Civic Engagement Scale: A Validation Study
Faul, Anna C.
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This study reports on the development and validation of the Civic Engagement Scale (CES). This scale is developed to be easily administered and useful to educators who are seeking to measure the attitudes and behaviors that have been affected by a service-learning experience. This instrument was administered as a validation study in a purposive sample of social work and education majors at three universities (N = 513) with a return of 354 (69%). After the reliability and validity analysis was completed, the Attitude subscale was left with eight items and a Cronbach’s alpha level of .91. The Behavior subscale was left with six items and a Cronbach’s alpha level of .85. Principal component analysis indicated a two-dimensional scale with high loadings on both factors (mean factor loading for the attitude factor = .79, and mean factor loading for the behavior factor = .77). These results indicate that the CES is strong enough to recommend its use in educational settings. Preliminary use has demonstrated that this scale will be useful to researchers seeking to better understand the relationship of attitudes and behaviors with civic engagement in the service-learning setting. The primary limitations of this research are that the sample was limited to social work and education majors who were primarily White (n = 312, 88.1%) and female (n = 294, 83.1%). Therefore, further research would be needed to generalize this research to other populations.