CitationRim, Hyunseo & Kim, Jinho (2023). Learning disability in adolescence and civic engagement in young adulthood: Uncovering social-psychological mechanisms. Social Science Quarterly.
AbstractObjective This study examined whether learning disability (LD) in adolescence is associated with civic engagement in young adulthood. A comprehensive set of social-psychological mechanisms was examined. Methods Using a nationally representative longitudinal data set from the United States (N = 9909), this study employed school fixed effect models to take into account unobserved school- and neighborhood-level confounding factors. Sobel tests were conducted to formally test for mediation. Results Students with LD were less likely to volunteer and vote in young adulthood than their peers without LD. These associations remained statistically significant at conventional levels (b = −0.037 for volunteering and b = −0.028 for voting) even after adjusting for educational attainment. Sobel mediation tests suggested that part of the association was mediated by disruption of peer relationships (8.3 percent for volunteering and 15.5 percent for voting) and school detachment (7.6 percent for volunteering and 7.4 percent for voting). In contrast, neither teacher relationships nor neighborhood attachments mediated the observed association. Conclusion LD in adolescence was associated with a decrease in the likelihood of volunteering and voting in young adulthood. Given the mediating role of peer relationships and school attachment, policymakers and practitioners may consider developing school-based programs to promote adolescents’ school integration.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleSocial Science Quarterly