Examining the Relationship Between Media Use and Political Engagement: A Comparative Study Among the United States, Kenya, and Nigeria

Oluseyi Adegbola, Sherice Gearhart


Given the growing use of and dependency that individuals have on media, the relationship between media use and political engagement has been a subject of study among scholars across nations. The current study expands this line of research using a secondary analysis of a worldwide survey (N = 1,775) collected by Pew Research to examine antecedents of political engagement in three nations: the United States, Kenya, and Nigeria. This study examines country-specific differences in how ­­­views on national politics and media use differently relate to political engagement. Results identify differences in the effects of traditional and new media use on political engagement between countries. Specifically, accessing news from social media and online news platforms is related to higher levels of political participation across countries. However, the influence of positive perceptions of the economy on political participation is found to differ in each nation. Implications for research on media use and political behavior across countries varying in democratization are discussed.


media use, political engagement, Kenya, Nigeria, United States

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