Participation in voluntary youth-serving associations and early adult voting behavior

Michelle L. Frisco, Chandra Muller, Kyle Dodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We investigate adolescent membership in voluntary associations and whether participation in these activities influences voting behavior during early adulthood. Methods. Weighted logistic regression models predicting membership in voluntary associations and voting behavior were estimated using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988-1994 (NELS). Results. Our findings suggest that membership in voluntary associations varies by race and socioeconomic status (SES). In addition, membership in organizations historically rooted in moral development and civic socialization positively predict voter-registration status and whether or not young adults participated in the first national election that they were eligible to vote in, but this relationship is moderated by both race and SES. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that a large proportion of U.S. teenagers still participate in community-based programs, many of which foster later civic participation, but that all youth do not equally benefit from participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-676
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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