Family political socialisation and its effect on youth trust in government: a South African perspective
Esau, Michelle Vera
Rondganger, Carol Hilary
Roman, Nicolette V.
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Current debates on citizenship and democracy highlight the salience of cooperative relations between government and its citizens. Scholars observe that governments and its institutions function better where there is cooperation and trust. However, evidence suggests that political interest is waning and trust in government, dwindling. More especially, concerns about the effects of youth disengaging from political life are increasing. This phenomenon is more worrying in young democracies, where democratic traditions and principles are still evolving. This study examines the effect of family politicisation on youth trust in government. This quantitative study used a cross-sectional correlational research design. A two-level approach was adopted. At the first level we examined the prevalence of political discussions in the home and the trust attitudes of the family (as indicators of family politicisation) and youth towards government. At a second level we conducted a regression analysis to determine relationships between parent-adolescent communication and youth trust in government; family trust in government and youth trust in government; and finally, parent-adolescent communication and family trust on youth trust in government. The results suggest that a combination of parent-adolescent communication and family trust in government in a model, significantly positively predicts youth trust in government.