The Youth Development Study is a longitudinal study that began in 1988, unique in its focus on the outcomes of volunteering in youth. An extensive literature search was conducted in hopes of finding evidence to support the hypotheses of the Youth Development Study. Sources include longitudinal and cross-sectional studies, as well as national surveys. While few studies analyzed the same variables as the Youth Development Study (such as mental health and well-being outcomes), their findings provide support for theoretical justification that volunteering in youth results in beneficial outcomes in terms of mental health and well-being. This literature review provides an overview of known research on youth volunteers, the impacts of volunteering, and time trends associated with volunteering. Although few studies specifically address the mental health and well-being outcomes of volunteering in adolescence, it goes to show that the Youth Development Study is delving into unexplored territory.
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
An Overview of Volunteering in Adolescence: Predictors, Outcomes, and Time Trends.
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