The developmental correlates of diffuse support for the polity and civic commitments were explored in a survey of 1,052 students (mean age 14.96 years) from African American, Arab American, European American, and Latino American backgrounds. Results of structural equation modeling revealed that regardless of their age, gender, or ethnic background, youth were more likely to believe that America was a just society and to commit to democratic goals if they felt a sense of community connectedness, especially if they felt that their teachers practiced a democratic ethic at school. Discussion focuses on the civic purposes of education in inculcating a sense of identification with the polity in younger generations.
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