Simone Abendschön, Markus Tausendpfund
Political knowledge of children and the role of sociostructural factors

American Behavioral Scientist, 2017: 61, issue 2, pp. 204-221
ISSN: 0002-7642 (print); 1552-3381 (online)

This article investigates how and why political knowledge varies among young children. The data of the empirical analyses are adapted from the German study “Learning to Live Democracy” and consists of a three-wave panel of 431 young children who were interviewed at the beginning and at the end of their first school year, as well as at the end of their fourth school year. The empirical results show that political knowledge among young children is not equally distributed. Girls, children from Turkish families and/or those from areas with a low socioeconomic status show a tendency to be less politically knowledgeable than boys, children from native German families and/or those from areas with a higher socioeconomic status. These differences do not disappear during the first years in school.