Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Community service programs that include reflection found to be more beneficial to youth

24.07.2014

Adolescents in some countries and U.S. states are required to perform community service, and many national and nongovernmental agencies promote such service. A new study has found that while community service has broad benefits for adolescents, it is particularly effective when the activities are accompanied by reflection and discussion.

The study, by researchers at Utrecht University and Rutgers University, appears in the journal Child Development.

Researchers used meta-analysis to assess findings from 49 studies from around the world that were conducted from 1980 to 2012 and involved 24,477 participants from ages 12 to 20, focusing on identifying how reflection contributed to community service.

They defined reflection as guided thinking, or structured, deliberative thinking, about the community service activities and related academic, social, civic, and moral topics. They also examined how the effect of community service was influenced by characteristics of the community service and of the adolescents who took part.

The study found that community service had a positive effect on all examined outcomes: academic (e.g., school grades and school motivation), personal (e.g., self-esteem and identity), social (e.g., tolerance and social skills), and civic (e.g., civic responsibility and volunteering). In addition, structured reflection was a crucial part of the overall effect of community service. Community service that included reflection had a substantial, beneficial effect, while community service without reflection yielded a negligible effect.

"This indicates that it's important for community service activities to be complemented by opportunities for reflection," note A. J. van Goethem, a post-doctoral researcher at the Research Institute of Child Development and Education at Utrecht University of Amsterdam, and Daniel Hart, professor of psychology and childhood studies at Rutgers University, who participated in the study.

The study also found that community service was particularly effective when reflection was integrated with the school curriculum (e.g., as part of a class on social studies). Connecting community service with an academic course may help youth understand the meaning of their service experiences.

Furthermore, the positive effect of community service was stronger when service was performed more often; in the study, youth performed on average 65 hours of community service over 28 weeks. It was also stronger when reflection occurred more frequently; in the study, youth reflected 24 times in the 28 weeks (e.g., one time of reflection was equivalent to one classroom session in which students discussed community service). And the benefits were greater among older adolescents (e.g., teens in their last year of high school). These findings can inform educators on how to develop and implement effective community service programs for teens.

In 2012, 22 percent of U.S. millennials (youth born between 1982 and 2001), then between 11 and 20 years old, had performed unpaid, organized community service activities in the previous year, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

###

The study was supported by Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Summarized from Child Development, The Role of Reflection in the Effects of Community Service on Adolescent Development: A Meta-Analysis by van Goethem, AAJ, van Hoof, A, Orobio de Castro, B, van Aken, MAG (Utrecht University), and Hart, D (Rutgers University).

Copyright 2014 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hannah Klein | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.srcd.org/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study suggests new way of preventing diabetes-associated blindness
26.05.2015 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Memories Influence Choice of Food
22.05.2015 | Universität Basel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

Im Focus: Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.

To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

What Holds Chromosomes Together - Max Planck Scientists Elucidate Operating Mode of DNA-Packaging

26.05.2015 | Life Sciences

Engineering phase changes in nanoparticle arrays

26.05.2015 | Materials Sciences

Study suggests new way of preventing diabetes-associated blindness

26.05.2015 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>