Mothers, husbands and newly promoted managers more likely to vote, says new report

Credit: Adobe Stock
Credit: Adobe Stock

Participation in elections is more influenced by the moment of a given person's life than by the situations their generation has experienced, conclude the researchers conducting the Polish General Election Study at the SWPS University.

In the course of their research, Dr. Mikołaj Cześnik and Dr. Piotr Zagórski found that generational experiences such as war, change of political system or economic crisis were much less important for electoral participation than the life cycle.

In other words, the moment of a given person's life is more important for electoral participation than the situations their generation has experienced.

Research shows that there is a clear link between age and electoral participation in Poland – middle-aged people are most likely to vote. Lower attendance is observed among younger and older people.

Age is associated with entering specific social roles, to a greater or lesser extent associated with a sense of civic responsibility. 

Dr. Cześnik said: “An individual entering a new role, such as being a mother, father, husband, manager, imposes upon themselves a new, more mature perspective. 

“They must think about the community, even the smallest one like a family. The change of perspective enhances +community thinking+ also at the national level. 

“This, in turn, may strengthen civic attitudes and indirectly contribute to an increase in the willingness to vote.”

He added that with age, people usually gain more life experience, more knowledge about the world and politics, which affects their greater political participation. 

Cześnik said: “Age is only a certain resource for a certain period of time. From a certain point in life, illnesses and mobility difficulties become the reason for forced absence. Older people also vote less often because they more often live alone. There is less social pressure on them to vote.”

The researchers conclude that the differences in voter turnout recorded in Poland between particular age groups do not result from generational differences in the willingness to participate, but from the life cycle and its phases.

The authors of the study used the Polish General Election Study data - a Polish post-election study, in which, after each parliamentary election (since 1997), a survey of a nationally representative sample of adult Polish citizens is carried out.

PAP - Science in Poland, Agnieszka Kliks-Pudlik

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