Adolescents’ exposure to classmates from non-immigrant families and adulthood volunteerism


Tong, Yuying & Kim, Jinho (2022). Adolescents’ exposure to classmates from non-immigrant families and adulthood volunteerism. Social Science Quarterly.


Objective Schools are important conduits for the core American value of volunteerism. School peers influence each other's civic knowledge, engagement, and eventual identity. However, whether the influence of peers on volunteerism differs based on immigrant and/or ethnic background is largely unknown. We examine whether and how exposure to classmates born to non-immigrant parents is associated with volunteering behavior in adulthood. Methods Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, this study employs a quasi-experimental research design. Results We find that a higher concentration of classmates from non-immigrant families increases the likelihood of engaging in volunteer work in adulthood. This association is large and statistically significant only among children of immigrants, which suggests that school peer contexts facilitate the long-term social integration of children of immigrants in civic engagement. Moreover, the peer effect on volunteering is more salient for Hispanic children of immigrants compared to their Asian counterparts, suggesting the distinct pathways of civic learning between them. Conclusion These findings provide empirical evidence on the heterogeneous effect of peers across people with different immigrant and ethnic backgrounds.



Wave I

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Science Quarterly


Tong, Yuying
Kim, Jinho

Year Published




Reference ID