This research study explores the effects of participating in a mandatory course service learning project. Some classes require students to participate in service learning projects as part of the course curriculum. In most circumstances these students are not given an alternative to participating; not participating results in a lower grade. Some service learning projects can take an emotional or physical toll on the students due to the subject of the task.
One particular service learning project that could cause emotional responses in students is the Clothesline Project. It can be upsetting to view all of the t-shirts developed by domestic violence survivors and to be surrounded by others viewing the t-shirts. Persons coming to view the clothesline, usually come voluntarily. The students participating in the organizing and overseeing of the clothesline project, however, are spending multiple hours participating because it is a part of their course curriculum. The purpose of this study is to twofold. First it will explore if students who are required to participate in the clothesline service learning project experience higher than normal anxiety levels during and after participation? Second, if higher levels of anxiety are found to exist at the close of the project, it will be tested to see if debriefing after the service learning experience lessens the anxiety?