Volunteerism of older adults in the United States

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12208-011-0069-6

Cite this article as:
Wei, Y., Donthu, N. & Bernhardt, K.L. Int Rev Public Nonprofit Mark (2012) 9: 1. doi:10.1007/s12208-011-0069-6


The current study sought to provide a better understanding of the factors that motivate older consumers to engage in volunteering activities in the United States. Using Socioemotional Selectivity theory (SST) as a guide, we examined the influence of age, physical health status, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, and materialism on the older adults’ volunteerism. We also examined the effects of education and income on volunteerism. Results demonstrated that education and income are not related to volunteerism among the older people; age is negatively related to volunteerism. Life satisfaction is not related to volunteerism but materialism, physical health, and subjective well-being are all related to volunteerism. Implications for non-profit organizations are discussed.


Age Physical health status Life satisfaction Materialism Subjective well-being Volunteerism 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yujie Wei
    • 1
  • Naveen Donthu
    • 2
  • Kenneth L. Bernhardt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Marketing & Real Estate, Richard College of BusinessThe University of West GeorgiaCarrolltonUSA
  2. 2.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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