Colleges that emphasize activism have more civically engaged students

July 07, 2020

BINGHAMTON, NY -- Students tend to be more engaged in activism if the school that they attend emphasizes social and political issues, according to new research featuring faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

A research team including Binghamton University Assistant Professor of Student Affairs Administration John Zilvinskis examined survey responses to an experimental itemset of the National Survey of Student Engagement measuring behaviors related to student activism. The sample included 3,257 seniors from 22 four-year institutions.

The survey items had respondents measure, "How much does your institution emphasize the following?"For administrators and educators in higher education, the researchers found that institutions with higher averages of emphasized activism had students who were more likely to participate in these behaviors.

"The higher institutional averages could indicate that a culture of emphasizing activism leads to more student engagement in activism; however, there also may be a self-selection effect in that activists choose to attend institutions that hold these values," said Zilvinskis.

The researchers also found that Black students and queer students were significantly more likely than other respondents to participate in activism.

"Our country has a history of marginalizing people from these groups, so I suspect they are more motivated to engage in activism behaviors to create more equitable experiences," said Zilvinskis. "The disappointing counter-finding is that their straight and White peers are not as engaged in activism."

Zilvinskis is now researching student participation in high-impact practices at community colleges and the engagement of students with disabilities at these institutions.
The paper, "Measuring Institutional Effects on Student Activism," was published in the Journal of College Student Development.

Binghamton University

Related Political Issues Articles from Brightsurf:

Citizens themselves contribute to political mistrust
People have a special ability to detect and disseminate information about egotistic and selfish leaders.

Higher narcissism may be linked with more political participation
A politically engaged electorate is key to any thriving democracy, but not everyone participates in elections and other political activities.

Fostering 'political' attitude adjustments
When political views are at the extreme ends of the spectrum, they are known as political polarization.

Facebook political ads more partisan, less negative than TV
More political candidates may be shifting primarily to social media to advertise rather than TV, according to a study of advertising trends from the 2018 campaign season.

Political ads have little persuasive power
Every four years, US presidential campaigns collectively spend billions of dollars flooding TV screens across the country with political ads.

US political parties become extremist to get more votes
New mathematical modeling shows that US political parties are becoming increasingly polarized due to their quest for voters -- not because voters themselves are becoming more extremist.

A new theory about political polarization
A new model of opinion formation shows how the extent to which people like or dislike each other affects their political views -- and vice versa.

How race affects listening during political conversations
A new study offers a rare look at how black and white people listen to each other during political discussions, including those that touch on controversial issues about race.

New research shows children and teens worry about political issues
A new psychological study suggests that children and teens are worried about political issues, though it's unclear that children's and teens' worry is a cause for concern, or that it is interfering with their mental health functioning.

How communication about environmental issues can bridge the political divide
A relatively new theory that identifies universal concerns underlying human judgment could be key to helping people with opposing views on an issue coax each other to a different way of thinking, new research suggests.

Read More: Political Issues News and Political Issues Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to