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Positive Indicators

Child Trends is a leader in long-term efforts to conceptualize and measure positive indicators for children and adolescents. Child Trends has developed rigorous national indicators of flourishing among children and youth for inclusion in national surveys, research studies, and program evaluations. Read about our Positive Indicators Project.

Featured Publications

A Developmental Perspective on College & Workplace Readiness

Sep 2008 | Lippman, L. ; Atienza, A.; Rivers, A.

This report provides a developmental perspective on what competencies young people need to be ready for college, the workplace, and the transition to adulthood.

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Flourishing Children: Defining and Testing Indicators of Positive Development

Jan 2014 | Laura H. Lippman; Kristin Anderson Moore; Lina Guzman; Renee Ryberg; Hugh McIntosh; Monica F. Ramos; Selma Caal; Adam Carle; Megan Kuhfeld

This volume presents the results of the Flourishing Children Project. The study addressed gaps in the research on indicators of positive development of adolescents. Such indicators are essential for the balanced and scientifically sound study of adolescents. Yet measures of many aspects of flourishing are not available, and when they do exist, they are rarely measured in a developmentally appropriate manner for adolescents. In addition, they are often too long for program evaluations and surveys, have not been tested on diverse populations, nor carefully validated as predictors of positive outcomes. The Flourishing Children Project undertook the development of scales for adolescents ages 12-17 for 19 aspects of flourishing covering six domains: flourishing in school and work, personal flourishing, flourishing in relationships, relationship skills, helping others to flourish, and environmental stewardship. This volume describes the four-stage process of developing the scales, including: Reviewing the literature for extant measures for items to test and synthesizing the existing research into consensus definitions for each construct; conducting cognitive testing of items with adolescents and their parents; pilot testing the items; and conducting psychometric analyses.

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Positive and Protective Factors in Adolescent Well-Being

Jan 2014 | Laura H. Lippman; Renee Ryberg; Mary Terzian; Kristin A. Moore; Jill Humble; Hugh McIntosh

In this chapter of the "Handbook of Child Well-Being" (starting on page 2823 of the book), the authors posit that research on positive and protective factors is essential to a balanced, comprehensive approach to the study of child and adolescent well-being. Human development encompasses both positive and negative developmental processes, and to focus solely on the negative is scientifically inappropriate.

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Child Well-Being: An Index Based on Data of Individual Children

May 2011 | Kristin A. Moore Ph.D.; Kassim Mbwana, M.P.P.; Christina Theokas, Ph.D.; Laura Lippman; Margot Bloch, B.A.; Sharon Vandivere, M.P.P.; William O’Hare, Ph.D.

Monitoring child well-being over time or across states can be complex and daunting, but tracking a small number of indicators can make this more feasible.

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