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 High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Brain connectivity reveals hidden motives
04.03.2016 | Universität Zürich

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: Optical lenses, hardly larger than a human hair

3D printing enables the smalles complex micro-objectives

3D printing revolutionized the manufacturing of complex shapes in the last few years. Using additive depositing of materials, where individual dots or lines...

Im Focus: Flexible OLED applications arrive

R2D2, a joint project to analyze and development high-TRL processes and technologies for manufacture of flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been successfully completed.

In contrast to point light sources like LEDs made of inorganic semiconductor crystals, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are light-emitting surfaces. Their...

Im Focus: Unexpected flexibility found in odorant molecules

High resolution rotational spectroscopy reveals an unprecedented number of conformations of an odorant molecule – a new world record!

In a recent publication in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter...

Im Focus: 3-D printing produces cartilage from strands of bioink

Strands of cow cartilage substitute for ink in a 3D bioprinting process that may one day create cartilage patches for worn out joints, according to a team of engineers. "Our goal is to create tissue that can be used to replace large amounts of worn out tissue or design patches," said Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Those who have osteoarthritis in their joints suffer a lot. We need a new alternative treatment for this."

Cartilage is a good tissue to target for scale-up bioprinting because it is made up of only one cell type and has no blood vessels within the tissue. It is...

Im Focus: First experimental quantum simulation of particle physics phenomena

Physicists in Innsbruck have realized the first quantum simulation of lattice gauge theories, building a bridge between high-energy theory and atomic physics. In the journal Nature, Rainer Blatt‘s and Peter Zoller’s research teams describe how they simulated the creation of elementary particle pairs out of the vacuum by using a quantum computer.

Elementary particles are the fundamental buildings blocks of matter, and their properties are described by the Standard Model of particle physics. The...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Conference ‘GEO BON’ Wants to Close Knowledge Gaps in Global Biodiversity

28.06.2016 | Event News

ERES 2016: The largest conference in the European real estate industry

09.06.2016 | Event News

Networking 4.0: International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16 Shows New Ways of Cooperations

24.05.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

The large-scale stability of chromosomes

29.06.2016 | Life Sciences

Gene Drive Technology: Where is the future?

29.06.2016 | Life Sciences

Optical lenses, hardly larger than a human hair

29.06.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>