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Wray-Lake Finds Differences in Youth Development During Trump Era

Associate Professor of Social Welfare Laura Wray-Lake spoke to PsyPost about the findings of her recent study “Youth are watching: Adolescents’ sociopolitical development in the Trump era.” Wray-Lake and her colleagues gathered survey data from 1,433 students over five years to better understand how the Trump era may have affected youth’s political development differently depending on their political orientation, as well as how historical moments shape adolescents’ development in lasting ways. “The Trump era was a volatile and highly politically polarizing time for the country,” Wray-Lake said. She found that adolescents who disapproved of Trump exhibited increases in race consciousness, deliberation skills and awareness of inequality. Adolescents who approved of Trump, in contrast, exhibited declines in awareness of inequality and race consciousness but increases in voting intentions. “These findings may be reflective of growing political divides, especially around acknowledging racism and other inequalities,” Wray-Lake said.


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