Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Martin D. Ruck

Committee Members

Erika Niwa

Jennifer Astuto

Kristen Gillespie

Rashmita Mistry

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology


civic development, socialization trajectories, context, inequality, immigrant family


Little is known about how developmental experiences spanning early childhood through adolescence prepare children and youth to engage with society (Astuto & Ruck, 2017), and even less so for ethnically diverse Black children and youth (Jagers, Lozada, Rivas-Drake, & Guillame, 2017). Building from work linking positive youth development (PYD) to civic engagement (Lerner et al., 2006), this study examined how socialization trajectories from early childhood through adolescence in concert with early childhood experiences and contexts related to adolescent civic development. Civic development was measured by the PYD outcomes of competence, confidence, connection to school and peers, caring, and character; these domains have positively accounted for civic engagement across ethnically and racially diverse youth (Wray-Lake, Rote, Gupta, Godfrey, & Sirin, 2015). Results suggest that diversity in socialization experiences, sociocultural background, and context result in differential outcomes for civic development. This finding builds on previous civic engagement work by affirming the importance of parental perceptions, civic participation (White & Mistry, 2016), socialization practices (Evans et al., 2012), and context (Flanagan & Faison, 2001). Moreover, this work highlights the importance of considering intra-group variability among Black families in civic development and suggests that being from an immigrant family is associated with differential civic outcomes relative to their non-immigrant counterparts.