The Impact of Volunteer Experience on Adolescent Social Development: Evidence of Program Effects
Journal of Adolescent Research
The Social and Personal Responsibility Scale was employed in a study of the Youth Volunteers program, involving 44 adolescents in 12 projects, equally divided between child care and community service. Participants showed statistically significant gains on the Social Responsibility sub-scale. Girls gained more than boys and volunteers in community improvement projects gained more than those in child care. However, as in previous studies, gains were quite modest. Testimony from adolescents and adult participants was more strongly positive, volunteers citing improvement in their knowledge of themselves and others and the acquisition of new skills, adults seeing greater willingness to make decisions. Child care volunteers and their adult advisers said they gained competence in working with young children. The generalized impact of volunteer experience on enduring attitudes appears to be positive but small. Future studies should attend as well to differences in the nature of the experiences adolescent volunteers have and to effects that vary among participants.
Hamilton, Stephen F. and Fenzel, L. Mickey, "The Impact of Volunteer Experience on Adolescent Social Development: Evidence of Program Effects" (1988). School K-12. 7.