A study of political efficacy of students in five Indiana high schools

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dc.contributor.advisor Shive, R. Jerrald en_US
dc.contributor.author Zegarra, Joseph E., 1937- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-03T19:32:46Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-03T19:32:46Z
dc.date.created 1971 en_US
dc.date.issued 1971
dc.identifier LD2489.Z64 1971 .Z44 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/handle/182213
dc.description.abstract This study surveyed 527 high school seniors in five Indiana high schools. It measured their political attitudes regarding high school and the local community. The study is based on two assumptions: first, that high school is a significant agency in the political socialization process, and second, that high school plays an important part in the creation of political attitudes. The overall scope of this study deals with the effect of high school on the political attitudes of students. It is concerned with these attitudes as they relate to the political process and culture of high school and the local community. Four hypotheses are tested:1. There is no significant difference between a student's perception of the political culture of high school and his perception of the political culture of the local community.2. The student's sense of political efficacy is related to his discernible view of the willingness of teachers and school administrators to discuss school related problems with him.3. The student's discernible view of his ability to influence decision makers in school is related to his sense of political efficacy.4. The perception that high school students have of their ability to influence decisions made by high school authorities is related to their perception of their ability to influence decisions made by local governmental authorities.The final survey was developed from a pool of 72 questions whose reliability and validity were proven by their use on prior instruments, and by a pilot study. A Pearson correlation and a factor matrix were the statistical tools used to determine which questions would be used in the final survey.The survey dealt with three aspects of the political socialization process: political culture, political efficacy and political cynicism. The null hypothesis was supported by use of the Pearson correlation of student responses. There is a similarity in student minds between the political culture of high school and the local community. However, insofar as political efficacy is concerned, students do not feel that their effectiveness is the same in both cultures. Students feel that they would be willing to try to use their political influence on high school authority figures, something they would not do with authority figures in the local community. This is particularly true when a comparison is made between student feelings about high school authorities and community authorities. While feelings of cynicism are not at a level that would indicate wide distrust of those in authority, the start of such feelings did appear to exist.Data gathered on the second, third and fourth hypotheses were inconclusive. Student feelings of efficacy are not the same in school as they are outside. Students are willing to talk to school authorities yet they feel that the principal may listen to them but does not seek their opinion. Students feel they cannot use the same methods of influencing high school decisions on community leaders. Student feelings of efficacy in school are such that they think they can or should be influential in school, particularly insofar as curriculum decisions are concerned. Student perception of community leaders is such that they do not see themselves as being able to influence these figures. They feel that authority figures outside school are not as concerned about them as those in school. It appears that what the adolescent has learned to use in school he would not use outside school. Students seem to feel that community leaders care about them, but that they do not actively solicit student opinion. While students feel they can be or may be influential via direct action in school, they cannot see this same course of action being used elsewhere. en_US
dc.format.extent vii, 100 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Political sociology. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh High school students. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Students -- Attitudes. en_US
dc.title A study of political efficacy of students in five Indiana high schools en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (D. Ed.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url http://liblink.bsu.edu/catkey/419093 en_US


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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3120]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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