Abstract: Documented differences in civic engagement across communities along lines of color and class pose significant challenges to maintaining the health of democracy and promoting social justice in the United States. The exact nature and causes of these civic gaps, however, are not well understood. Research on these gaps is hampered by the fact that extant measures of civic engagement do not ... read moreaccount for the diverse conceptions and manifestations of civic engagement that may exist across different American sub-populations. The current study, therefore, sought to assess the validity and reliability of two measures of civic engagement, previously validated on a majority white, middle class sample of youth, using a new majority Black/African American and low-SES sample of youth participating in a high school dropout recovery program. Exploratory and subsequent Confirmatory Factor Analysis revealed that the two measures had different factor structures when validated on the new population. The restructured measures, however, did have good reliability and concurrent validity. The implications of these findings for theory, measurement, and future research, are discussed in light of several developmental theory frameworks.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Study and Human Development.
Advisors: David Feldman, and Jonathan Zaff.
Committee: Kei Kawashima-Ginsburg.
Keywords: Developmental psychology, Political science, and Sociology.read less