Health Outcomes and Volunteering: The Moderating Role of Religiosity
- 1.1k Downloads
In this paper, we examine whether and what extent public and private forms of religiosity act as moderators of the volunteering and well-being relationship in mid- to later-life. We use data from the second wave of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (n = 1,805). We analyzed the relationships between volunteering and indicators of well-being (self-rated physical and mental health), and tested the moderating effects of public and private religiosity on the volunteering and well-being relationship. Our findings suggest that salubrious effects of volunteering on the self-perceived physical and mental health of middle- aged and older- aged adults varied by their participation in different forms of religiosity. In particular, volunteers who engaged in more public forms of religiosity reported significantly better physical and mental health than non-volunteers who engaged in these forms of religiosity. In other words, individuals who were actively engaged public forms of religious practices and who volunteered, maximized the associated health benefits.
KeywordsVolunteering Religiosity Health outcomes
Partial support for this research was gratefully received from a grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Allison, P. (2001). Missing data. Thousand Oaks California: Sage.Google Scholar
- Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011). Volunteering in the United States. Retrieved August 28, 2012, from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.toc.htm.
- Grimm, R, Jr, Spring, K., & Dietz, N. (2007). The health benefits of volunteering: A review of recent research. Washington, DC: Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development.Google Scholar
- Hirschfelder, M. A., & Reilly, S. L. (2007). Rx: Volunteer a prescription for healthy aging. In S. G. Post (Ed.), Altruism and health: Perspective from empirical research (pp. 116–140). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hodgkinson, V. A., Weitzman, M. S., & Kirsch, A. D. (1990). From commitment to action: How religious involvement affects giving and volunteering. Faith and philanthropy in America: Exploring the role of religion in America’s voluntary sector. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Nonprofit Sector Series.Google Scholar
- Kim, K. H. C., & Sobal, J. (2004). Religion, social support, fat intake and physical activity. Public Health Nutrition, 7(06), 773–781.Google Scholar
- Konrath, S., & Brown, S. (2012) The effects of giving on givers. In R. Nicole, & M. Newman (Eds.), Handbook of Health and Social Relationships. APA Books.Google Scholar
- Lakey, B., & Cohen, S. (2000). Social support theory and selecting measures of social support. In S. Cohen, L. U. Gordon, & B. H. Gottlieb (Eds.), Social support measurement and interventions: A guide for health and social scientists. New York: Oxford.Google Scholar
- Mayou, R. A., Ehlers, A., & Hobbs, M. (2000). Psychological debriefing for road traffic accident victims Three-year follow-up of a randomised controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 176(6), 589–593.Google Scholar
- Midlarsky, E., & Kahana, E. (1994). Altruism in later life. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Midlarsky, E., & Kahana, E. (2007). Altruism, well-being, and health in late life. In Stephen Post (Ed.), Altruism and health: Perspectives from empirical research. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Musick, M. A., & Wilson, J. (2008). Volunteering: A social profile. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone. The collapse and revival of American community. NY: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Tan, E. J., Rebok, G. W., Yu, Q., Frangakis, C. E., Carlson, M. C., et al. (2009). The long-term relationship between high-intensity volunteering and physical activity in older African American Women. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 64B(2), 304–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Willson, M. F. (1993). Dispersal mode, seed shadows, and colonization patterns. Vegetatio, 107(1), 261–280.Google Scholar