Discussion Paper no. 02-07


This study examines the effects of family on patterns of civic engagement (through giving, volunteering and membership in organizations) of Canadian men and women. Data are from the 2000 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (NSGVP), which collected information on personal and family variables such as age, sex, household size, marital status, and presence of children. The study finds that changes in families could have opposite effects on civic participation depending on the indicator. Children, for example, have positive impact on volunteering, but negative on association membership of men. And, full employment of women hinders volunteering but encourages participation in associations. In contrast, social capital has unequivocal effect - whether measured as length of stay in community or as influences when the respondents were young, social capital increases all forms of civic involvement.