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Publication Detail
Does Participation in Adult Education Increase Volunteering? An Analysis of British Longitudinal Data
Abstract
High-quality longitudinal data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study gives us the opportunity to investigate whether participation in adult education (AE) fosters volunteering, and whether this depends on the volume of AE, its content, or on the qualification obtained with it. From a public enlightenment perspective, we would only expect to find an effect if the content of AE relates to social issues and domains relevant for volunteering. Yet theories emphasizing AE as a place of encounter and an activity that strengthens self-confidence would expect a positive effect regardless of the content but depending on the volume and the obtained qualification. Our results from a person fixed-effects model reveal a significant and positive effect of participation in AE on volunteering in general, while volume, content, and obtained qualifications appear to make no difference. These findings provisionally suggest that social interactions and self-perceptions explain civic returns to AE.
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