Intergenerational transmission and the reinforcement of the political engagement gap: Identifying how university educated parents enable their children to become more politically interested during early adolescence

Bryony Hoskins, Jan Germen Janmaat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research consistently shows that parents' educational attainment is associated with their children's level of political interest. The life stage when this relationship is established and grows has been identified to be between the ages of 10 and 16. This paper identifies the social class‐based practices that drive the influence of parental education on the development of political interest among early adolescents and explains why the social gap grows at this point. The paper draws on two panel surveys, the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study and the Understanding Society Youth Survey, and applies latent growth curve modelling and path analysis. The findings show that university‐educated parents influence the change in political interest of their children in early adolescence by raising their educational aspirations, enabling their access to political activities in school, choosing the school for their children, taking their children to museums and art galleries and influencing their children's friendship groups.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2024


  • political interest
  • social inequality
  • higher education
  • cultural capital

Cite this