Rediscovering community: Interethnic relationships and community gardening

August John Hoffman, Julie Wallach, Eduardo Sanchez


Abstract

Community service work, volunteerism and mentoring have recently become popular topics of research as effective methods in improving self-esteem and civic responsibility. In the current study we explored the relationship between participation in a community service gardening program and ethnocentrism. We hypothesised that an inverse correlation would emerge where students who participated in a community service-gardening program would increase their perceptions of the importance of community service work and decrease their scores in ethnocentrism. Results of the paired samples t-test strongly support the hypothesis that community service gardening work significantly reduces reports of ethnocentrism: t(10) = -2.52, (p < .03) for community college students. The ramifications of the study and ramifications for future research are offered.

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