ERIC Number: ED476583
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-May
Civic Engagement Programs and Youth Development: A Synthesis.
Michelsen, Erik; Zaff, Jonathan F.; Hair, Elizabeth C.
Civic engagement that is, community service, political activism, environmentalism, and other volunteer activities provide needed services to community residents and psychological, social, and intellectual benefits to participants. A small but growing body of research suggests the likelihood that active involvement leads to healthy, active citizens. This synthesis of civic programs for youths provides specific information on the role civic engagement plays in helping young people develop a broad array of strengths and capacities. It focuses on youth outcomes in four domains: (1) educational achievement and cognitive attainment; (2) health and safety; (3) social and emotional well-being; and (4) self-sufficiency. The synthesis asks: What do civic engagement programs look like? What resources do civic engagement programs provide for promoting youth development? What impacts do civic engagement programs have on youth outcomes? and What characteristics of the programs seem to constitute effective civic engagement? The programs in the synthesis have been evaluated. Studies that use an experimental design (n=3) to test the impact of programs are emphasized because only experimental studies can yield causal evidence about what works, or does not work, to promote desired youth outcomes. Few experimental studies exist; however, so rigorous quasi-experimental studies (n=3) and nonexperimental studies (n=1) are also included. Appendix A contains program and study descriptions and evaluation, while Appendix B contains other activities offered by civic engagement programs. Lists nine program references. (Contains 1 figure, 6 tables, and 30 references.) (BT)
Descriptors: Citizen Participation, Citizenship Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Criteria, Program Evaluation, Research Design, Social Studies, Youth Programs
Child Trends, Inc., 4301 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 100, Washington, DC 20008. Tel: 202-362-5580; Fax: 202-362-5533; Web site: http://www.childtrends.org/.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Child Trends, Inc., Washington, DC.