Carolyn E. Barber

Assistant Professor, Division of Counseling and Educational Psychology
University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Education

2008 Youth Purpose Research Award Winner


Carolyn Barber is an Assistant Professor of Educational Research and Psychology at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, School of Education. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development with a specialization in Educational Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2007. Her work examines how the social contexts of secondary schools foster positive development of adolescents. More specifically, she applies her research toward understanding the social experiences of gifted and talented students and the civic development of adolescents. She uses multilevel and complex-sample methodologies to answer these questions using large-scale survey data.

Project: 
Volunteerism as Purpose: Examining the Predictors of Long-Term Service Involvement

Involvement in adolescent community service is seen as an important precursor to adult civic engagement. However, data suggest that only half of those who participate in service activities as adolescents continue to volunteer as young adults. This study will examine data from a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of adolescents to identify the characteristics of the adolescent and his or her peer, school, family, and community contexts that predict long-term commitment to volunteerism.

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