Political Development Away From Home: Understanding How the First Year Influences College Students' Political Orientation Change
Author(s): Havey, N. & Schalewski, L.
Citation: Havey, N. & Schalewski, L. (2022). Political Development Away From Home: Understanding How the First Year Influences College Students' Political Orientation Change. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 34(1), 27-42.
Universities have long sought to contribute to civic engagement and democratic participation by their development of students. This study examines political orientation changes that occur within the first year of college and student background characteristics, plans, and experiences that predict these changes. Descriptive statistics first describe the shift of students' political orientation from the beginning of college to the end of their first year. Results show that most students do not change their political orientation during this time. Among those who do shift in their political orientation, there is some movement away from the middle of the road to more polarized political orientations, with a slight nudge toward liberalism. Significant factors that predicted political orientation changes and interaction effects are reported and discussed.