Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Schraufnagel, Scot D.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Politicians often receive criticism regarding their uncivil conduct as elected officials. There is no exception for members of the U.S. Congress. Instances in which elected officials act inappropriately while performing the official duties of their elected offices constitute acts of incivility, the phenomenon this research aims to study. This research investigates whether certain background qualities, specifically the procurement of a law degree, state legislative experience and gender, influence U.S. Congress members’ likelihood of being implicated in uncivil acts. Upon reviewing the historical databases for both the New York Times and the Washington Post using keywords relating to incivility, the researcher reviewed members of Congress whom have been implicated in at least one act of incivility as published in these major periodicals while performing the duties of his or her elected office. The researcher noted the background characteristics of each implicated member, and its randomly selected non-implicated matched pair, from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. This information was included in the analysis to determine whether these background qualities predict incivility.


20 pages




Northern Illinois University

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