The genesis of civic awareness: Agenda setting in political socialization

Spiro Kiousis, Michael McDevitt, Xu Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Agenda-setting theory, a conceptual framework used to trace how issue salience is established among policy makers, media, and the public, has yet to be applied to political socialization. This study extends agenda-setting theory by conceptualizing it as a process of political development. In an analysis of adolescent involvement during the 2002 U.S. elections, data are reported from a quasi-experimental field study of the effects of the Kids Voting USA campaign intervention on students in Arizona, Colorado, and Florida. A model of agenda setting among adolescents is built by investigating the influence of school intervention exposure, news attention, discussion, and information integration on salience, opinion strength, and finally strengthened political predispositions (partisanship and ideology). Findings suggest that agenda setting provides a valuable perspective for understanding how adolescents come to decide what issues are important to them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-774
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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