Children and politics: Age and gender differences in political knowledge and attitudes

Aimée Fletcher, Belén López-Pérez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous research into children's political knowledge and attitudes has been scarce. To address this gap, a total of 150 British children in Year 2 (58% male, 43% female, Mage = 6.6 years, n = 50), Year 4 (46% male, 54% female, Mage = 8.4 years, n = 50) and Year 6 (56% male, 44% female, Mage = 10.4 years, n = 50) reported their factual knowledge and attitudes towards different political characters, their motivation and aspiration to become prime minister, and what gender stereotypical characteristics a prime minister should have. Results showed children in Year 6 to have more political knowledge and more negative attitudes than those in Year 4 and Year 2. Overall, children indicated a prime minister should have more stereotypical female characteristics. In addition, there were no significant gender differences. Practical implications of the findings are discussed in line with previous research on political socialisation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101483
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume83
Early online date14 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Children
  • Political attitudes
  • Political knowledge
  • Political socialisation

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