A cross-cultural examination of adolescent civic engagement: Comparing Italian and American community-oriented and political involvement

Authors: 
Parissa Jahromi, Elisabetta Crocetti, and Christy M. Buchanan
Publication Year: 
2012
Publication name or Publisher: 
Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 40:1, 22-36. DOI: 10.1080/10852352.2012.633065

The purpose of this study was to investigate community-oriented and political civic engagement activities and intentions among youth in Italy and the United States. Adolescents (N¼566) from academically rigorous schools in both countries completed surveys assessing frequency of civic activity participation, motivation for activity, evaluations of activity, and intentions for future civic engagement. Results suggest that youth in both countries were more likely to participate in community-oriented than political civic activities and that youth in both countries found their civic experiences to be meaningful. American youth reported more past civic activities of both types and higher intentions for future community-oriented civic engagement compared to Italian youth. Finally, a model was tested to examine links between peer and school contexts and civic activities and intentions. Findings highlighted that, in both countries, peer and school contexts had a stronger impact on community-oriented than on political civic activity.