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News media use and political engagement among adolescents: An analysis of virtuous circles using panel data

By S. Kruikemeier and A. Shehata

Abstract

This study analyzes reinforcing spirals between news media use and two manifestations of political engagement: political interest and participation intention. Drawing on a three-wave panel study among adolescents, we test the Virtuous Circle Thesis (VCT) in both an online and an offline setting, by distinguishing between selection effects and media effects as key ingredients of the VCT. Overall, the findings lend mixed support to the general argument. While the relationship between specific forms of news media use and political interest appears to be driven primarily by selection effects, reciprocal relations were found mainly between television news and participation intention. The VCT assumption of reciprocal influences was supported most clearly when adolescents’ total news media use was considered. Taken together, virtuous circles appeared to operate rather similarly online and offline

Topics: B - open article in toll access journal
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1080/10584609.2016.1174760
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Provided by: NARCIS
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