Participation Skills

Participation is defined as engagement in civil society, community, political life, and participatory learning


Participation is elaborated by UNICEF and partners (2017) to be a social behaviour embedded in diverse social environments such as the family, school, work, community, and society.

How does Participation Life Skills help?

Opportunities for young people to participate are argued to form part of a useful active empowerment strategy within the decision-making processes of these social environments allowing children and young people to have a sense of ownership and control (UNICEF and partners, 2017).

Participation in Community

Research has demonstrated that if the school provides a safe and open environment for all young people to learn participatory skills, this experience will enable young people, regardless of their background, to learn how to participate in their community and at work (Hoskins and Janmatt, 2019; Hoskins and others, 2017).

Positive Life Outcome

Unlike many skills that can deteriorate over time, longitudinal research has demonstrated that once a person as young as the age of 11 or 12 has developed the skill to participate, this training is likely to have a positive and durable effect into adulthood. Thus, developing the skill to participate at a school age is likely to lead to the positive life outcome of participation in society.

Well-being Life Outcomes

Longitudinal research has shown that participation in school decision making leads to a more positive experience of school and to more positive health and well-being life outcomes (John-Akinola and Nic- Gabhainn, 2014).

Anxiety Reduction

Participation in sport also has been found to have long-term benefits on health, anxiety reduction, and well-being (Fejgin, 1994; Dimech and Seiler, 2011).

How to Assess my Skills for Participation?

To check your proficiency in Participation Skills, take our FREE test

What does the Participation Skills Test Assess?

1. Active and Engaged Citizenship

Developers: Bobek, D. L., Zaff, J. F., Li, Y., & Lerner, R. M. (2009).

This 26-item scale is an integrated measure of civic engagement that assesses emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components, including:

  • Sense of generalized reciprocity
  • Ability to be involved in civic society and democracy
  • Desire to make positive contributions to the community
  • Participation in activities to better the community

Bobek, D. L., Zaff, J. F., Li, Y., & Lerner, R. M. (2009). Cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components of civic action: Towards an integrated measure of civic engagement. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30(5), 615-627.

Is it possible to learn the Skills for Participation?

Skills for participation are understood by research and educationalists as malleable, and scholars have argued that these skills can be learned throughout an individual’s life (Field, 2005).