Politics across generations: Family transmission reexamined

M. Kent Jennings, Laura Stoker, Jake Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We use longitudinal data incorporating three generations of Americans to reevaluate the character and consequences of political socialization within the family. Findings about parental influence based on youth coming of age in the 1990s strongly parallel those based on youth socialized in the 1960s. As expected on the basis of social learning theory, children are more likely to adopt their parents political orientations if the family is highly politicized and if the parents provide consistent cues over time. The direct transmission model is robust, as it withstands an extensive set of controls. Early acquisition of parental characteristics influences the subsequent nature of adult political development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-799
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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