Yesenia Alvarez Padilla
Scholar: Yesenia Alvarez Padilla
Major: Social Work
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Mary Hylton
Research Topic: Promoting the Civic Knowledge and Political Efficacy of Youth through Direct Political Participation
Abstract: There is concern regarding levels of political participation of youth in the United States. Studies indicate low levels of political engagement of young adults in comparison to levels of other forms of civic engagement such as volunteering. Participation is often related to levels of civic knowledge and political efficacy. Young people who are the least educated and from lower income backgrounds are the least likely to be politically active. In particular, studies indicate growing inequalities in youth participation, stressing the importance of practices promoting the political participation of marginalized groups. This study examines the effectiveness of an applied civic literacy program in increasing political efficacy and civic knowledge among two groups of low-income high school students ranging from 15 to 18 years of age. Preliminary results from statistical analysis of pretest and posttests following direct political participation experiences at the local, state, or federal level, will be discussed. Analysis of results will indicate the effectiveness of using direct political experiences in civic literacy programs as a means of promoting the participation of low-income or minority youth.
New Scholar: 2017 cohort
Graduating with a Baccalaureate Degree: 2018