ABOUT THIS BOOK
Competence and character are at the heart of our notions of a mature and successful adult, yet many questions about their nature and development remain unanswered.
In this collection, leading psychologists, sociologists, and criminologists highlight the potential for positive development in different domains. By positing the possibility of multiple pathways of development rather than a single universal sequence, the contributors view the individual as potentially advancing in a wide range of interrelated and overlapping competencies. The nine essays in the book cover the years from youth to middle age, and they examine a range of social, political, and moral components of "competence and character" from teenage pregnancy and life-planning skills to voting records and educational attainment in low income households. Unlike comparable studies, this original and comprehensive volume frames issues, events, and longitudinal data through the lens of possibility rather than the pathology of defeat, stressing a positive approach to our conception of human potential.