Refining the domain of civic engagement: Empirical findings from a multidimensional model in young adults in Chile

Edmundo Varela, M. Loreto Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Civic engagement has been predominantly studied in adolescents, and models tested have included different skills, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors oftentimes without a clear theoretical foundation. Driven by theory and extensive review of empirical studies, this study empirically identifies core dimensions of the construct in young adults. Findings from confirmatory factor analysis in a sample of 421 young adults, provided support for a 4-factor second order model (CFI =.924; RMSEA =.044) that included civic skills, civic duty, internal political efficacy, and civic behaviors. An alternative 7-second order model had a less acceptable fit to the data, indicating that social trust and external political efficacy are not core dimensions of civic engagement. Post hoc analysis suggest that civic attention is also part of the construct, but results from invariance indicate the need for further evidence. Core dimensions of the construct are discussed, and valid indicators of civic engagement are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-397
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

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