Adolescent health is often affected by social factors such as connections to the family, school, and community. One way in which adolescents can establish community connections is through volunteering. Through volunteering, adolescents can also gain valuable life experiences and feel valued and important. Research has shown positive health benefits to volunteering. Volunteering has been shown to reduce depression and increase positive emotions. Volunteering has also been linked to lower risk of high blood pressure. In a study in this month's JAMA Pediatrics, adolescents were split into 2 groups. Half of the adolescents were in an intervention group (a group that has a particular experience) in which they provided volunteer help to younger children on a weekly basis. The other half of the adolescents were in the control group (a group that has only their normal experience) and did not volunteer. The research study found that adolescents who experienced volunteering were more likely to have lower cholesterol levels and lower body mass index compared with those who did not volunteer. This research study clearly shows positive health effects of volunteer work.