Youth Civic Development: Theory, Constructs, Innovative Methods

Conference Date: 
March 30, 2011

The Stanford University Center on Adolescence in conjunction with the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) Civic Development Network hosted a Preconference Meeting at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Biennial meeting, in Montreal, Canada.

More than thirty preconference participants came together to discuss issues related to understanding and promoting civic development among diverse youth. The meeting featured two segments; during the first session, participants in roundtable groups discussed theoretical frameworks and innovative methods for studying youth civic development. During the second session, six emerging scholars presented their research and led roundtable discussions on topics such as: youth participation in queer movements; undocumented youth political actors; and motivational processes of youth civic involvement. The format and the content were based on participant interests indicated in a survey prior to the meeting.

Attendees included graduate students, faculty and professionals. Participant feedback forms suggested that the meeting was “a wonderful opportunity to discuss definitional construct issues and research problems and a great opportunity to meet others with similar research interests” and “it was great, especially learning from emerging scholars about their work.”