ERIC Number: ED344159
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Motivations Underlying Volunteerism: Differences and Similarities between Student and Senior Citizen Volunteers.
Sibicky, Mark; And Others
Many Americans engage in voluntary activities and many of these volunteers traditionally have been college students and older adults. A functional approach to volunteerism suggests that similar acts of volunteerism may actually reflect very different personal, social, and psychological functions for different volunteers. This study examined the functional similarities and differences between older adults (N=20) and college students (N=27) who had volunteered for the same program, one which involved a 1-year commitment. Volunteers completed the Volunteer Functions Inventory, which assesses six major motives (value function, social function, protective function, understanding function, career function, and esteem function) for volunteering and the Volunteer Needs Profile, which assesses the seven psychological needs (for experience, expression of feelings of social responsibility, social contact, response to expectations of others, social approval, future rewards, and achievement). The results revealed some motivational similarities and differences between the two groups of volunteers. There were no significant differences between older adults and college students in terms of the value or social functions on the Volunteer Functions Inventory. Students scored significantly higher than older adults in terms of being motivated to gain career-related experience. On the Volunteer Needs Profile, there were no significant differences between groups on the social responsibility scale, but college students did score significantly higher than older adults on the need for social approval, the need for future rewards, and the need to achieve. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (38th, Knoxville, TN, March 25-28, 1992).