The Effects of Giving on a Child's Positive Emotions
Anni Wang
University Transition Program
Floor Location : S 182 H

Children and youth volunteering their time to make a change in society is incredibly valuable. They gain skills while collaborating with others and working for a cause, and their passion makes miracles happen. Unfortunately, there are never enough young volunteers in society. What are preventing these children from taking a weekend off to help the environment or join a fundraiser for starving children? Could it be that fundamentally, children do not enjoy giving their time away to help others? This project looks at young students in elementary school, and makes a series of experiments to try to understand how children react emotionally to giving. Children in Elementary school are often taught virtues, such as giving. Under the supervision and encouragement of parents and teachers, the children will often put these morals into acts. Volunteering their time is one such act. However, to fully understand how to best encourage children to preform moral acts, their basic feelings towards the idea of giving must be known. I found the effects of giving on a child's positive emotions. I tested my hypothesis that children will indeed feel happier after giving. To do this, I had control groups and experimental groups of students in elementary school, and gave them different giving and non-giving activities. Before and after these activities, I collected the qualitative data regarding their current mood. I then turned the data into quantitative data and made statistical sense of it. The results are conclusive; children do indeed feel happier after giving their time. So, maybe the best way to get young volunteers making a change is to expose them to more opportunities and causes, instead of adding the motivation of volunteer hours for school.