ERIC Number: EJ789975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Volunteering and Psychological Well-Being among Young-Old Adults: How Much Is Too Much?
Windsor, Timothy D.; Anstey, Kaarin J.; Rodgers, Bryan
Gerontologist, v48 n1 p59-70 Feb 2008
Purpose: Research concerned with the relationship between volunteer activity and psychological well-being has typically reported higher levels of well-being among older adult volunteers relative to nonvolunteers. However, few studies have examined nonlinear associations between frequency of volunteer activity and well-being. We examined nonlinear associations between hours spent volunteering and psychological well-being, controlling for employment status, partner status, physical health, and education. We also investigated associations between different domains of volunteer activity and well-being, along with the possible moderating effects of gender on these relationships. Design and Methods: We used data from the PATH Through Life Project, a population-based study of Australian adults. Participants consisted of 2,136 older adults aged 64 to 68. Results: Nonlinear associations between hours spent volunteering and psychological well-being were evident, with these associations characterized by inverted U shapes, with nonvolunteers and those volunteering at high levels producing lower well-being scores relative to those volunteering at moderate levels. Few associations between specific domains of volunteer activity and well-being were evident, and no notable gender interactions emerged. Implications: The results point toward optimal frequency of engagement in volunteer activity for psychological well-being as being bounded by upper and lower levels, outside of which benefits to well-being diminish.
Descriptors: Employment Level, Physical Health, Older Adults, Psychology, Organizations (Groups), Volunteers, Well Being, Mental Health, Educational Attainment, Gender Differences, Foreign Countries, Scores, Evaluation Methods
Gerontological Society of America. 1030 15th Street NW Suite 250, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-842-1275; Fax: 202-842-1150; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.geron.org/journals/gsapub.htm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia