The American Behavioral Scientist
Taking the position that there is a developmental process in the formation of citizenship, the authors reviewed studies that reported a link between youth's participation in organized activities and civic behaviors 15 or more years later in adulthood. Data uniformly showed that students who participated in high school government or community service projects, meant in the broad sense, are more likely to vote and to join community organizations than are adults who were nonparticipants during high school. Results support the authors' view that participation during the youth era can be seminal in the construction of civic identity that includes a sense of agency and social responsibility in sustaining the community's well-being.
Youniss, James; McLellan, Jeffrey A.; and Yates, Miranda, "What We Know About Engendering Civic Identity" (1997). Civic Engagement. 35.