Community Service Experiences and Commitment to Volunteering


  • 1During preparation of this article, Trevor Taylor was supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. The authors acknowledge the support of the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement and Health Canada. In particular, we thank Michael Busseri for his assistance with data analysis. The research was conducted by Trevor Taylor under Mark Pancer's supervision, in partial fulfilment of honours thesis requirements for an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree.


University students who were involved in a community service field placement completed the Inventory of Service Experience (ISE), a measure that was designed to assess the extent to which they felt supported by family, friends, and the organizations with which they worked; and the extent to which they experienced positive outcomes (e.g., enhanced skills, a feeling of “having made a difference”) in their community service setting. Students who had a more supportive and positive experience, as assessed by the ISE, were more likely to have continued to work as volunteers in the setting 2 months after they had completed their course requirements. The implications of these results for community service programs are discussed.