Teenagers who volunteer may not only benefit their communities but also experience improved overall health and wellness, including lower rates of anxiety, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.
A study published in JAMA Network Open suggests that teenagers who volunteer may benefit not only their communities but also themselves. The research indicates that volunteering through school, religious organizations, or community groups is associated with better overall health and wellness among children and adolescents. Compared to those who hadn’t participated in community service, kids who volunteered were more likely to be in excellent or very good health, considered “flourishing,” and had fewer behavioral problems. Older kids (12 and above) who volunteered also had lower rates of anxiety compared to their non-volunteering peers. However, anxiety was more prevalent among older kids overall. The study acknowledges limitations, but highlights the importance of youth mental health given the rise in depression and anxiety rates among young people. Previous research has also shown a connection between volunteering and well-being, as it provides a sense of purpose and connection to others.