News & Updates

January, 2018 - Final Wave of Data Collection - Our final year of longitudinal data collection will begin early in 2018 with our school partners in California, Minnesota, and West Virginia. We are eager to invite all previous participants to take the final survey, and to invite new 4th and 5th graders into the project. Like in previous years, participants will receive a small cash incentive (Grades 4-5: $1, Grades 6-8: $3, Grades 9-12: $5) and be entered into a drawing to win an Apple iPad mini at each school. When possible, students will be invited to take the survey at school. Students who we are unable to connect with at school will be contacted to take the survey on their own outside of the school day. If you have questions or want a copy of the permission form mailed, please call (304) 293-3996. You can also give permission online quickly (in English or Spanish), by simply visiting this website:

August, 2017 - Character Strengths and OST Activities - Our team, lead by graduate student Jennifer Shubert, recently had a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of Character Education. Using a person-oriented Q-sort methodology, we examined profiles of character strengths in children and adolescents. Through this process we identified three character profiles: Future-Minded Leaders viewed themselves as leaders who were purposeful and future-minded; these youth engaged in sports, volunteering, and academic clubs. Joyful Givers reported high joy, generosity, and forgiveness, and often engaged in sports and civic activities. Creative Leaders shared strengths of leadership and creativity, and commonly engaged in sports and leadership groups. Thrift, awe, and humility were rarely identified as top strengths. Our results provide a descriptive snapshot of how character strengths coalesce in childhood and adolescence and illustrate a useful methodology for measuring character strengths across diverse ages. Our results also provide insights into the ways out-of-school time (OST) activities are associated with character profiles. You can read the full paper here.

April, 2017 - Society for Research on Child Development Conference - Our team continues to share the results of The Roots of Engaged Citizenship Project broadly. This month we traveled to Austin, TX to share early findings about what we’re learning about the impact of discrimination on the civic engagement of Latinx youth, trends in social responsibility, and interesting age differences in how character strengths emerge. Copies of the conference presentations can be found here.

February, 2017 - Wave 4 Data Collection Underway! - Our fourth year of survey data collection for the The Roots of Engaged Citizenship Project is currently underway in California, West Virginia, and Minnesota. Children will receive $1 (elementary), $3 (middle school), or $5 (high school) and be entered into a raffle to win an iPad mini at their school. Read more >>

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