identifies factors related to civic engagement in rural youth ages 10-18 years old in both Ireland and Pennsylvania. To understand civic engagement an understanding of the factors shaping youth civic engagement is necessary. Personal characteristics, obstacles, social support, social networks, and the role of community as factors either shaping or inhibiting civic engagement were explored with an emphasis on identifying obstacles to civic engagement. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were used. Surveys were administered to 210 adolescents (ages 10-18) in several schools in rural communities both in Ireland and Pennsylvania. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies were used to collect and to analyze the data. The qualitative data that was collected was used in support of the quantitative findings. Interviews with adults, in the local communities where testing occurred, were conducted to establish validity. Data was analyzed through frequencies, bivariate, and multivariate analysis. As a result, nine major factors to youth becoming civically engaged were defined in this research. Recommendations were made for policy and programming.