Contextual effects of geographic, economic, political regions on issue salience and salience of an issue's attributes: hierarchical linear modeling of agenda setting
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This study investigated issue salience and salience of Economy's attributes on the public agenda by taking a multilevel approach to the data. The data consisted of a two-level structure: individuals and regions where those individuals live. As a starting point for a multilevel analysis of agenda-setting effects, this study tested first-level and second-level agenda-setting hypotheses, and found that they were supported. Hierarchical Linear Modeling of agenda-setting effects showed that 18.21% of the total variance of salience of Economy's attributes on the public agenda was significantly derived from the regional level. This indicated that a multilevel analysis was appropriate to examine the variance at the regional level. Three regional variables, such as geographic context, community type, and political context, explained 11.31% of the total variance of salience of Economy's attributes at the regional level. Political context influenced the relationship between gender and issue salience on the public agenda. Community type and political context further influenced the relationship between income and salience of Economy's attributes. As individual-level variables, gender and income were significant predictors for issue salience on the public agenda.
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