Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Faculty Advisor

Maria Parmley


Community service has been linked to different psychological benefits. The field of positive psychology is growing and the purpose of the present study was to expand this research by examining other psychological benefits to those who participate in community service. We examined this relationship when community service is a requirement for the class. We compared Community Service Learning (CSL) participants with non-CSL participants of the same course. Participants completed questionnaires that assessed flourishing, self-esteem, serenity, gratitude, and their views about community service at the beginning (before completing community service) and at the end the semester. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no major difference between CSL and non-CSL participants at the end of the semester. Although effects were not significant, means were in the predicted direction for some comparisons (flourishing and views on community service). Psychological benefits did not increase for CSL participants possibly because the community service was limited in time. Findings are discussed in relation to self-determination theory.