Volunteers' felt respect and its associations with volunteering retention, daily affect, well-being, and mortality

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Abstract

Objectives: Volunteering is associated with improved physical and psychological well-being; volunteers feeling more respect for their work may have better well-being than their counterparts. Methods: This study investigated the effects of felt respect for volunteer work on volunteering retention, daily affect, well-being (subjective, psychological, and social), and mortality. The study analyzed survey and mortality data from a national sample of 2,677 volunteers from the Midlife in the United States Study over a 20-year span. Daily affect data were obtained from a subsample of 1,032 volunteers. Results: Compared to volunteers feeling less respect from others, those feeling more respect (a) were more likely to continue volunteering 10 and 20 years later, (b) had higher levels of daily positive affect and lower levels of daily negative affect, and (c) had higher levels of well-being over a 20-year period. The effect of felt respect on mortality was not statistically significant. Discussion: Greater level of felt respect for volunteer work is positively related to volunteers' retention rates, daily affective experience, and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1625-1636
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume75
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • longevity
  • MIDUS
  • social exchange theory

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