Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Michael Pratt

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Survey research has raised concerns over recent declines in political participation (Putnam, 2000). However, there has yet to be much research examining reasons for this from a narrative, life history perspective. In the current study, we examined intensive interviews of 94 midlife adults from the MacArthur Foundation Study on Successful Midlife Development, for levels of generative concern using the Loyola Generativity Scale, as well as political behaviours, values and beliefs using measures developed by the authors. This exploratory analysis focused on the accounts that men and women gave of political involvement, as well as predictors of these patterns. Generativity was found to be differentially predictive of traditional political engagement in males and females. More specifically, generativity was found to be predictive of engagement only in women, as mediated through a sense of civic obligation. Differences were also found in how men and women relate to traditional politics, in that women overall had more desire to engage, but felt less a part of the political process than did men. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Psychology Commons