Submission Date


Document Type





Ann Karreth

Committee Member

Rebecca Evans

Committee Member

Christian Rice

Department Chair

Ann Karreth

Project Description

Gen Z, the generation of Americans born between 1997-2012, is notable for its lack of trust in political institutions. While older generations have dismissed members of Gen Z as “cynical,” “lazy,” and “argumentative,” it is important to understand the sources behind Gen Z’s lack of trust in government. Using data from the American National Election Survey, this thesis presents an empirical analysis of nine macro- and micro-level concepts that could account for this lack of trust: 1) Gender 2) Race 3) Education 4) Income 5) Religiosity 6) Congressional Approval 7) Media Consumption 8) Economy 9) and Party Identification. Only party identification, Congressional approval and economy, macro-level concepts, were found to be statistically significant. These three variables demonstrate what aspects Gen Z is most impacted by. By forging research using a sub-pool of 18–25-year-olds, I believe this will be significant for later research on voting patterns and trust of Generation Z.