The Relationship of Service-Learning to Leadership and Moral Attitudes in an Undergraduate Sample

Document Type


Publication Date



Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Richard Wielkiewicz, Psychology


This study examines the pro-social benefits of service-learning and volunteering. A survey was designed to measure morality using an adapted version of the Visions of Morality Scale (VMS) and to measure beliefs about leadership using the Leadership Attitudes and Beliefs Scale (LABS). The survey of 401 undergraduates also asked participants to report changes in empathy and changes in stereotypes that resulted from their service experience. Results indicated that students who have high amounts of volunteer experience are more likely to have high scores on the everyday morality measure, reject hierarchical thinking, endorse systemic thinking, and experience increased empathy and reduction in stereotypes as a result of their experience. None of these relationships were found for participation in service-learning. Gender was the best predictor of scores on pro-social measures with women scoring significantly higher than men on all pro-social measures.