CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

Working Paper 05: Promoting Positive Citizenship: Priming Youth for Action

April 1st, 2003
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by Jonathan F. Zaff

March 2003graph

“Researchers have theorized that programs to promote positive citizenship should begin with an opportunity for adolescents to participate in civic activities, such as community service or political volunteering. In this report, we expand this theoretical perspective by arguing that programs to promote positive citizenship may need to begin by focusing on: social interactions in youths’ lives, such as interactions with parents and peers; the environment in which youths live, such as neighborhoods and schools; and on promoting civic values. We hypothesize that these influences in early adolescence lead to civic engagement in late adolescence. Civic engagement in late adolescence then leads to civic engagement in young adulthood.”

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