Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2021

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Conrad Kanagy and Dr. Michele Lee Kozimor


Political engagement involves both indirect and direct actions that effect the political system such as voting, donating to campaigns, and volunteering for a political party. Previous literature has suggested that students demonstrating more interest in politics and exhibiting strong party ties were more likely to vote than those who were uninterested in politics. Limited research has examined the relationship between political information efficacy, locus of control, and parental socialization on the political engagement of college students; however, studies have thoroughly examined the effects of political affiliation. The sample population for this research were students enrolled at one small, private, liberal arts institution located in central Pennsylvania. The data were obtained through the use of mixed methodology, using survey and semi-structured interview techniques. Results show that there were significant relationships between political engagement and political information efficacy. Those who felt more confident with their political knowledge were more likely to be politically engaged. Interestingly, there was a was no relationship between locus of control and political engagement. There were significant relationships between political engagement and parental socialization. Those who recalled their parents being more politically engaged were more politically engaged themselves.


Honors Senior Thesis; Honors in the Discipline; SO 400 Senior Project in Sociology