Thriving Indicators Project

Project Leader: Peter BensonSearch Institute
Project Team: Duncan CampbellFriends of the ChildrenWilliam Damon, Center on Adolescence, Stanford University; James Furrow, Fuller Theological Seminary; Richard Lerner, IARYD, Tufts University; Pamela Ebstyne King, Fuller Theological Seminary; Cynthia King-Guffey, Thrive Foundation for Youth; Linda Wagener, Fuller Theological Seminary.
Project Dates: 2003 – 20010

Led by the late Peter Benson, the Thriving Indicators Project aimed to promote and understand the nature of thriving in young people. At a time in history when the “deficit orientation” of young people dominated research and practice, the team members endeavored to further understand the nature and promotion of positive youth development. We understood a thriving young person to be on the pathway to a hopeful future, doing the best with what they have personally and contextually, living a satisfied life, and contributing to the greater good. “TIP” continues to have enduring ripple effects in the applied research of the team members as they have pursued research in the areas of assets, character, emotions, entrepreneurship, fidelity, goal pursuit, identity development, mentoring, purpose, social capital, spark, self regulation, spiritual and religious development, thriving outcomes, and virtue.

Benson, P. (2006). All Kids are Our Kids. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Bundick, M. J., Yeager, D. S., King, P. E., & Damon, W. (2010). Thriving across the life span. In W. F. Overton, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), The Handbook of Life-Span Development, Vol. 1. Cognition, biology, and methods (pp. 882-923).           Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Damon, W. (2004) What is Positive Youth Development? Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 59,1 13-24.

Furrow, J. L. & Wagener, L. M. (eds.) (2003) Identity and transcendence among youth: A view of the issues. Special Issue: Applied Developmental Science, 7.

King, P. E. (2008). Spirituality as fertile ground for positive youth development. In R. M. Lerner, R. W. Roeser, & E. Phelps (Eds.), Positive youth development and spirituality: From theory to research (pp. 55-73). West Conshohocken, PA, US: Templeton Foundation Press.

King, P. E. (2012). Peter L. Benson: Human exemplar and uncommon scientist. Applied Developmental Science, 16(1), 42-44.

King, P. E., & Benson, P. L. (2006). Spiritual development and adolescent well-being and thriving. In E. C. Roehlkepartain, P. E. King, L. Wagener, & P. L. Benson (Eds.), The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence (pp. 384-398). Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc.

King, P. E., & Clardy, C. E. (2014). Prevention and the promotion of thriving in children and adolescents. In K. S. Flanagan & S. E. Hall (Eds.), Christianity and developmental psychopathology: Theory and application for working with youth (p. 179-202). Naperville, IL; InterVarsity Press.

King, P. E., Dowling, E. M., Mueller, R. A., White, K., Schultz, W., Osborn, P., Dickerson, E., Bobek, D. L., Lerner, R. M., Benson, P. L., & Scales, P. C. (2005). Thriving in adolescence: The voices of youth-serving practitioners, parents, and early and late adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 25(1), 94-112.

King, P. E., Schultz, W., Mueller, R. A., Dowling, E. M., Osborn, P., Dickerson, E., & Lerner, R. M. (2005). Positive youth development (PYD): Is there a nomological network of concepts used in the developmental literature? Applied Developmental Science, 9(4), 216-228.

King, P.E., Carr, A. & Boitor, C. (2011). Spirituality, religiosity, and youth thriving. In R. M. Lerner, J. V. Lerner, and J. B. Benson (Eds.), Advances in Child Development and Behavior: Vol. 41. Positive youth development: Research and applications for promoting thriving in adolescence. Amsterdam: Elsevier Press.

Lerner, R. M. (2004). Liberty: Thriving and Civic Engagement Among America’s Youth. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Lerner, R. M., Lerner, J. V., Bowers, E. P., & Geldhof, G. J. (2015). Positive youth development and relational-developmental-systems. In W. F. Overton, P. M. Molenaar, R. M. Lerner, W. F. Overton, P. M. Molenaar, R. M. Lerner (Eds.) , Handbook of child psychology and developmental science, Vol. 1: Theory and method (7th ed.) (pp. 607-651). Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.