Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older Volunteers' Perceived Benefits Vary With Program Traits

Date:
May 20, 2009
Source:
The Gerontological Society of America
Summary:
The advantages of volunteering reported by adults aged 55 and older are largely dependent upon the characteristics of the activities in which they participate, according to a recent article.

The advantages of volunteering reported by adults aged 55 and older are largely dependent upon the characteristics of the activities in which they participate, according to a recent article appearing in The Gerontologist.*

Related Articles


The lead author is Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis. She and her colleagues document the benefits of volunteering as identified by older adults —  a departure from many previous studies, which have focused on the benefits observed by researchers. They also compare reported benefits with information about the volunteer program, such as volunteer training, support, and stipends.

“These findings suggest that characteristics of volunteer programs can be strengthened to maximize the benefits of volunteering to older adults,” the authors state.

Morrow-Howell’s team sampled 401 people aged 55 and older from 13 volunteer programs. The volunteer activities included teaching, tutoring, mentoring, policing and public safety work, conservation efforts, and supportive counseling. More than 30 percent of participants said they were “a great deal better off” because of the service they contributed, and almost 60 percent identified a benefit to their families. Twenty percent reported improved overall health.

The reported benefits depended upon the participant’s demographics as well as the type and characteristics of activity.

For example, among those who received compensation for their work, the positive relationship between stipend and perceived advantages was weaker for the oldest of the 55+ sample, for non-white older adults, and for those with lower education and lower income.

Women and lower-income volunteers also reported more benefit than others from participating in public security programs. The researchers speculated that those older adults who traditionally had less authority thrived in roles involving law enforcement. 

Support for this research was provided by the MetLife Foundation and the Longer Life Foundation.

*Vol. 49, No. 1


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Gerontological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Gerontological Society of America. "Older Volunteers' Perceived Benefits Vary With Program Traits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520114705.htm>.
The Gerontological Society of America. (2009, May 20). Older Volunteers' Perceived Benefits Vary With Program Traits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520114705.htm
The Gerontological Society of America. "Older Volunteers' Perceived Benefits Vary With Program Traits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520114705.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins