Teenagers and young adults are more prone to volunteer for community service if their friends do, finds new research, as reported in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
According to the study, which surveyed 4,363 young people, nearly twice as many 13- to 22-year-olds said they volunteer if their friends do than those who said they pursue volunteering because they’re concerned about social issues.
While both boys and girls reported that volunteering was more appealing if their peers volunteered, there was a gender divide in preferred activities: Boys tend to involve themselves in physical activities like cleanups and youth sports, whereas girls prefer working with the needy, such as people in homeless shelters.
The results come from dosomething.org, an organization trying to bolster the involvement of young people in social causes.
According to CIRCLE, the average odds of college graduation increased by 22 percentage points among students involved in mandated community service.
Maryland is the only state that requires students to take part in community service in order to graduate, though many districts or schools elsewhere do.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.