Date of Award

Fall 11-15-1999

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Schock

Second Advisor

Laura Boisen

Third Advisor

Mary Laurel True


Service learning programs have been increasingly more popular among social service agencies and academic institutions. Service learning curriculum are being adopted through efforts to provide for adolescents the opportunities to foster responsible character traits and to also prevent anti-social or health-compromising behavior. There has been considerable research regarding service learning and adolescence, however, little research is available on how the adolescents themselves perceive the effect their service learning experience has on themselves. I conducted a qualitative study exploring adolescent girls' understanding of the effect their community service experience had on their moral, social and political values. My research consisted of face-to-face interviews with two adolescent females' ages 17-18 that were currently enrolled in a 12th grade service learning course as an elective. Participants were selected using a purposive sample. The interview schedule, a list of open-ended questions, focused on issues of service learning and moral, social and political values. Theoretical framework around Erikson's Psychosocial Development Theory, Adlerian's Theory regarding social interest, and Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan's Moral Development Theories, David Kolb's Experiential Education Theory and John Dewey's Experiential Logical Inquiry enhance the understanding of service learning. I found in my research that adolescent females report an increase in their perceived abilities to be instrumental in facilitating positive change within their social worlds.


SC 11.MSW.1999.Erickson.AR

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