Interest through necessity? : The impact of personal health on the stability of political interest in the United Kingdom

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Mattila , M , Papageorgiou , A & Rapeli , L 2020 , ' Interest through necessity? The impact of personal health on the stability of political interest in the United Kingdom ' , British Journal of Politics and International Relations , vol. 22 , no. 3 , 1369148120912378 , pp. 421-438 . https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148120912378

Title: Interest through necessity? : The impact of personal health on the stability of political interest in the United Kingdom
Author: Mattila, Mikko; Papageorgiou, Achillefs; Rapeli, Lauri
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Helsinki, Intraparty competition: the neglected dimension of electoral politics (IntraComp)
Date: 2020-08-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 18
Belongs to series: British Journal of Politics and International Relations
ISSN: 1369-1481
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320712
Abstract: Interest in politics is a key indicator of citizens’ attitudes towards politics. Scholars disagree whether interest is a stable trait developed during adolescence, or if it changes over the life course. We hypothesise that deteriorating health can destabilise the stable sense of political interest because worsening health makes individuals more dependent on public healthcare and increase their attention to politics. Furthermore, we assume that the impact of health on interest is conditional on income as people with low incomes are dependent on public healthcare. Our results show only limited support for the first hypothesis. However, we found a negative relationship between declining health and increasing interest in the lowest income group. The results are consistent with the life-cycle theory, which presumes that important events in life have consequences even for the most endurable political attitudes. Deteriorating personal health can be a source of motivation to make persons more interested in politics.
Subject: 5171 Political Science
health
life-cycle theory
political interest
political socialisation
self-interest theory
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