The Civic and Political Health of the Nation, [United States], 2002

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Zukin, Cliff
  • Keeter, Scott
  • Andolina, Molly W.
  • Jenkins, Krista
  • Delli Carpini, Michael X.
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Publication Place
Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Funding Reference
  • Pew Charitable Trusts
Free Keywords
Schema: ICPSR
civic engagement; community decision making; community involvement; community participation; community service programs; political activism; political attitudes; political ideologies; political participation; volunteers; voter attitudes; voter preferences; voting behavior; young adults; youths
  • Abstract

    This study sought to describe the civic and political behavior of the American public, with a special focus on youth ages 15 to 25. Utilizing dual surveying methods, both telephone- and Internet-based surveys as their methodology, the researchers sampled 3,246 respondents in order to examine what specific civic and political activities citizens were engaging in and the frequencies of those activities. Political attitudes and behaviors included but were not limited to voting, volunteering and signing petitions. Researchers measured respondents' civic and political involvement with 19 Core Indicators of Engagement, including a combination of civic indicators, electoral indicators, and indicators of political voice. The collection includes three datasets: National Youth Survey of Civic Engagement, Spring 2002: 396 variables for 1166 cases; National Civic Engagement Survey I, Spring 2002: 266 variables for 3246 cases; National Civic Engagement Survey II (Replication Survey), Fall 2002: 163 variables for 1400 cases; Demographic variables in this collection include: Education Status/Level, Gender, Age, Race, Ethnicity, Marital Status, Employment Status, Housing Type, Household Income/Household Demographics, Geographic Region, Religious Affiliation, and Political Affiliation.
  • Abstract

    The study's main goal was to understand and document the ways in which citizens participate in civic and political life. A second goal was to employ new measures of political and civic engagement in order to understand aspects of younger generations that may have been understudied. Third, the researchers wished to take a systematic look at what may be a new generation by including the "DotNets," to provide insight into the future health of the body politic by allowing a comparison of today's youth to their elders. Finally, a key component of this study was the development of a set of best indicators that would provide a reliable measurement of civic engagement.
  • Methods

    This study relies on two surveys - a national telephone survey and Internet probability sample of youth. The national telephone survey was a random digit sample of telephone numbers selected from telephone exchanges in 48 contiguous United States. The random digit aspect of the sample is used to avoid "listing" bias and provides representation of both listed and unlisted numbers. The design of the sample ensures representation by random generation of the last two digits of telephone numbers selected on the basis of their area code, telephone exchange, and bank number. Telephone numbers sampled were proportionally stratified by county and telephone exchange within county. At least seven attempts were made to complete an interview at every sampled telephone number. The calls were staggered over times of day and days of the week in order to maximize the chances of making a contact with a potential respondent. All interview break-offs and refusals were re-contacted at least once in order to attempt to convert them to complete interviews. For the two youngest cohort samples, interviewers asked to speak with the household member between the ages of 15 and 25 or 26 and 37 who most recently had a birthday. Prior to interviewing respondents 17 and younger, interviewers asked for permission from the parent or guardian. For the cross-section, interviewers asked to speak with the household member 15 and older who had the last birthday. The other methodology employed was an Internet based survey of 15 to 25 year-olds conducted by Knowledge Networks. Respondents completed a self-administered survey using an Internet Appliance provided by Knowledge Networks. The sample was stratified by education. For more information on sampling stratification, reference the "Sampling" section.
  • Methods

    Variables in this collection are related to The 19 Core Indicators of Engagement, a set of indicators developed by the researchers that serves as a measurement of civic engagement. These Civic Indicators, Electoral Indicators, and Indicators of Political Voice include: Community problem solving; Regular volunteering for a non-electoral organization; Active membership in a group or association; Participation in fund-raising run/walk/ride; Other fund raising for charity; Regular voting; Persuading others; Displaying buttons, signs, stickers; Campaign contributions; Volunteering for candidate or political organization; Contacting officials; Contacting the print media; Contacting the broadcast media; E-mail petitions; Written petitions; Boycotting; Buycotting; Canvassing;
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Performed consistency checks.; Created variable labels and/or value labels.; Standardized missing values.; Created online analysis version with question text.; Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: Several Likert-type scales were used.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: The PEW Civic Engagement Telephone Interview had a response rate of 33.5%. This is a combined rate from the two field houses used: The PDS field house had a response rate of 38.7%, and the SRBI field house had a response rate of 28.8%
  • Abstract


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: National Youth Survey of Civic Engagement, Spring 2002
    • DS2: National Civic Engagement Survey I, Spring 2002
    • DS3: National Civic Engagement Survey II (Replication Survey), Fall 2002
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2002-01--2002-11
  • 2002-01 / 2002-11
  • Collection date: 2002-01--2002-11
  • 2002-01 / 2002-11
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
National Youth Survey of Civic Engagement, Spring 2002: People ages 15-25 in the United States National Civic Engagement Survey I, Spring 2002: People ages 15 and over in the United States National Civic Engagement Survey II (Replication Survey), Fall 2002: People ages 18 and over in the United States Smallest Geographic Unit: State, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Telephone Survey: The study included a nationwide sample of 3246 youth and adults, 15 years of age and older, during the period April 4 through May 20, 2002. Because the researchers' special interest was in youth, the two youngest cohorts were over-sampled (DOTNET, N=1001, Generation X=1000). A total of 604 Baby Boomers and 602 Matures completed the sample. The telephone exchanges were selected with probabilities proportional to their size. The first eight digits of the sampled telephone numbers (area code, telephone exchange, bank number) were selected to be proportionally stratified by county and by telephone exchange within county. Internet-Based Survey: The survey of 15 to 25 year-olds was conducted by Knowledge Networks. Between January 29, 2002 and February 25, 2002, 1116 members of the Knowledge Networks panel who met the age requirements for inclusion in the study completed an on-line questionnaire. The sample was stratified by education, with one group consisting of those currently enrolled in high school (N=312), a second group comprised of college graduates and those with some history of college attendance (N=336), and a final group of individuals who did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the two previous groups (N=518).
Collection Mode
  • computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)
  • web-based survey
2019-06-06 The documentation has been updated to correct a typo in the name of one of the principal investigators. Funding institution(s): Pew Charitable Trusts.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 37047 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR37047.v1
  • Adler, Richard P., Goggin, Judy. What do we mean by 'civic engagement'?. Journal of Transformative Education.3, (3), 236-253.2005.
    • ID: 10.1177/1541344605276792 (DOI)
  • Keeter, Scott, Zukin, Cliff, Andolina, Molly, Jenkins, Krista. The Civic and Political Health of the Nation: A Generational Portrait. Medford, MA: Tufts University, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). 2002.
    • ID: (URL)

Update Metadata: 2019-06-06 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2018-07-23