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Studies indicate growing disparities in youth civic knowledge and political efficacy based on socioeconomic status, parental educational attainment, and race. Most studies of youth political participation focus on the effect political efficacy and civic knowledge have on political participation. Few report on the effect political participation has on political efficacy and civic knowledge. This article describes an intervention that coupled civic literacy workshops with applied political participation to increase the civic knowledge and political efficacy of low-income, ethnically diverse high school students. Over three years, 47 high school students enrolled in Upward Bound participated in a six-hour civic literacy workshop. Upon conclusion of the workshop, students spent a day meeting with legislators and attending legislative hearings. Results indicate increases in political efficacy and significant increases in civic knowledge among the youth after both the workshop and the visits with elected officials.


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19 Jul 2022
263 kB



  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 12

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022