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A study investigated children's attitudes, information sources, and interest toward the 1992 presidential election. Focus groups were conducted one week before the 1992 presidential election with 13 fourth- and fifth-grade elementary school children. Results indicated several themes: (1) overall, the children's knowledge of abstract concepts like democracy was not articulated as clearly as concrete information and feelings toward the electoral process; (2) President Bush was not the object of children's idealization--the children's images of Bush and their ratings of his job performance were overwhelmingly negative; (3) their support for challengers was not bolstered with factual content; (4) the campaign period resulted in a high level of excitement; (5) their faith in the system is solid; (6) many of the children judged Bush based on their internalized conceptions about the official role of president; (7) the children displayed varying levels of political information; (8) the broadcast media was the major source of political information; and (9) several of the children had a sophisticated political understanding. (Thirty-one references, participant demographic information, and the focus group interview schedule are attached.) (RS)

Descriptors: Childhood Attitudes, Elementary School Students, Information Sources, Intermediate Grades, Mass Media Effects, Mass Media Role, Media Research, Political Attitudes, Political Influences, Political Socialization, Presidential Campaigns (United States)

Autor: Bronstein, Carolyn; And Others


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