This paper uses the National Education Longitudinal Study to examine whether early investments in the social capital of young people produce greater political involvement and civic virtue in young adulthood. Parental involvement in a young person's life, youth religious involvement, and voluntary association participation were some of the forms of social capital hypothesized to influence adult political behavior. Structural equations modeling was used to trace the effects of the presence of social capital as early as the 8th grade year in shaping young adult political and civic behavior. The analysis shows that early extensive connections to others, close familial relationships, religious participation, and participation in extracurricular activities in one's youth are significant predictors of greater political and civic involvement in young adulthood.
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