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Civic Engagement in Developmentally Salient Contexts

Publication Authors: 
Parissa Jahromi Ballard and Heather Malin (Co-Organizers), Sara K. Johnson, Lisette M. DeSouza, Tenelle Porter & William Damon
Publication Year: 

Civic development, the process by which people come to see themselves as part of their communities, is an important form of development across the life-span. Civic development is situated in everyday experiences in ecological contexts. This symposium examines links between civic engagement and developmentally salient contexts of adolescence and emerging adulthood: schools, peer groups, and communities. Using a mixed method approach, Paper 1 introduces the concept of civic purpose and examines how school civic opportunities might facilitate the development of civic purpose. Paper 2 examines how civic identity and feelings of community connectedness predict civic participation among young men attending trade schools and community colleges. Paper 3 attempts to tease apart the relative influences of school climate, civic opportunities at school, and having a civic peer group on volunteering and political participation among adolescents. This set of papers aims to nuance our understanding of civic engagement across developmentally salient contexts.


  • Heather Malin (Stanford University)
    Youths' Perceived Opportunities for Developing Civic Purpose
  • Sara K. Johnson and Lisette M. DeSouza (Tufts University)
    "Centrality of Civic Identity, Community Connectedness, and Civic Participation"
  • Parissa Jahromi Ballard, Tenelle Porter, and William Damon (Stanford University)
    "School and Peer groups as Contexts for Youth Civic Engagement"