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Longitudinal Study of Civic Engagement in the Transition to Adulthood

Publication Authors: 
Hyemin Han, Indrawati Liauw (Co-Presenters), and Heather Malin
Publication Year: 

Civic development in adolescence is critical to civic identity formation and lifelong civic commitment (Youniss, McLellan, & Yates, 1997); both vital to thriving in both individuals and communities (Lerner, 2004). The transition out of high school is particularly turbulent, as young people decline significantly in volunteering and community service. Furthermore, not all adolescents participate at the same rate. Non-college-bound youth are less civically engaged than their college-bound peers, setting in motion two distinct developmental trajectories that lead to significant political inequities (Zaff, Youniss, & Gibson, 2009). To better understand civic development and the different civic trajectories that emerge in late adolescence, this project explored changes in civic engagement and future civic intentions over the transition out of high school.