Serving in College, Flourishing in Adulthood: Does Community Engagement During the College Years Predict Adult Well-Being?
Version of Record online: 19 JAN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 International Association of Applied Psychology
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Volume 2, Issue 1, pages 14–34, March 2010
How to Cite
Bowman, N., Brandenberger, J., Lapsley, D., Hill, P. and Quaranto, J. (2010), Serving in College, Flourishing in Adulthood: Does Community Engagement During the College Years Predict Adult Well-Being?. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 2: 14–34. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-0854.2009.01020.x
- Issue online: 2 FEB 2010
- Version of Record online: 19 JAN 2010
- college students;
- community engagement;
Colleges and universities are placing a renewed emphasis on the importance of service and community engagement. Although the short-term effects of these college experiences are fairly well understood, little is known about the long-term impact of college volunteering and participating in engaged forms of learning (e.g. service-learning). This longitudinal study examines 416 participants during their freshman year of college, their senior year, and 13 years after graduation. Results show that both college volunteering and service-learning have positive, indirect effects on several forms of well-being during adulthood, including personal growth, purpose in life, environmental mastery, and life satisfaction. Specifically, these college experiences are associated with subsequent behaviors (adult volunteering) and attitudes and values (prosocial orientation), which in turn are positively associated with well-being. Implications for research and practice are discussed.