Civic engagement and child and adolescent well-being

Daniel Hart, Kyle Matsuba, Robert Atkins

Publication Date: 01/01/2014

The implications of civic engagement for child and adolescent well-being are explored conceptually and empirically. To establish a foundation for this chapter, the meaning of well-being for individuals and societies is first considered. Flourishingis distinguished from pleasure and conventional success, and we argue that flourishing is (1) the essence of well-being, and (2) requires civic participation for its attainment. The evidence for dynamic relations among civic engagement in childhood and adolescence and individual and societal flourishing is reviewed and evaluated. We conclude that research to date supports the conclusion that fostering civic engagement among children and adolescents can promote well-being.