Political Socialization of High School Students under the Influence of School, Parents, Peers and Social Milieu

In a longitudinal study including four measurement points, the development of political attitudes and behaviors of 16-year-old male and female high school students in Brandenburg is traced from their 10th grade attendance (1995/96) to their voting behavior in the 1998 Bundestag elections (4 survey waves) and explained by the influence of or the confrontation with different contexts (first survey wave: N = 1359). Independent variables represent the contexts parents (parents were interviewed separately), peers (friends were interviewed separately), school and social milieu, as well as the processing of turnaround and transformation processes. In addition, personality traits such as self-concept of own political abilities, authoritarianism, value orientations, future orientation, and psychological well-being were included in the explanatory model. Furthermore, the possible influence of young people on their parents is examined. Particular emphasis is placed on the analysis of gender differences. Tape interviews were conducted with a subsample of adolescents. The results of the study have been presented at numerous conferences and published in relevant scientific books and journals.

The study was conducted in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Karin Weiss of the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. The study of the University of Applied Sciences refers to secondary and comprehensive schools (first survey wave: N = 1274). The two data sets are parallelized and evaluated comparatively.