Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

November 2020



Service-learning experiences may uniquely promote flourishing (i.e. having meaning in life, social connections, and a positive outlook) for college students. To examine whether specific relational experiences within service-learning were associated with flourishing, we used data from a program where university students (N= 274; 21.2% first-generation) served as mentors to youth (ages 10–18) with prior exposure to adversity. We examined three experiences: opportunities to belong, supportive relationships, and the quality of the mentoring relationship. After controlling for baseline flourishing and age, results showed positive relationships between mentoring relationship quality and supportive relationships and post-intervention flourishing. Opportunities to belong was not associated with flourishing in the full sample. However, first-generation status moderated the relationship between opportunities to belong and flourishing, such that belonging was marginally predictive of post-intervention flourishing for first-generation students. Implications for university personnel and clinicians working with college students are discussed.