Does the relation between volunteering and well-being vary with health and age?

Morris Okun, Rebeca Rios, Aaron Crawford, Roy Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Previous studies have established a positive association between organizational volunteering and well-being. In the current study, we examined whether the relations between organizational volunteering and positive affect, negative affect, and resilience are modified by respondents' age and number of chronic health conditions. This study used cross-sectional data from the 2008 Arizona Health Survey of residents 18 years old and older (N = 4,161). Multiple regression analyses provided no support for the hypothesis that age moderates the association between volunteer status and positive affect, negative affect, and resilience. In contrast, there was a significant (p <.05) interaction between volunteer status and chronic health conditions on positive affect and resilience. Consistent with the compensatory hypothesis, as number of chronic health conditions increased, the relations between volunteering and positive affect and resilience scores increased. Implications of these findings for increasing volunteering among adults with multiple chronic health conditions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-287
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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