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  • Marie Coppola, a UConn KIDS researcher, tests children at the Bousfield Psychology Building.

Child Development Blog

Civic Engagement in Adolescence Linked with Positive Outcomes

In light of this week's protests from students across the country, exploring the links between civic engagement in adolescence and positive outcomes in later life feels timely. Authors Parissa Ballard, Lindsay Hoyt, and Mark Pachucki published a research study on just that in January of this year. Their study found that adolescents and young adults who were engaged in such activities as volunteering, voting, and activism, were more likely to have higher income and education attainment later in life. Additionally, voting and volunteering were associated with better mental health outcomes.

Lisa Damour, an Ohio-based psychologist and author of "Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood" wrote an article about this study for the New York Times. She notes, "Of course, correlation does not prove causation, but the study makes a case for the benefits of civic engagement. In light of the findings, Parissa Ballard, the study’s lead author... said that 'having meaningful opportunities to volunteer or be involved in activism may change how young people think about themselves or their possibilities for the future.'"

Read the New York Times article here

Read the full article in Child Development



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