Radical political activities can harm social stability and economic performance. With a three-wave dataset for a sample of young people in Hong Kong, this study evaluated a cross-lagged model to evaluate the development of radical political participation. The results showed that social media use significantly increased the online political communication of the young people and that this significantly promoted their radical political participation. This was mediated by a significant increase in the heterogeneity of their social media network. These findings contribute to the further development of communication mediation theory in the field of political behaviors. They provide an in-depth understanding of the development of radical political behavior among young people and offer practical suggestions for policy makers and educators who are striving to reduce mass radical political engagement.
Bibliographical noteThis study was funded by grants from the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme, Hong Kong SAR (Project Number 2014.A5.006.15A).
- Development pathway
- Online political communication
- Radical political participation
- Social media use
- Social network heterogeneity
- Young people