ERIC Number: ED467079
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Background for Community-Level Work on Positive Citizenship in Adolescence: Reviewing the Literature on Contributing Factors.
Zaff, Jonathan F.; Michelsen, Erik
Although American youth seem to be knowledgeable about civic matters and say they wish to participate in civic activities, a relatively low percentage of youth are engaged in their communities. This review examines various antecedents of positive citizenship among 12- to 18-year-olds, focusing on proximal and distal influences on organized forms of service such as community service, political participation, and environmentalism. Emphasized in the review are studies that are rigorously implemented experimental evaluations of interventions and longitudinal studies using multivariate analyses to identify predictors of positive citizenship. The review notes that very little is known about the stability of positive citizenship and discusses individual differences in positive citizenship related to gender, ethnicity, culture/nationality, empathy level, and motivation. Also discussed are the influences of parents, particular political events, and civic engagement during high school in promoting later positive citizenship. Findings suggest that participating in a service-learning or service and mentoring program is associated with increased positive citizenship up to 6 months after completion of the program and that participating in a canvassing campaign increases political behaviors. Other issues considered in the review include school mandates for civic participation and the content of effective service-learning programs. Three program implications following from the review are presented: (1) programs should adopt multiple strategies in promoting positive citizenship; (2) adolescents need to feel engaged in activities; and (3) programs need to continue over the long-term. Recommendations for future research are also delineated. A table is appended delineating areas for targeted intervention activities, effective and ineffective program characteristics, and "best bets" for intervention. (Contains 59 references.) (KB)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Citizen Participation, Citizenship, Citizenship Education, Citizenship Responsibility, Individual Differences, Literature Reviews, Parent Influence, Program Descriptions, Research Needs, Service Learning, Volunteers, Voting
Child Trends, Inc., 4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20008 ($20). Tel: 202-362-5580; Fax: 202-362-5533. For full text: http://www.childtrends.org/PDF/KnightReports/KCitizen.pdf.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami, FL.
Authoring Institution: Child Trends, Inc., Washington, DC.