Volunteers are an important subset of society who provide many services to people and organizations in need. Based on Social Learning Theory, a preliminary study was designed to investigate the role communication may play in fostering positive attitudes and behaviors in college students regarding volunteerism. Surveys completed by 321 college students were collected and the relationship between instances of communication with role models (e.g., parents, peers, religious leaders, siblings, coworkers, extended family) and participant attitudes toward and rates of volunteering were examined. Results indicated the more conversations shared between role models and participants the more likely it was that participants held positive beliefs about volunteering and volunteered at higher rates. The significance of further research into this relationship is highlighted and implications for educators and practitioners are reviewed.
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Briggs, M., & Cvancara, K. (2008). Communication and Volunteerism: The Potential Impact of Role Models. Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota Journal, 35, 7-20.