A habit of social action: Understanding the factors associated with adolescents who have made a habit of helping others

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Youth social action – activities such as volunteering, campaigning, and fundraising – has gained traction in the UK and internationally in recent years as governments have supported initiatives to encourage adolescents to develop a ‘habit’ of social action. However, there is not convincing evidence on what a habit of social action is. This study involved a questionnaire with 4,518 16-20 year olds in the UK and finds that moral and civic virtue identity, perceived behavioural control, goal direction, and subjective norms are related to a habit of youth social action. A key contribution of this study is the development of a new measure of virtue identity – the Virtue Identity Measure – to which we pay particular attention in this article.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2018


  • Habit, Virtue identity, Adolescents, Youth social action, Volunteering