Amy Syvertsen, Ph.D. - Director, Applied Quantitative Research and Senior Research Scientist

Amy Syvertsen, PhD, is director of applied quantitative research and a senior research scientist at Search Institute. Her program of research blends the themes of developmental theory, adolescent civic engagement, and positive youth development. Her research focuses on understanding the core values and behaviors that promote social responsibility and participatory citizenship in young people. Her work seeks to advance our understanding of the contextual (family, school, community) and developmental underpinnings of thriving in childhood and adolescence.


  • Youth civic development and engagement
  • Family strengths
  • Positive youth development
  • Adolescent prevention science
  • Measurement in applied and scientific contexts

Selected Recent Publications

Syvertsen, A. K., Wray-Lake, L., Flanagan, C. A., Osgood, D. W., & Briddell, L. (2011). Thirty year trends in American adolescents’ civic engagement: A story of changing participation and educational differences. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 586-594. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00706.x

Wray-Lake, L., & Syvertsen, A. K. (2011). The developmental roots of social responsibility in childhood and adolescence. In C. A. Flanagan & B. D. Christens (Eds.), Youth civic development: Work at the cutting edge. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 134, 11-25.

Syvertsen, A. K., Cleveland, M. J., Gayles, J. G., Tibbits, M. K., & Faulk, M. T. (2010). Profiles of protection from substance use among adolescents. Prevention Science, 11, 185-196. doi:10.1007/s11121-009-0154-9

Flanagan, C. A., Stoppa, T., Syvertsen, A. K., & Stout, M. (2010). Schools and trust. In L. Sherrod, J. Torney-Purta, & C. Flanagan (Eds.), Handbook of research on civic engagement in youth (pp. 307-329). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Syvertsen, A. K., Flanagan, C. A., & Stout, M. (2009). Code of silence: Students’ perceptions of school climate and willingness to intervene in a peer’s dangerous plan. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 219-232. doi: 10.1037/a0013246


  • Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State
  • M.Ed., Youth and Family Education, Penn State
  • B.S., Family and Consumer Science Education, North Dakota State University

Keynotes & Workshops

The Ordinary Magic of Modern Families: New, National Research on Family Strengths - ParentFurther Webinar


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