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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Mothers and fathers are socialization agents who contribute to youth volunteerism in many ways, including the discussions they have with their adolescents about volunteering. This chapter presents a grounded theory analysis of the processes by which mothers and adolescents select, reflect on, and integrate personal meaning from their participation in volunteerism, community service, and civic engagement through discourse. Mothers and adolescents were asked to talk about reasons for and against particular activities. Emergent themes revealed other-oriented and self-oriented benefits as reasons to volunteer, while concerns about the setting, task, and self were expressed as reasons against volunteering. These themes were embedded within conversational patterns that were found to distinguish between adolescents with strong moral convictions versus weak moral convictions.

Keywords: volunteering, community service, civic engagement, adolescents, mothers, discourse, conversation

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