Who volunteers and why? Understanding the role of resources and motivations in participation in voluntary work


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    Participation in voluntary work is good for individual health and contributes to societal sustainability in ageing populations. But who volunteers and why? Our systematic review showed that married individuals, individuals with a higher socioeconomic status, bigger social network size and previous volunteer experience and those who attend church more frequently were more likely to volunteer. Older individuals and those with health limitations were less likely to volunteer. In another study we showed that major life events are important for volunteering. People who recently got married or transitioned into parenthood, were more likely to quit volunteering and less likely to start. Individuals who recently transitioned into retirement or unemployment were more likely to start volunteering. Individuals who recently started a new job, however, were more likely to quit, just like individuals who experienced major health problems, and those who divorced or moved house. In order to find an answer to the question why some older individuals volunteer, whereas others do not, we studied volunteer motivations among individuals aged 60 and over in Lifelines. Who showed that older adults who mainly perceived benefits from volunteering in terms of the possibilities to help others, learn new things, or enhance personal growth are more likely to volunteer. In order to increase participation rates in volunteering, the fit between these motivations and voluntary work should be improved.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Liefbroer, Aart, Supervisor
    • Steverink, Nardi, Supervisor
    • Smidt, Nynke, Co-supervisor
    Datum van toekenning12-okt.-2020
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    StatusPublished - 2020

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