Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 577–582 | Cite as

Association of Strength of Community Service to Personal Wellbeing

  • W. Rodman MacIlvaine
  • Lindsay A. Nelson
  • Jeanette A. Stewart
  • William C. Stewart
Original Paper


To assess the impact of community service on personal wellbeing in a mid-west church-based population. A prospective survey evaluating: self-reported community service, the perceived benefit of the service and its association to personal wellbeing. 309 participants were included of whom 92 % were employed full or part time, homemakers or students. Those who served in some capacity had better scores on five Wellbeing questions including: contentment, peace, joy, purpose and community acceptance (P < 0.02), but not better self-perceived mental or physical health (P > 0.05). People who served had a better combined Wellbeing score than those who could not serve (P = 0.03). A higher number of hours served/week was associated with better Global Wellbeing (P = 0.02). The greatest perceived benefit of service was related to enhancing wellbeing of others and the service organization itself (P < 0.0001). Church going adults, who are serving in some capacity in their church or community, may demonstrate heightened personal wellbeing compared to those who are not assisting others.


Spirituality Quality of life Religion Community service Wellbeing 


Conflict of interest


Supplementary material

10597_2013_9660_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (54 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 55 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Rodman MacIlvaine
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lindsay A. Nelson
    • 3
  • Jeanette A. Stewart
    • 3
  • William C. Stewart
    • 3
  1. 1.Grace Community ChurchBartlesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Veritas Worldview InstituteOklahoma Wesleyan UniversityBartlesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Teleios, Inc.Goose CreekUSA

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