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ERIC Number: EJ872459
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
Assessing the Effects of Voluntary Youth Service: The Case of Teach for America
McAdam, Doug; Brandt, Cynthia
Social Forces, v88 n2 p945-970 Dec 2009
We use survey data from all accepted applicants to Teach for America 1993-98 to assess the longer-term effect of youth service on participants' current civic attitudes and behaviors. While TFA "graduates" score higher than the two comparison groups--"drop-outs" and "non-matriculants"--on a broad range of attitudinal items measuring civic commitment, these differences appear to be less a byproduct of the TFA experience than a reflection of current involvement with the TFA organization. Moreover, the attitudinal differences are not reflected in actual civic behavior. Specifically, graduates lag behind non-matriculants in current service activity and generally trail both non-matriculants and drop-outs in self-reported participation in five other forms of civic/political activity measured in the study. Graduates also vote at lower rates than the other two groups. Finally, fewer graduates report employment in "pro social" jobs than either non-matriculants or drop-outs. We close by speculating on what mechanisms may help explain variation in the long-term effects of youth service or activist experiences. (Contains 2 notes and 8 tables.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail: uncpress@unc.edu; Web site: http://uncpress.unc.edu/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A