Age and Variations in the Attitude towards Scottish Independence – an Exploration of Cohort and Lifecycle Explanations
This paper presents findings of an exploration into the sources of the association of age with attitude towards Scottish independence. Polls and surveys have repeatedly shown that the lower the age of a person, the higher is the likelihood of them favouring independence over other ways of ruling Scotland. Using Klandermans' work on why people join social movements as theoretical framework, a binary logistic model of attitude towards independence was constructed. Subsequently, cohort and lifecycle indicators were identified and used in separate models. It was found that the cohort model reduced the age group coefficients by about a third of their power, suggesting that cohort effects accounted for some of the observed age effects, while the age coefficients in the lifecycle model remained unchanged. While the association between attitude towards Scottish independence and age is weak, the fact that the results presented in this paper suggest that they are at least partly based on cohort differences means that support for Scottish independence may grow in the coming decades.