Development of adolescent moral and civic identity through community service: A qualitative study in Hong Kong

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article draws on Marcia's model that defines four statuses of adolescents' identity formation to examine adolescent moral and civic identity formation. Interviews were conducted with 23 students at three Hong Kong senior secondary schools to address the following research question: How does community service help adolescents develop their moral and civic identities? Among the participants, most of them reported attaining moral identity development and just a few participants reported civic identity development; nonetheless, one of them did not report identity development in the moral and civic domains. Furthermore, five core elements of community service programs facilitating the participants' identity formation emerged from the findings, namely, meaningful service activities, diversity, youth voice, reflection, and extended service duration. The influence of these service elements varied across the moral and civic domains of identity. By reporting the findings gained from an East Asian school setting, the article contributes to a fuller understanding of the role of community service in adolescent identity formation. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-272
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Volume33
Issue number2
Early online dateMar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Citation

Xu, H., & Yang, M. (2018). Development of adolescent moral and civic identity through community service: A qualitative study in Hong Kong. Journal of Adolescent Research, 33(2), 247-272. doi: 10.1177/0743558417698570

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Identity statuses
  • Community service
  • Moral identity
  • Civic identity

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