Positive Youth Development

The Thriving Conversation Project

1/14/16 in Positive Youth Development

The Thriving Conversation pilot program will measure the effectiveness of a specialized therapeutic program in promoting initiative, self-confidence, and a positive future orientation for youth ages 11 – 17 who have been involved in prostitution. Youth and caseworkers at Children of the Night residential facility will complete measures of self-concept (Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents), intentional self-regulation (Selection, Optimization, and Compensation Questionnaire), and future orientation (Thriving Subscale) before the start and after the completion of therapy. Scores will be calculated and compared to determine in which areas improvement has occurred.

Religion & Spirituality as Resource for Positive Youth Development

1/14/16 in Positive Youth Development

This ongoing research program draws on various existing data sets in order to explore how religion and spirituality serve as developmental resources for adolescents. In addition to exploring positive correlates related to various religious and spirituality variables, these studies also explore the mechanisms behind these relationships.

Social Influences on Adolescent Spiritual and Religious Development

1/14/16 in Positive Youth Development

Based on the Adolescent Spiritual Exemplar study, this project investigates social influences on the religious and spiritual development of highly spiritual youth around the world.

Spiritual Exemplars II: Follow Up

1/14/16 in Positive Youth Development

A follow up to the original Adolescent Spiritual Exemplar study, this project investigates longitudinal influences on adolescent and emerging adult spiritual development.

Virtue Interventions in Adolescent Athletes: Context and Framing Effects

3/1/16 in Positive Youth Development

The purpose of this grant is to examine the best ways to develop virtues in adolescents, focusing on how particular activity framings (i.e., instrumental, moral, or spiritual) or contexts (i.e., athletics) can affect the efficacy of activities meant to build patience and self-control. In Study 1 we will experimentally test the effects of a) framing self-control and patience intervention activities as instrumental, moral, or spiritual and b) presenting intervention activities as opportunities to build strengths vs. fix weaknesses. By comparing adolescents involved in athletics vs. other extra-curricular activities, we will test how character interventions in the context of athletic participation can maximize the development of virtues. In Study 2 we will track the character development of adolescents running half or full marathons with Team World Vision, a non-profit raising money for clean water in Africa through sponsored runs.

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