Page values for "Longitudinal gains in civic development through school-based required service."

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Discipline_1Political science
Discipline_2Developmental psychology

Longitudinal gains in civic development through school-based required service.


Despite recent figures indicating that 26% of public high schools in the United States require student involvement in community service or service learning, there is little empirical evidence to support such policies. In the present study, successive cohorts of high school students, one without (n = 174) and two with a community service requirement (n = 312), were compared longitudinally on measures of civic attitudes and behaviors. Students already inclined to serve scored high on all measures throughout and showed no advantage after meeting the requirement. However students who were less inclined to serve showed marked gains on three of four civic measures after completing their requirement. This quasi-natural experiment provides support for the argument that a well-designed service program can have a clear benefit in civic development for nonself-selected youth.

Publication_AuthorJames Youniss Edward Metz
PublisherPolitical Psychology
Major_FundersCarnegie Corporation of New York William T. Grant Foundation Fetzer institute