Effects of Mission Trip Participation on Social Justice Attitudes and Behaviors
Keywords:social justice, attitudes, behaviors, mission trips
Research on the effects of mission trips
on social awareness, attitudes, and behaviors towards
social justice has been limited. In the current study,
we examined whether volunteers going on a weeklong
art camp in Guatemala with a non-profit, Athentikos,
would show positive changes in their social justice
attitudes and behaviors. Current trip participants (n=6)
completed questionnaires before and immediately
following their trip, whereas trip alumni (n=10)
completed questionnaires regarding one previous trip.
We hypothesized that participants will report an increase
in social awareness as well as feelings about and plans for
social action immediately following the trip. On average,
all variables showed some increase from pre-trip to posttrip
with confidence increasing significantly and interest
in social justice related activities, evaluation of social
justice obstacles and support, and empathic awareness
showing trends towards statistically significant increase.
Overall, trip attendees showed correlations within a
number of positive social justice attitudes and behaviors.