The Role of Civic Literacy and Social Empathy on Rates of Civic Engagement Among University Students

Mary E. Hylton


Civic engagement is pivotal to the health of communities. Through engagement in civic activities, people from diverse backgrounds come together to address community problems. Recent studies report declining rates of civic engagement among Americans. In particular, young Americans engage less
frequently in activities central to democracy, such as voting and influencing legislation. This article examines the relationships between civic engagement, civic literacy, and social empathy among students enrolled at a public university in the western United States. Findings from this study indicate that increased civic literacy and social empathy correlate to higher rates of civic engagement among university students.


civic engagement; community engagement; civic literacy; social empathy

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