An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis of Political Tolerance in the United States

Philip Schwadel, Christopher R.H. Garneau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We employ hierarchical age-period-cohort models and the 1974-2010 General Social Survey data to examine changes in the political tolerance of gays and lesbians, communists, racists, and anti-religionists. Results show period-based growth in political tolerance, cohort-based growth in tolerance of anti-religionists, baby boomers are particularly tolerant, and political tolerance is associated with changes in college education. The findings suggest that liberalizing trends in political tolerance are largely motivated by changes among Americans as a whole, not cohort replacement, that baby boomers are unique in their social and political perspectives, and that aggregate changes in higher education are correlated with changes in political tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-452
Number of pages32
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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