To Volunteer or Not: The Influence of Individual Characteristics, Resources, and Social Factors on the Likelihood of Volunteering by Older Adults

  • Dury S
  • De Donder L
  • De Witte N
 et al. 
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Abstract

The study examines a hybrid theory containing individual characteristics, resources, and social factors and volunteering of older adults living in Belgium. As scholars have pointed out the underresearched importance of taking the recruitment potential of older adults into account, this study investigates whether potential volunteers, actual volunteers, and non-volunteers in later life are different from each other in terms of individual characteristics (e.g., religiosity), resources (e.g., socioeconomic status), and social factors (e.g., social networks and social roles). Data for the present research were derived from the Belgian Aging Studies, a sample of 31,581 individuals aged 65 to 80 years. Logistic regression analyses indicate that altruistic and religious values, physical health, frequent contact with friends, and providing help to others are important predictors for potential volunteers as well as actual volunteers. Overall, the results indicate important insights for recruitment and retention of older volunteers.

Author-supplied keywords

  • individual resources
  • older adults
  • potential volunteers
  • social factors
  • volunteering

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Authors

  • Sarah DuryVrije Universiteit Brussel

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  • Liesbeth De Donder

  • Nico De Witte

  • Tine Buffel

  • Wolfgang Jacquet

  • Dominique Verté

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