Authoritative Communities

The Scientific Case for Nurturing the Whole Child

  • Kathleen Kovner Kline

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XXVI
  2. A Report to the Nation

  3. Primal Connections

  4. Meaning and Morality

  5. Connecting to the Transcendent

  6. The Changing Connections of Adolescence

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 261-261
    2. Linda Patia Spear
      Pages 263-280
    3. David Gutmann
      Pages 281-294
  7. Connecting to Community

  8. Commentaries

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 353-353
    2. Kathleen Kovner Kline
      Pages 369-374
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 375-386

About this book


Authoritative Communities: The Scientific Case for Nurturing the Whole Child introduces innovative solutions based firmly in the children’s mental health and resilience literature and in the hypothesis that humans are "hardwired to connect." These "authoritative communities" consist of such individuals and institutions as parents, teachers, coaches, elders, and a variety of organizations that are committed to each other’s well-being over the long-term and who instill children with prosocial values such as empathy and compassion. Living within these communities enables children and youth to develop a consistent sense of purpose and meaning, so that they, in turn, are able to grow up to be responsible, productive, and nurturing adults.

The comprehensive coverage in this volume bring new insights and evidence to the nature/nurture debate from developmental, attachment, neurobiological, spiritual, and community perspectives, including:

  • Nurturing as a protective factor against genetic predispositions.
  • Counteracting the adverse influence of the media on children.
  • Promoting a sense of community in disadvantaged youth.
  • Spiritual approaches, from the Buddhist "minding children with mindfulness" to traditional young men’s rites of passage.
  • Adolescent development, from psychobiology to the formation of conscience.
  • Dispatches from the civil society movement, the School Development Program, and the motherhood movement.

This volume is essential reading for researchers and practitioners as well as graduate-level students in developmental, clinical, and social psychology as well as related fields such as sociology, social work, education, and religious studies.


Acceptance and Mindfulness At-Risk Children and Society Authoritative Communities Commitment Nurturing Parenting Positive Psychology Positive Youth Development Resilience character development organizations

Editors and affiliations

  • Kathleen Kovner Kline
    • 1
  1. 1.Dartmouth Medical SchoolHanover

Bibliographic information