Volunteerism during the Transition to Adulthood: A Life Course Perspective

Sabrina Oesterle, Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, Jeylan T. Mortimer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


This panel study examines whether educational, work, and family roles promote volunteerism during late adolescence and early adulthood, as they do later in adulthood. The findings reveal substantial continuity in volunteerism from adolescence through the transition to adulthood and highlight the importance of values expressed in adolescence for volunteerism in the years following. Controlling these processes, attending school during this life stage promotes volunteerism. In contrast, full-time work investments in the early life course are found to hinder volunteer participation, as does the presence of young children in the family, especially at earlier parental ages. The results support a life course perspective for understanding civic participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1149
Number of pages27
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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