American Teens are Politically Engaged but Pessimistic about Country’s Direction

American teenagers, on the cusp of assuming their rights and responsibilities as voters and citizens, perceive a country divided and are pessimistic about America’s current situation. However, they aren’t entirely gloomy and do hold flashes of optimism for the future.

Teens have long been excluded from most research about politics and civics because they cannot yet vote. But even before they can go to the polls, teens are developing their political and civic identities. As they peer forward into their future, they evaluate the society and governance that adults have created, determining what aspects they will support and what they will resist and undo. Asking teenagers what they think about the country’s future, its politics, and society, is a window into all of our futures. CONT.

Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research