Potential Protective Effect of the Community Involvement Asset on Adolescent Risk Behaviors

Sharon Rodine, Roy F. Oman, Sara K. Vesely, Cheryl B. Aspy, Eleni Tolma, LaDonna Marshall, Janene Fluhr


The potential of Community Involvement as a protective factor (youth asset) for eight adolescent risk behaviors was examined in this study. Cross-sectional data were collected from a randomly-selected population using in-home, in-person interviews in racially diverse inner-city neighborhoods of two Midwestern cities. Research participants were teenagers (n=1,278) and parents of the teenagers (n=1,278). Data included demographic variables; eight adolescent risk behaviors, including sexual activity, violence and the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs. This study found youth with the Community Involvement asset were significantly (p<.05) more likely to: never have had sexual intercourse; not use tobacco or drugs; not use alcohol if living in a one-parent family; not carry a weapon, or never have been arrested. Involvement in community volunteer experiences may hold potential for strengthening youth development and prevention programs focused on reducing youth risk-taking behaviors.


community involvement; youth assets; community service; youth development; youth risk behaviors

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2006.397

Copyright (c) 2006 Journal of Youth Development

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/