IMPACTS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE ON VOLUNTEERS' MENTAL HEALTH
Community service plays a major role to promote prosocial behaviors. However, the impact of participating in community service on the volunteers’ mental health is still unknown. Therefore, we conducted a survey to explore the possible relationship between community service and volunteers’ well-being. Participants, with more than 75% being K-12 grade students, agreed to participate in the current study. Results demonstrated that there is a positive correlation of community service among well-being, relationships, and stress management. Specifically, most participants showed an increase of social networks, received more compliments, felt accomplished, and reported feeling happier overall. Interestingly, participants volunteering with friends reported more positive emotional responses than that with family members. In addition, gaining of work-related experience was found in volunteers. Further analysis in high school students, we found that volunteering is negative correlated to stress factors including loneliness, pressure, and lack of confidence with a positive impact to increase the sense of purpose. Future study will continue to investigate the possibility and effectiveness of using volunteering activities as part of therapy to help improve mental health, especially that of teenagers.
Lin*, Annie J.; Lowe*, Courtney J.; Nguyen*, Jenny; and Sun, Wei-Lun
"IMPACTS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE ON VOLUNTEERS' MENTAL HEALTH,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 81, No. 1, Article 138.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol81/iss1/138