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If you have any questions regarding the Stanford Center on Adolescence, please contact:

Lisa Staton
Office: 650.725.8205

Office Address:
Center on Adolescence
Ventura Hall
220 Panama Street
Stanford, CA 94305

Mailing Address:
Center on Adolescence
520 Galvez Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

The Power of Ideals commentary on New York Review of Books essay

A recent New York Review of Books essay by Tamsin Shaw, which included comments about The Power of Ideals and several other books, has stimulated a great deal of attention and controversy. At the center of Shaw’s essay is the claim that psychologists who study morality assume that psychological expertise and research are all that’s needed to distinguish between morally good and bad values, decisions, and behaviors.

External Collaborations with the Stanford Center on Adolescence

Parties outside of Stanford often express interest in collaborating with the Stanford Center on Adolescence. We appreciate such expressions of interest. Our Center’s primary research goal is to understand how people can reach their full potential as thriving individuals and as contributing members of society. Our main focus is character development, with a particular emphasis on the acquisition of purpose. We aim to provide guidance for parents and educators as they endeavor to help young people reach their potentials.

References: Background Convening Paper


Creating Citizenship: Youth Development for Free and Democratic Society

1. Alva, S. (1985). The political acculturation of Mexican-American adolescents. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, 7, 345-364.

2. Adelson, J. & O'Neil, R. P. (1966). Growth of political ideas in adolescence: The sense of community. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4, 295-306.

Exploring the Nature and Development of Purpose in Youth

Life-course plans and commitments begin to take shape in youth; yet little is known about these commitments, or purposes. While research suggests having a purpose in one's life benefits young people, few researchers have investigated what purpose looks like, how it develops, or how it helps guide youth in positive directions. A conference, which brought together people from different disciplines and backgrounds with unique perspectives on purpose, was held in March 2003.


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