Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Andrew D. McNitt


Generational succession is an interesting phenomenon that occurs in all social sciences. The human generations overlap one another, but researchers have defined several generations to which a certain age belongs: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, and the Millennials. Being born in a particular time frame could affect the attitudes, beliefs, and values a person holds in general. This paper looks at the generational variable to predict six policy areas, asking the question: is there a millennial age difference that predicts policy support for Social Security spending, military spending, abortion, same-sex marriage, environmental spending, and climate change? Using data from the ANES 2012 and GSS 2012, logistic regression models were run for an economic model, social model and a full model combining both. Age may just be a number, but this preemption could affect a person's policy preferences, which is essential in understanding why people may or may not favor a certain policy. From the results, there is evidence that some policies are more controversial than others. The results also show that some policies that were once salient to the public are not as salient to generations. Perhaps there are other factors that should be included and controlled for in future analyses.