Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Political Science

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



This study examines the factors that influence the representative relationship between members of Congress and their constituents. Given the foundational nature of representation in democratic republics, research on the communication between citizens and their representatives is needed. Because the relationship between constituents and their representatives is most frequently studied in the electoral context, studies on the factors that impact constituent representation by their members of Congress are lacking. Using a mixed methodology of quantitative logistic regression analysis and qualitative interviews, I examine constituent-initiated contact of the office of their member of Congress and interpersonal interactions between representatives and their constituents as a measure of the federal representational relationship. Regression analysis finds that high certainty, high income and low trust in the federal government increase the likelihood that a constituent will contact, and that southern constituents are less likely to contact their member of Congress than non-southern constituents.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Scott Lasley, Ph.D.


Communication | Political Science