Researchers sought to learn more about the political development of the nation’s children. They interviewed nearly 200 elementary-school-aged children before and after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The infographic below summarizes some of the findings from the 2019 issue of the Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development titled, “Toward a Developmental Science of Politics.”

An infographic for the SRCD journal, Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development. What do kids understand about the political process? A new study takes a closer look. Researchers sought to learn more about the political development of
the nation’s children. They interviewed nearly 200 elementary-school-aged
children before and after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Figure 1: 58% of children were interested in the election "a lot," 23% of children were interested "somewhat," 14% were interested "a little bit," and 5% were "not at all" interested in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Figure 2: Adult may not be fully engaging children's interest. 36% of children said their parents did not talk with them about the election at all, while 18% of children said their parents talked with them about the election "a lot." Figure 3: Over 90% of children sampled provided information about at least one policy proposal for one of the candidates. 83% of children sampled provided information about at least one personal characteristic (such as being smart, nice, mean, or rude) for one of the candidates. Nearly all children sampled (99%) expressed a preference for one candidate to win the election and knew the election outcome. Figure 4: Only 65% of children sampled knew that no woman has ever been president of the United States, a smaller percentage that has been found in past studies. Figure 5: Only a single child was able to name a historical individual who worked for women's civil rights or suffrage. Conclusion: To learn more, please visit monographmatters.srcd.org. Citation: Patterson, M. M., Bigler, R. S., Pahlke, E., Brown, C. S., Hayes, A. R., Ramirez, M. C., & Nelson, A. (2019). Toward a developmental science of politics. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 84(3). doi: 10.1111/mono.12410

Issue Citation:
Patterson, M. M., Bigler, R. S., Pahlke, E., Brown, C. S., Hayes, A. R., Ramirez, M. C., & Nelson, A. (2019). Toward a developmental science of politics. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 84(3). https://doi.org/10.1111/mono.12410