The present study examined the association between community service and identity development in middle adolescence. The quantitative component of the study was first conducted to investigate the relationships between service experience and identity status. The qualitative component followed to explore how service change their identities. The findings showed that community service duration differentiated the middle adolescents with more mature identity statuses (e.g., achievement) from those with less mature identity statuses (e.g., diffusion) after students’ gender, grade, attitude toward service and their parents’ service engagement were controlled. This study also revealed that exposure to community service was effective in facilitating adolescents’ identity development in the domains of occupation and lifestyle. High-impact practices were recommended for the future design of service programs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Huixuan Xu, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Education University of Hong Kong. Her ORCID ID is 0000-0002-9480-416X. Sisi Liu, Department of Applied Psychology, Lingnan University, her ORCID ID is 0000-0003-1609-565X. The authors acknowledge the University Grant Council of Hong Kong for its support through the General Research Fund (GRF18603515). The present study has obtained the approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Education University of Hong Kong and the reference number is 2014-2015-0160. The authors would like to thank the participating students for their kind support.
This work was supported by the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong .
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- Identity formation
- community service
- middle adolescence