Which is all fine and dandy—except that last year a group of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, came to exactly the opposite conclusion. Their study found that insecure and fearful children were more likely to grow up into conservatives, and that confident kids were more likely to become liberal. Clearly, as scientists are so fond of saying, more research is needed. ~The Economist
Via Isaac Chotiner
Besides, the new UNM study proposes that it found conservatives at UNM, which anyone from Albuquerque would find automatically suspicious.
On a more serious note, the opposing UNM results make more intuitive sense to me, since I grew up with both parents in a stable, pretty low-stress environment and some might say that I have become a bit conservative. It makes intuitive sense in another way, which is that children who grow up in stable families are likely to think that those family structures are normal and the behaviours associated with maintaining them normative. It seems to me they are more likely to acknowledge and respect parental authority than kids raised in more chaotic or difficult surroundings. Indeed, their entire attitude towards authority would probably be different, and this could incline them towards the traditions their parents were handing down to them.
On the other hand, growing up I knew a whole lot of kids from fairly well-off families, who grew up with both parents and had few worries in life. They followed their parents’ example and the general cues from their teachers in high school to become nice conventional left-liberals, as it seems to me quite a lot of people in my generation in Albuquerque did to one degree or another. In my case, it probably helped that there were shelves full of books by Russell Kirk, Mel Bradford and Kuenhelt-Leddihn and I heard my dad talking about Voegelin’s opposition to “immanentizing the eschaton” (true story) when I was in middle school. So my childhood was not, you might say, exactly typical of the average New Mexican.