How much do children really know about politics? How do they develop their own political opinions? A study co-authored by Meagan M. Patterson, Rebecca Bigler, Erin Pahlke, Christia Spears Brown, Amy Roberson Hayes, M. Chantal Ramirez, and Andrew Nelson describes factors that are likely to affect children’s political development and reports the results of a study of five- to eleven-year-old children’s views of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Dr. Patterson highlights select findings from this study, including the role of media and parents in shaping a child’s understanding and attitudes of politics.

This research was published in Toward a Developmental Science of Politics, the Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, Vol 84.3. For more information, including scholarship, teaching, and outreach resources, visit

Presented by Dr. Meagan M. Patterson.

Society for Research in Child Development [srcdchilddevelopment]. (2019, Sept 5). Overview: Toward a Developmental Science of Politics | Monograph Matters 84.3 [Video File]. Retrieved from