It is common knowledge that children take to their parents' behavioral patterns. Findings of a recent study conducted by UTHealth Houston suggested that children and teenagers who engage in volunteering activities experience positive emotional and physical development.
The research, led by Kevin Lanza, examined data from a national survey and found that youth who volunteered had better physical health, a more optimistic outlook toward life, and a lower likelihood of experiencing anxiety, depression, or behavioral issues compared to those who did not volunteer. Parents of volunteering children reported that their child's health was significantly better than parents whose children did not volunteer. The study also revealed that children and teenagers who volunteered were more likely to exhibit traits associated with emotional and cognitive development, such as curiosity, task completion, and resilience.
Lanza intends to investigate further the causal relationship between volunteering and the well-being of children and teens. The findings suggest that volunteering opportunities for youth in various settings can contribute to their personal growth and may shape their values and interests into adulthood.
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