Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eagle Scouts have positive, lasting influence on American society, study suggests

Date:
April 10, 2012
Source:
Baylor University
Summary:
One hundred years after the first Eagle Scout Award was presented, new research has found the significant, positive impact Eagle Scouts have on society, from leadership to giving, voting to volunteering, protecting the environment and being prepared for emergencies.

One hundred years after Arthur Eldred of New York earned the first Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America, researchers with Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) and Program on Prosocial Behavior have released findings from a U.S. nationwide, scientific survey that demonstrates the significant, positive impact Eagle Scouts have on society every day.

"There is no shortage of examples or anecdotal accounts that suggest Scouting produces better citizens, but now there is scientific evidence to confirm the prosocial benefits of Scouting or earning the rank of Eagle Scout," said the study's principal investigator, Byron R. Johnson, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences, director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior and ISR co-director. "The central question of this study was to determine if achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is associated with prosocial behavior and development of character that carries over into young adulthood and beyond."

With funding from a major two-year research grant from the John Templeton Foundation, Baylor researchers with ISR's Program on Prosocial Behavior partnered with the Gallup Organization to conduct a nationwide random survey of 2,512 adult males.

Sung Joon Jang, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology, Baylor ISR Faculty Fellow and co-principal investigator, said analyses were conducted to see whether three groups of survey respondents -- Eagle Scouts, Scouts who did not achieve the Eagle Scout rank, and non-Scouts -- differed in responses to a series of survey questions related to the following topics:

  • Well-being (survey questions dedicated to recreational activities, emotional well-being, relational well-being and physical well-being)
  • Civic engagement (survey items focusing on membership in formal and informal groups, community donations, community volunteering, community problem-solving, environmental stewardship, political participation and civic leadership)
  • Character development (survey statements asking about commitment to learning, goal orientation, planning/preparedness, self-efficacy, activities with neighbors, accountability, moral attitudes, openness to diversity, civic attitudes and spirituality)

The Baylor study found that Eagle Scouts -- compared to Scouts who never attained the rank of Eagle Scout and men who were never Scouts -- were significantly more likely to:

  • Exhibit higher levels of participation in a variety of health and recreational activities, such as regular exercise, outdoor recreation, attending plays and live theater, reading books, playing a musical instrument and visiting a local, state or national park,
  • Show a greater connection to siblings, neighbors, religious community, friends, coworkers, formal and informal groups and a spiritual presence in nature,
  • Share a greater belief in duty to God, service to others, service to the community and leadership, such as donating money within the last month to a religious or non-religious organization or charity, reporting volunteer time with a religious or non-religious organizations, working with neighbors to address a problem or improve something, voting in the last presidential election and holding leadership positions at a workplace or local community),
  • Engage in behaviors that are designed to enhance and protect the environment, such as being active in a group that works to protect the environment, avoiding the use of certain products that harm the environment and using less water in their households,
  • Be committed to setting and achieving personal, professional, spiritual and financial goals
  • Show higher levels of planning and preparedness, such as having a disaster supply kit in their home and emergency supplies in their car, designating a specific meeting place for family during an emergency and being CPR certified and
  • Indicate that they have built character traits related to work ethics, morality, tolerance and respect for diversity, such as always exceeding people's expectations and doing what is right, working hard to get ahead, treating people of other religions with respect, strongly agreeing that most religions make a positive contribution to society, stating that respecting religious leaders outside of their religions is somewhat important and showing respect to the American flag

Full report: http://www.baylorisr.org/wp-content/uploads/Boy-Scouts-Report.pdf


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Baylor University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Baylor University. "Eagle Scouts have positive, lasting influence on American society, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120410145910.htm>.
Baylor University. (2012, April 10). Eagle Scouts have positive, lasting influence on American society, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120410145910.htm
Baylor University. "Eagle Scouts have positive, lasting influence on American society, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120410145910.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sorry, Guys, Only Women Can Make Their Voices Sound Sexier

Sorry, Guys, Only Women Can Make Their Voices Sound Sexier

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2014) According to researchers at Albright College, women have the ability to make their voices sound sexier, but men don't. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins