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Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick; Foley, Kristie Long; & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (2004). Women's Community Service 1940-1960: Insights from a Cohort of Gifted American Women. Sociological Quarterly, 45(1), 45-66.


Americans who came of age during and immediately following World War II have recently become a central feature for more broadly understanding volunteerism, as well as civic participation, in the United States. Using data from the Stanford-Terman Study we examine women's community service participation and leadership over the period 1940–1960. The women studied moved in and out of community service over time, with patterns of participation showing a great deal of variability. Both the likelihood of involvement in community service and community service leadership peaked during midlife. Age-related patterns were largely accounted for by changes in correlated resources. Beyond age patterns, the marks of history are apparent in an increasing investment in volunteerism between 1940 and 1960 for this generation of American women. The findings of this study both support and extend a resource perspective on volunteering.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Sociological Quarterly


Johnson, Monica Kirkpatrick
Foley, Kristie Long
Elder, Glen H., Jr.