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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)