Constance Flanagan 

Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies Connie Flanagan

Phone: (608) 263-2291

Fax: (608) 265-1171

Curriculum Vita



Dr. Flanagan completed her Ph.D. in developmental psychology in 1987 at the University of Michigan. She joined the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in the School of Human Ecology in the fall of 2010, and teaches courses in the area of civil society and community leadership. Before 2010, she was a professor of youth civic development at Penn State University, where she co-directed the inter-college minor in Civic and Community Engagement.


Dr. Flanagan's research concerns adolescents’ theories of the ‘social contract,’ i.e., their views of the rights and responsibilities that bind members of a society together. She writes and speaks widely on the theme of youth civic engagement in peer reviewed publications and in public venues and has served on numerous national and international advisory boards on this topic.

Dr. Flanagan is a William T. Grant Scholar, a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Network on Transitions to Adulthood, and a fellow in the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Division 9 of the American Psychological Association. Her work has been funded by the NIH, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Jacobs, Annenberg, and W.T. Grant Foundations.  In 2008 Dr. Flanagan was a resident fellow at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago.  In 2009 she was awarded an honorary doctorate in Humanities and Social Sciences from Örebro University in Sweden ( and was a Fulbright scholar in Santiago, Chile. Currently Dr. Flanagan serves on the advisory boards of CIRCLE ( and the multi-national study on Processes Influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation (PIDOP) of the European Commission.


Public/Outreach Scholarship

Selected Advisory Boards and Expert Consultation

Selected Publications

Selected Planning Tools: Measures & Instruments


Honors & Awards




1970      Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Duquesne University
1975  Master of Arts, Education, University of Iowa

Doctor of Philosophy, Developmental Psychology, University of 





1985 -1986

Associate Director, Bush Program in Child Development and Social Policy, University of Michigan

1987 - 1995  Assistant & Associate Professor, Behavioral Sciences, University of Michigan-Dearborn
1995 - 2000

Associate Professor of Youth Civic Development, Youth and Family Education, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, The Pennsylvania State University

2001 - 2009 

Professor of Youth Civic Development, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, The Pennsylvania State University

2001 - 2009 

Appointment in Comparative and International Education, Human Development and Family Studies, Women's Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

2001 - 2009 

Co-Director of Intercollege minor in Civic and Community Engagement, The Pennsylvania State University

2001 - 2009 

Faculty Affiliate: Social Science Research Institute, Population Research Institute, Center for Human Development and Family Research in Diverse Contexts, The Pennsylvania State University


Honorary Doctorate, Humanities and Social Sciences, Orebro University, Sweden


Research Interests


Selected Publications

Syvertsen, A.K., Wray-Lake, L., Flanagan, C.A., Osgood, D.W., & Briddell, L. (2011). Thirty year trends in U.S. adolescents’ civic engagement: A story of changing participation and educational differences. Journal of Research on Adolescence.


Gallay, L., Flanagan, C., & Duo, S. (in press). Retribution or Reconciliation: Adolescents’ ideas about just transitions of power. Special issue of Youth and Society on Promoting Restorative Cultures.

Flanagan, C.A., & Stout, M. (2010).  Developmental patterns of social trust between early and late adolescence: Age and school climate effects.  Journal of Research on Adolescence. 20(3), 748-773.


Flanagan, C., Martinez, M. L., & Cumsille, P. (2010). Civil societies as developmental and cultural contexts for civic identity formation.  In L. Arnett Jensen (ed.), Bridging Cultural and Developmental Psychology: New Syntheses in Theory, Research and Policy (pp. 113 – 137).  New York: Oxford University Press.

Wray-Lake, L., Syvertsen, A.K., Briddell, L., Osgood, D.W., &  Flanagan, C.A. (2010).  Exploring the changing meaning of work for American high school seniors from 1976 to 2005. Youth and Society. 

Sherrod, L., Torney-Purta, J., & Flanagan, C. (eds.) (2010).  Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement in Youth.  Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. 

Finlay, A., Flanagan, C., & Wray-Lake, L. (2010).  Civic engagement during the transition to adulthood: Developmental opportunities and social policies at a critical juncture.  In Sherrod, L., Torney-Purta, & Flanagan, C. (eds.), Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement in Youth (pp .277-305). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. 

Flanagan, C., Stoppa, T., Syvertsen, A., & Stout, M. (2010).  Schools and social trust.  In Sherrod, L., Torney-Purta, & Flanagan, C. (eds.), Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement in Youth (pp .307-329). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.  

Kassimir, R., & Flanagan, C. (2010).  Youth civic engagement in the developing world: Challenges and opportunities. In Sherrod, L., Torney-Purta, & Flanagan, C. (eds.), Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement in Youth (pp. 91-113). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.


Flanagan, C., A., Syvertsen, A.K., Gill, S., & Gallay, L.S. (2009).  Ethic awareness, prejudice, and civic commitments in four ethnic groups of American adolescentsJournal of Youth and Adolescence, 38 (4), 500-518. 

Syvertsen, A.K., Stout, M.D. & Flanagan, C.A. with D. Mitra, M.B. Oliver, & S. S. Sundar. (2009). Using elections as teachable moments: A randomized evaluation of the Student Voices civic education program. American Journal of Education, 116 (November), 33-67. 

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 planJournal of Educational Psychology, 101 (1), 219-232. 

Boateng, J., & Flanagan, C. (2008).  Women’s access to health care in Ghana: Effects of education, residence, lineage, and self-determination.  Biodemography and Social Biology, 54 (1), 56-73.


Flanagan, C., Stout, M., & Gallay, L. (2008).  It’s my body and none of your business: Developmental changes in adolescents’ perceptions of rights concerning health.  Journal of Social Issues, 64 (4), 815-834.

Wray-Lake, L., Syvertsen, A.B., & Flanagan, C.  (2008). Contested citizenship and social exclusion: Adolescent Arab-American Immigrants’ views of the social contract.  Applied Developmental Science, 12, 84-92.

Flanagan, C. (2008).  Private anxieties and public hopes: The perils and promise of youth in the context of globalization. In J. Cole & D. Durham, (Eds.), Figuring the Future: Globalization and the Temporalities of Children and Youth (pp. 125-150)Santa Fe, New Mexico: School of Advanced Research Press.


Jensen, L. A., & Flanagan, C. (eds.). (2008). Special issue on civic engagement among immigrant youth.  Applied Developmental Science, 12, 55-56. 

Flanagan, C., Cumsille, P., Gill, S., & Gallay, L. (2007). School and community climates and civic commitments: Patterns for ethnic minority and majority students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(2), 421-431.

Hamilton, C. & Flanagan, C.  (2007).  Reframing social responsibility within a technology based youth activist program.  American Behavioral Scientist, 51 (3), 444-464. 

Flanagan, C., Syvertsen, A. B., & Wray-Lake, L. (2007). Youth political activism: sources of public hope in the context of globalization.  In R. K. Silbereisen & R.M. Lerner (Eds.), Approaches to Positive Youth Development (pp. 243-256). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Watts, R.J., & Flanagan, C.A.  (2007). Pushing the envelope on youth civic engagement: A developmental and liberation psychology perspective.  Journal of Community Psychology, 35 (6), 779-792.

Flanagan, C.A., Gallay, Gill, S., Gallay, E.E., & Nti, N.  (2005). What does democracy mean?  Correlates of adolescents’ views.  Journal of Adolescent Research, 20 (2), 193-218.

Flanagan, C. A., & Syvertsen, A. K. (2005). Youth as a social construct and social actor. In L. Sherrod, C. A. Flanagan, R. Kassimir, & A.B. Syvertsen, (Eds.), Youth activism: An international encyclopedia (pp. 11 – 19). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.

Syvertsen, A. K., & Flanagan, C. A. (2005). Peer influences on political development. In L. Sherrod, C. A. Flanagan, & R. Kassimir, (Eds.), Youth activism: An international encyclopedia (pp. 462-466). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing.

Osgood, W., Foster, E.M., Flanagan, C.A., & Ruth, G.  (Eds.). (2005)   On your Own Without a Net:  The Transition to Adulthood for Vulnerable Populations.  Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Osgood, W., Foster, E.M., Flanagan, C.A., & Ruth, G.  (Eds.). (2005). Why focus on the transition to adulthood for vulnerable populations?   In Osgood, W., Foster, E.M., Flanagan, C.A., & Ruth, G.  (Eds.)  On your Own Without a Net:  The Transition to Adulthood for Vulnerable Populations (pp. 1 – 26).  Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Foster, E.M., Flanagan, C.A., Osgood, W., & Ruth, G.  (2005). The transition to adulthood for vulnerable youth and families: Common themes and future directions.   On your Own Without a Net:  The Transition to Adulthood for Vulnerable Populations (pp. 375 - 390).  Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Flanagan, C.A., Gill, S., & Gallay, L.S. (2005).  Social participation and social trust in adolescence: The importance of heterogeneous encounters.  In A. Omoto, (Ed.), Processes of community change and social action (pp. 149-166)Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


Flanagan, C., Gallay, L., & Elek,  E.  (2005). Friends don't let friends … or do they? developmental and gender differences in intervening in friends' ATOD useJournal of Drug Education, 34 (4), 351-371. 

Flanagan, C.A. (2004). Volunteerism, leadership, political socialization, and civic engagement.  In R.M. Lerner & L. Steinberg, (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp. 721-746).  New York: Wiley.


Flanagan, C.A., & Campbell, B. with L. Botcheva, J. Bowes, B. Csapo, P. Macek, & E. Sheblanova (2003). Social class and adolescents' beliefs about justice in different social ordersJournal of Social Issues, 59 (4), 711-732. 

Ngomane, T., & Flanagan, C. (2003). The road to democracy in South AfricaPeace Review, 15 (3), 267-271.

Flanagan, C.A. (2003). Trust, identity, and civic hopeApplied Developmental Science, 7 (3), 165-171.

Flanagan, C.A. (2003). Developmental roots of political engagementPS: Political Science and Politics, 36 (2), 257-261.

Sherrod, L., Flanagan, C., & Youniss, J. (Eds.). (2002). Dimensions of citizenship and opportunities for youth development:  The what, why, when, where and who of citizenship development.  Applied Developmental Science, 6 (4).  264-272.

Bowes, J.M., Flanagan, C., & Taylor, A. J.  (2001). Adolescents’ ideas about individual and social responsibility in relation to children’s household work: Some international comparisons. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 25, 60-68. 

Flanagan, C. A. (2001).  Families and globalization: A new social contract and agenda for research.  In J. A. Myers-Walls & P. Somlai (Eds.), with R. Rapoport, Families as educators for global citizenship (pp. 23 - 40).  Aldershot, England: Ashgate.

Flanagan, C.A. (2000). Social change and the ‘social contract’ in adolescent development.  In L. J. Crockett & R. K. Silbereisen (Eds.), Negotiating adolescence in times of social change. (pp. 191 – 198).  NY: Cambridge University Press.

Gallay, L.S. & Flanagan, C.A. (2000). The well-being of children in a changing economy: Time for a new social contract in America.  In R. Taylor and M. Wang (Eds.), Resilience across contexts: Family, work, culture, and community (pp. 3 – 33).  Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


Flanagan, C., A. & Botcheva, L.  (1999). Adolescents’ preferences for their homeland and other countries: Patterns across eleven countries.  In F. Alsaker & A. Flammer (Eds.), The adolescent experience: European and American adolescents in the 1990s (pp. 131 - 144).  Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Alsaker, F.D., Flanagan, C., & Csapo, B. (1999).  Methodological challenges in cross-national research: Countries, participants, and general procedures. In F. Alsaker & A. Flammer (Eds.), The adolescent experience: European and American adolescents in the 1990s (pp. 15 – 32). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Flanagan, C. A., Jonsson, B., Botcheva, L., Csapo, B., Bowes, J., Macek, P., Averina, I., & Sheblanova, E.  (1999). Adolescents and the 'Social Contract': Developmental roots of citizenship in seven countries.  In M. Yates & J. Youniss (Eds.), Community service and civic engagement in youth: International perspectives (pp. 135 - 155).  New York: Cambridge University Press. 

Flanagan, C .A. & Tucker, C. J.  (1999). Adolescents' explanations for political issues: Concordance with their views of self and society. Developmental Psychology, 35 (5), 1198-1209. 

Macek, P., Flanagan, C., Gallay, L., Kostron, L., Botcheva, L., & Csapo, B. (1998).  Post-communist societies in times of transition: Perceptions of change among adolescents in Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of Social Issues, 54 (3), 547 – 560.

Flanagan, C., Bowes, J., Jonsson, B., Csapo, B., & Sheblanova, E.  (1998). Ties that bind: Correlates of adolescents' civic commitments in seven countries. Journal of Social Issues, 54 (3), 457 - 475.  (Selected for inclusion in undergraduate research methods text, Experiencing Social Research, K. Strand and G. Weiss (Eds.), Allyn & Bacon).

Flanagan, C., & Sherrod, L. (1998).  Youth political development: An introduction.  Journal of Social Issues, 54 (3), 447 – 456.

Flanagan, C.  (1998).  Exploring American character in the sixties generation.  In A. Colby, J. James, & D. Hart (Eds.) Competence and character through life (pp. 169-185).  Chicago, IL:University of Chicago Press.

Flanagan, C., Ingram, P., Gallay, E.M., & Gallay, E.E.  (1997). Why are people poor?  Social conditions and adolescents’ interpretation of the ‘social contract’. In R. D. Taylor & M.C. Wang (Eds.), Social and emotional adjustment and family relations in ethnic minority families (pp. 53-62). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bowes, J. M., Chalmers, D., & Flanagan, C. (1997).  Children’s involvement in household work: Views of adolescents in six countries.  Family Matters: Australian Journal of Family Studies, 46, 26-30.

Jayaratne, T., Flanagan, C., & Anderman, E. (1996). Predicting college students’ attitudes toward the Persian Gulf War: Television exposure, gender, and campus differences. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 2, 151-171.

Eccles, J.S., Flanagan, C., Lord, S., Midgley, C., Roeser, R., & Yee, D. (1996).  Schools, families, and early adolescents: What are we doing wrong and what might we do instead?  Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 17 (4), 267-276.

Flanagan, C. A. & Gallay, L. S.  (1995). Reframing the meaning of "political" in research with adolescentsPerspectives on Political Science, 24, 34-41.

Flanagan, C. A. (1995). Commentary: Reflections on human development in a reunited Germany.  In J. Youniss (Ed.), New Directions for Child Development, 70: After the wall: Family adaptations in East and West Germany (pp. 85-89). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Flanagan, C. A. (1995).  With R. S. Toronto, W. Miller, J. Hagerman, & K. Yamakawa.  Reframing concepts of development in the context of social change.  In P. Noack,  M. Hofer, & J. Youniss (Eds.),  Psychological responses to social change: Human development  in changing environments (pp. 23-35).  New York: DeGruyter.

Eccles, J.S., Midgley, C., Wigfield, A., Flanagan, C., Buchanan, C.M., Reuman, D., & MacIver, D. (1993).  Development during adolescence: The impact of stage/environment fit.  American Psychologist, 48, 90-101.

Flanagan, C., Schulenberg, J., & Fuligni, A. (1993). Parent-adolescent relationships during the college years.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 22, 171-189.

Flanagan, C. A. & Eccles, J. S. (1993).  Changes in parental work status and adolescents' adjustment at school.  Child Development, 64, 246-257. 

Flanagan, C. A. (1993).  Gender and social class: Intersecting issues in women's achievement.  Educational Psychologist, 28, 357-378. 

Eccles, J.S., Buchanan, C.M., Flanagan, C. A., Fuligni, A., Midgley, C. & Yee, D. (1991).  Control versus autonomy during early adolescence. Journal of Social Issues, 47, 53-68.

Schaum, M. & Flanagan, C.A. (Eds.). (1991). Gender Images: Readings for composition.  Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.

Flanagan, C. A. (1990).  Change in family work status: Effects on parent-adolescent decision-making.  Child Development, 61, 163-177

Miller, C., Eccles, J.S., Flanagan, C., Midgley, C., Feldlaufer, H. & Goldsmith, R. (1990).  Parents' and teachers' beliefs about adolescents: Effects of sex and experience.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 19, 34 - 49. 

McLoyd, V. & Flanagan, C. A. (Eds.). (1990). New Directions for Child Development, 46: Economic stress: Effects on family life and child development.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Flanagan, C. A. (1990).  Families and schools in hard times.  In McLoyd, V. C. & Flanagan, C. A. (Eds.),  New Directions for Child Development, 46: Economic stress: Effects on family life and child development (pp. 7 - 26).  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Eccles, J.S., Wigfield, A., Flanagan, C., Miller, C., Reuman, D., & Yee, D. (1989).  Self-concepts, domain values, and self esteem: Relations and changes at early adolescence.  Journal of Personality, 57, 283-310. 

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