Sharon Rivera.

“The Child-Rearing Scale as a Measure of Authoritarianism in a Non-Western Context: Evidence from Mass and Elite Surveys in Russia,” co-authored by Sidney Wertimer Professor of Government Sharon Werning Rivera, appears in the spring issue of the International Journal of Public Opinion Research.

Rivera co-authored the article with Kirill Zhirkov of the University of Virginia, and Eduard Ponarin of Moscow’s HSE University. The journal is sponsored by The World Association for Public Opinion Research and published by Oxford University Press.

The article starts from the premise that a measure of authoritarianism in public opinion research — the child-rearing scale (CRS) — holds promise for cross-cultural studies, but that its validity beyond the Western context has never been investigated. The authors address this gap by studying the scale’s validity in Russia.

Combining data from mass and elite surveys conducted in Russia in 2020 to explore the structure and performance of the CRS across different subpopulations, Rivera and her co-authors used this data to replicate the overall structure of the scale and confirm its validity. They said the study also shows that some indicators perform differently across masses and elites. Their findings suggest that the CRS is a valid measure of authoritarianism outside the U.S., they said, but also show that its external linkages can vary across specific groups, depending on the country under examination.

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