0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Advice for Patients |

Adolescent Volunteering FREE

Megan A. Moreno, MD, MSEd, MPH; Fred Furtner; Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(4):400. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2118.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

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.

There are many types of volunteer work available to adolescents. Some options may include:

  • School-based volunteer programs in which older adolescents help younger children. These may include supervising after-school clubs, helping younger children with their homework, or helping with a school sports team.

  • Hospital volunteer programs in which adolescents may help with activities such as deliveries to patient rooms, reading to patients, or helping to prepare snacks.

  • Animal volunteer programs with animal shelters, humane societies, or the local zoo.

  • Environmental volunteer programs to restore, clean, or preserve the outdoors.

  • Nursing home volunteer programs in which adolescents may help with reading, writing letters, or playing games.

  • Community organizations such as food banks, charity auctions, museums, libraries, or youth-based organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?

Talk with your child about whether volunteering is a good option for him or her; as many as one-half of high school students participate in volunteer activities. Discuss your child's available time and interests to help identify options. Many high schools require that students complete a certain number of volunteer hours before graduating and can help in finding appropriate opportunities. Consider asking at your local library or service clubs in the community to identify local opportunities for your child to volunteer.

INFORM YOURSELF

To find this and other Advice for Patients articles, go to the Advice for Patients link on the JAMA Pediatrics website at http://www.jamapeds.com.

The Advice for Patients feature is a public service of JAMA Pediatrics. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your child's medical condition, JAMA Pediatrics suggests that you consult your child's physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 312/464-0776.

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Submit a Comment

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles