ERIC Number: ED240043
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of High School Community Service Programs on Students' Social Development. Final Report.
Newmann, Fred M.; Rutter, Robert A.
In recent years, commentators on socialization and adolescent development have suggested that secondary schools encourage students' participation in voluntary community service. This study, conducted in 1982-83 on students in volunteer programs and in comparison groups at eight high schools, tested whether such programs positively effect the social development of student volunteers. Through open-ended interviews, pre- and posttests, and a questionnaire, researchers compared volunteer and non-volunteer groups for: (1) students' sense of responsibility and concern for the welfare of others, (2) students' sense of competence in working on collective tasks and in dealing with adults, and (3) students' anticipated participation in adult groups and politics. Also analyzed were social development in problem-solving skills and students' perceived opportunities to take responsibility and make decisions. Findings indicate that while community service modestly increases students' sense of social responsibility and sense of personal competence, it fails to bring special benefits in sense of school responsibility, political efficacy, future affiliation, and future political participation. The conclusion is that developmental opportunities offered in regular school classes may presently have more impact on social development than specific opportunities within community programs. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.