Elderly Volunteering and Well-Being: A Cross-European Comparison Based on SHARE Data

  • Debbie Haski-LeventhalEmail author
Original Paper


This paper, based on Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) data, analyzes the relation between volunteering and well-being among 30,023 Europeans aged 50 and above in 12 countries. There is an overall positive correlation between volunteering and perceived health, life satisfaction, and self-life expectancy and a negative correlation to depression. However, in some countries the correlation is much stronger than in others.


Volunteering Elderly Well-being Europe SHARE 


Cet article se basant sur les données de SHARE (Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe : Enquête de santé sur les personnes retraitées et âgées en Europe), analyse la relation existante entre le volontariat et le bien-être parmi 30 023 Européens âgés de 50 ans ou plus parmi douze pays. Il existe une corrélation d’ensemble positive entre le volontariat et la santé, la satisfaction de vivre et l’espérance de vie et une corrélation négative due à la dépression. Cependant, dans certains pays la corrélation est beaucoup plus forte que dans d’autres.


Dieser Artikel basiert auf Data von SHARE (Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe) und analysiert die Beziehung zwischen Freiwilligenarbeit und Wohlbefinden von 30.023 Europäern in 12 Ländern, die 50 Jahre und älter sind. Allgemein gesehen gibt es eine positive Wechselbeziehung zwischen Freiwilligenarbeit und empfundener Gesundheit, Zufriedenheit mit Leben und eigener Lebenserwartung und eine negative Korrelation mit Depression. Allerdings ist in einigen Ländern die Wechselbeziehung bedeutend stärker als in anderen.


Este trabajo, basado en los datos del SHARE (Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe), analiza la relación entre el voluntariado y el bienestar entre 30.023 europeos de doce países con edades de más de 50 años. En general, existe una correlación positiva entre el voluntariado y la salud percibida, la satisfacción vital y la propia expectativa de vida, y una correlación negativa con la depresión. No obstante, en algunos países la correlación es mucho más fuerte que en otros.


本文根据“欧洲健康、老龄化与退休调查”(SHARE)的数据,对来自 12 个欧洲国家的年龄在 50 岁及以上的 30,023 名对象进行了研究,分析了志愿服务与健康之间的关系。志愿服务总体上与健康感受、生活满意度和自我预期寿命成正相关,与抑郁症成负相关。然而,有些国家的相关性显著强于其它国家。




هذا البحث يعتمد على SHARE (إستطلاع الرأي لصحة الشيخوخة و التقاعد في أوروبا (SHARE)) البيانات، تحلل العلاقة بين العمل التطوعي والرفاء بين 30,023 من الأوروبيين الذين تتراوح أعمارهم بين الخمسين وما فوقها في اثني عشر بلداً. هناك وجود إرتباط إيجابي شامل بين العمل التطوعي وإدراك الصحة ، والرضا عن الحياة ، والنفس ، والعمر المتوقع ووجود علاقة سلبية للإكتئاب. ومع ذلك ، في بعض البلدان الإرتباط أقوى بكثير عن بلدان أخرى.



The author would like to thank The Israel Gerontological Data Center (IGDC) for leading the research on the SHARE in Israel and for their assistance on this paper. The author is especially grateful to Iaroslav Youssim for his tremendous help, to Howard Litwin (Head of IGDC) and Eliyahu Sapir for their helpful suggestions. The SHARE-Israel data collection was funded primarily by the US National Institute on Aging (R21 AG025169). Additional funding was provided by the German–Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development and by the National Insurance Institute of Israel.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Social Impact, Australian School of BusinessUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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