Civic Identity and Civic Engagement: Meaning, Structure and Measurement.
Abstract: The study of civic engagement is complex and continues to evolve. Desired outcomes of civic engagement are well-framed within the Positive Youth Development (PYD) perspective, a strength-based approach to understanding youth development derived from relational developmental systems theory (RDST). However, less is known about the psychological identity processes that might lead to civic e... read morengagement. In order to better understand the development of civic identity as a pathway toward active and engaged citizenship (AEC), a proposed three factor structure of civic identity, comprised of exploration, resolution, and centrality, was tested using data from the Assessment of Character in the Trades (ACT) Project. Results confirmed that the best fit model of civic identity is comprised of this three factor structure. In addition, indicative of construct validity, the subscales were moderately correlated with a measure of diversity attitudes and political awareness. Implications for using the tripartite model of civic identity to better understand individual ideology and pathways toward active and engaged citizenship from a PYD and RDST perspective are discussed. Recommendations are made for future research.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2014.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisors: Richard Lerner, and Jonathon Zaff.
Committee: Jacqueline Lerner, and Sara Johnson.
Keyword: Developmental psychology.read less