What Teens Gain When They Contribute to Their Social Groups

Earlier this year, a Greater Good Magazine article outlined research that suggests adolescents thrive when they can make a meaningful difference in their communities. Research suggests that kind and helpful behavior toward others actually increases from childhood through adolescence—making the stereotype of the self-absorbed teen a myth. Most importantly, contributing provides adolescents the experiences they need to complete the key tasks of this life stage: building autonomy, identity, and intimacy. The article outlines that teens can make meaningful contributions through family, peer, schools, and community connections.