NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1042039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1090-1981
Volunteering as a Pathway to Productive and Social Engagement among Older Adults
Morrow-Howell, Nancy; Lee, Yung Soo; McCrary, Stacey; McBride, Amanda
Health Education & Behavior, v41 n1 p84S-90S Oct 2014
Introduction: Research on outcomes of volunteering in later life largely focuses on the health of volunteers. This is in contrast to studies of youth, where attention is directed toward the effects of volunteering on subsequent productive and citizen behaviors. In this study, we examined the effects of volunteering on subsequent social and civic activity of older adults. Method: This study was conducted with volunteers from Experience CorpsĀ® (EC), a national program that brings older adults into schools to work with students. Data were derived from a baseline survey of older adults who were new EC volunteers in fall of 2006 and 2007. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 338 volunteers in fall 2010 to capture work, education, and community activities undertaken subsequent to joining EC. Results: Subsequent to joining EC, 16% of volunteers reported that they started a new job, 53% started another volunteer position, 40% started a community activity, and 39% took a class/started educational program. When asked if and how EC participation played a role in their new involvements, 71% said it increased confidence, 76% said it increased realization of the importance of organized activities/daily structure, and more than 40% said they made social connections that led to new involvements. Most reported they were more likely to be involved in advocacy efforts for public education. Discussion: Volunteering among older adults is a means as well as an end--just as it is for young people. Programs can do more to attract and serve older adults by promoting volunteering as a pathway to other engagements, including work, social, and civic activities. [This article is part of an open access supplement "Fostering Engagement and Independence: Opportunities and Challenges for an Aging Society," published in SOPHE's "Health Education & Behavior." This supplement was supported by funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Healthy Aging Program (Cooperative Agreement #U38HM000454) via the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and from a grant provided by the Retirement Research Foundation.]
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A