Political influence across generations: partisanship and candidate evaluations in the 2008 election

Emily K. Vraga, Leticia Bode, Jung Hwan Yang, Stephanie Edgerly, Kjerstin Thorson, Chris Wells, Dhavan V. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent scholarship in political socialization has moved beyond traditional transmission models of parent-driven socialization to consider alternative pathways, like trickle-up socialization and its predictors. However, these studies have paid less attention to the diverse ways in which parents and children develop discrete political orientations, especially during a competitive presidential campaign. In this study, we examine various pathways through which influence occurs across generations in terms of partisanship and candidate evaluations. Our results suggest that while harmonious attitudes remain the norm, there are substantial opportunities for youth to demonstrate their independence, particularly when gaining perspectives from schools and digital media sources. Our findings indicate the importance of exploring how youth and their parents come to understand politics and the forces that shape youth socialization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-202
Number of pages19
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • candidate evaluations
  • civic education
  • party affiliation
  • political socialization
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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