Focusing on the United States, this study assesses the near-term influence of introducing a child into a household on a parent’s likelihood of participating in politics.
Logistic regression analysis and exact matching of data from the November 2010 and November 2014 Current Population Surveys. Conditional, fixed-effects logistic reygression analysis of data from the 2010–2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study Panel Survey.
Cross-sectional regressions and exact-matching results indicate a negative relationship between becoming a parent and numerous forms of political participation, including voter turnout. However, recognizing potential threats to causal inference, analyses that leverage panel data and sensitivity analysis applied to the exact-matching estimates provide weaker support for a causal claim.
The introduction of a child into a household appears to be associated with attenuated parental civic engagement in the near term, but the evidence provides weaker support for a causal claim.