National Service Research and Evaluation Series

Posted by Corporation for National and Community Service on May 8, 2017

Do AmeriCorps members improve a community’s sense of well-being?

RSVP for the first Research and Evidence Webinar

Research and Evidence Webinar Series

The Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) would like to invite you to join our new Research and Evidence webinar series. This webinar series is one of several ways ORE is striving to share current research on civic engagement, volunteering, and national service.

This month we are pleased to welcome Professor Pamela Paxton and her team from University of Texas-Austin Population Research Center and one of our 2015 National Service and Civic Engagement Research Competition awardees. Professor Paxton and her team will present their research on the relationship between AmeriCorps programming (e.g., AmeriCorps State and National, VISTA) and subjective well-being at the county level.

Date and Time

This webinar will be held on Wednesday, May 17th from 3-4 PM ET.

Please RSVP to attend.

If you have any questions, contact the CNCS Office of Research and Evaluation at To find out more about research and evaluation at CNCS, check out our webpages.

Study Abstract

Since the creation of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in 1964 and AmeriCorps in 1993, a stated goal of national service programs is to strengthen the overall health of communities across the United States. But whether national service programs have such community-level effects remains an open question. In this study, we test for a relationship using a large, quantitative dataset of AmeriCorps State and National, VISTA, and smaller programs across 1,347 counties between 2005 and 2013. Using data from Twitter we develop a novel measure of county-level subjective well-being across several dimensions. We run a series of linear regressions to get a broad understanding of how five different categories of AmeriCorps programs influence community subjective well-being. Then we assess AmeriCorps as an intervention in communities with a change score model in a subset of counties over time. Finally, we estimate cross-lagged panels to assess the likely interdependent relationship between AmeriCorps programming and subjective well-being. Results from models show that national service programs do improve community-level subjective well-being and that there is an interdependent relationship between national service programs and subjective well-being.

Link to RSVP –

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