Discovering the possible: How youth programs provide apprenticeships in purpose

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Youth development programs are rich contexts in which teenagers build competencies and begin to gain direction for purpose. Youth in these programs work on projects over weeks or months to achieve meaningful goals (e.g., creating Alms, painting murals, lobbying public officials). Their high investment in this work helps them learn skills for navigating real-world challenges, achieving goals, and managing the strong emotions that accompany purposeful work. The roles youth hold in programs provide opportunities to enact a moral identity as someone who is responsible to others. These experiences awaken the possibility of purposeful action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Ecology of Purposeful Living Across the Lifespan
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopmental, Educational, and Social Perspectives
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030520786
ISBN (Print)9783030520779
StatePublished - Aug 19 2020


  • Development of emotion-regulation
  • Moral development
  • Purpose development
  • Youth development programs
  • Youth practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Medicine


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