Social engagement refers to the relationships or involvements – both positive and negative – with family members, peers, community members, local institutions, and at the broadest level, with society.
This section of Progress examines how children are faring in their relationships with family and friends, and explores threats to their social well-being from abuse, family violence, bullying, and discrimination.
Positive social relationships are important to healthy youth development. Good relationships with parents are associated with lower levels of anxiety and lower rates of smoking and alcohol use. Friendships are also important to children in a variety of ways, particularly as they get older.
The Internet is now a major part of young people's social lives, providing social benefits as well as risks, such as cyber-bullying.