Flourishing Children Project

Posted by Child Trends on August 25, 2014


CLICK HERE to go to a chart listing positive indicator constructs, then click on the indicator name in the chart to see its scale and measurement properties.


There is a critical need to monitor positive development among children and youth. Here’s why:

  • It’s good science. The study of child development, and of human development more broadly, encompasses both positive and negative developmental processes. Indicators of child well-being need to monitor the positive as well as the negative in children and youth, as well as in their relationships and environments.
  • Measures of positive development are needed for longitudinal research on how positive and negative characteristics of the individual interact with relationships and contexts to produce positive outcomes for children and youth.
  • Practitioners need rigorous measures of individual strengths in order to assess their programs’ effectiveness, as well as measures of relationships and context that promote positive development so that they can create optimal settings for child and youth development.
  • Indicators of positive development are needed for monitoring the development of children to assess trends in positive outcomes, not just negative outcomes.

The Flourishing Children Project was conceptualized and funded following the 2003 Indicators of Positive Development Conference, which brought together federal officials, foundation staff members, and researchers to consider indicators of positive development ranging from health behaviors, religiosity, frugality, and parent-child relationships.


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