March 25, 2023

COVID-19 NAHIC Resources

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Impacts of Adolescent and Young Adult Civic Engagement on Health and Socioeconomic Status in Adulthood

Research has been published by the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Research Network that examines the link between civic engagement during late adolescence and early adulthood,and socioeconomic status and mental and physical health in adulthood. Using nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a propensity score matching approach is used to rigorously estimate how civic engagement is associated with outcomes among 9,471 adolescents and young adults (baseline Mage = 15.9). All forms of civic engagement are positively associated with subsequent income and education level. Volunteering and voting are favorably associated with subsequent mental health and health behaviors, and activism is associated with more health‐risk behaviors and not associated with mental health. Civic engagement is not associated with physical health.

Link to abstract here:

This research has also been profiled in the NY Times and the International Youth Foundation.