New research, published by the ESRI, and produced in partnership with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) and the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), shows that volunteering can improve young adults’ life outcomes. Using data on children born in 1998 from the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study, the findings show that 20-year-olds who volunteer are more satisfied with their lives and are more confident of themselves as adults. Volunteering can also protect young people’s mental health from the negative effects of living in socially disadvantaged communities.
The report provides detailed insights into what factors drive volunteering and political engagement at age 20. In particular, it sheds light on the role that growing up in an urban or rural area plays in their participation.