Data Collection Phases


This study consists of the three data collection phases illustrated in the figure below.

Qualitative Interviews – Fall 2012:

Face-to-face interviews (50 minutes each) were conducted with 30 elementary, 30 middle school, and 30 high school students, during school time to hear how young people think about different character strengths and how they engage with, and contribute to, their school and neighborhood.

Cognitive Interviews – Spring 2013:

Face-to-face interviews (50 minutes each) were conducted with 4 elementary, 4 middle school, and 4 high school students during school time to gather feedback on the clarity of our survey instrument.

Survey – Fall 2013:

A paper-and-pencil survey will be given to 3,000 students in elementary, middle, and high school (about 100 students per grade). The survey will take approximately one class period to complete. The purpose of this survey is to understand, empirically, how civic and character development unfold in childhood and adolescence. Surveys will be mailed home to the parenting adults of participating students. The goal of these surveys is to understand specific ways parents foster civic and character development in their child.

Sharing the Findings

We are committed to sharing study findings in a variety of different ways so that researchers, community members, families, youth development professionals and educators can benefit. Some of the ways study findings will be shared include:

  • Scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Conference presentations geared toward the scientific community
  • Applied reports aimed at adults who run community programs and work with youth
  • Reports tailored to the schools who participate
  • Newsletters to families who participate
  • A webinar for parents and others about our findings [date, to be determined]
  • This website, which contains up-to-date information about our project