Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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MacNeela, P,Gannon, N
Journal Of Adolescent Research
Process and Positive Development: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of University Student Volunteering
WOS: 6 ()
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civic engagement college issues emerging adulthood identity issues positive youth development transition to university COMMUNITY-SERVICE YOUTH ADOLESCENCE PERSPECTIVES DIMENSIONS ADULTHOOD DRINKING
Volunteering among university students is an important expression of civic engagement, but the impact of this experience on the development of emerging adults requires further contextualization. Adopting interpretative phenomenological analysis as a qualitative research approach, we carried out semistructured interviews with 10 students of one Irish university who were highly engaged in volunteering. Their experience of volunteering unfolded through relatively open-ended leadership positions in university student-led societies, comparatively structured community roles, or a combination of both. The findings describe a process initiated by the decision to volunteer, a discrete task based on motives, previous history, and exposure to opportunities. The positive impact of volunteering was described through the outcomes of commitment, competence, and connection. While concerned with the values of civic engagement, the perceived self-coherence and purposefulness attributed to volunteering also referenced personal development motives. The findings are interpreted in light of the volunteer process model, positive youth development, and civic engagement. These perspectives are relevant in considering college student volunteering as an experience that can promote successful developmental transition by having a positive impact on personal identity.
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