Individual Predictors of Volunteering in Older Adults Using Structural Equation Modeling

TitleIndividual Predictors of Volunteering in Older Adults Using Structural Equation Modeling
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBaumel, ZZ
Academic DepartmentSocial Gerontology
Number of Pages263
UniversityUniversity of Nebraska at Omaha
Thesis Typephd
ISBN Number9780438863781
Keywords0351:Gerontology, Aging, Behavior, Gerontology, SEM, Social Sciences, Volunteering

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the interplay of both personality and resource theories to explain volunteering outcomes in adults 65 years and older. Structural equation modeling tested Core 2010 data from the Health and Retirement Survey and the Leave Behind, Self-Administered Questionnaire. Personality theory was tested using measures of the Big Five personality domains. Resource theory which combines psychosocial theories using personal, social, and cultural constructs were tested. Results showed that of the Big Five personality domains Extraversion, both directly and indirectly, predicted volunteering. Extraversion also predicted social capital measures of frequency of Meeting with Friends and Email-Write Interactions, and to a lesser extent Religiosity (used as a proxy for cultural capital). Religiosity, measured as Church Attendance and indicators associated with Belief in God, directly predicted volunteering outcomes. Agreeableness predicted Religiosity. Open to New Experience was positively correlated with social capital involving Email-Write Interactions and inversely correlated with cultural capital (Religiosity). As expected, health and income directly predicted volunteering while age was inversely related to volunteering. Understanding the extent to which this new knowledge of how the interplay of social and cultural capital intervene between personality to predict volunteering outcomes may bode well for organizations seeking to engage older adults and/or grow their pool of volunteers. Future applied research testing how this interplay impacts volunteering outcomes could help volunteer organizations develop and promote best practices to enhance engaging older adults and recruiting and retention efforts.


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Citation Key10346