Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gabriel P. Kuperminc, PhD

Second Advisor

Roderick Watts, PhD

Third Advisor

Christopher C. Henrich, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Scott Weaver, PhD


Despite existing literature that demonstrates the relation between an attitude of social responsibility and activism; few studies have examined the underlying factor structure of social responsibility. The current study had two goals. The first goal was to examine the structure of a measure of social responsibility attitude for urban adolescents. The second goal was to examine the associations of social responsibility with civic and political activism. The participants were 221 adolescents from schools and youth serving organizations in metropolitan Atlanta, GA. Confirmatory factor analysis of social responsibility items revealed that a model with a single latent factor explained the data better than a two-factor model with one latent factor representing neighborhood social responsibility and the other representing global social responsibility. There were significant positive relations between social responsibility and civic activism and political activism when controlling for parental activism and peer activism. This study suggests that a social responsibility attitude may exist as a single factor amongst urban adolescents and it has added empirical support to show that higher levels of social responsibility are associated with greater depth of involvement in civic and political activism. Implications for both theory and practice are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons