|Title||Formal Volunteering Buffers the Negative Impact of Unemployment among Older Workers: A Longitudinal Analysis|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Journal||Journal of Gerontological Social Work|
|Type of Article||Journal|
|Keywords||buffer, Jahoda, longitudinal, moderation|
ABSTRACTGuided by Jahoda’s Latent Deprivation Theory, this study examined whether engaging in formal volunteering could moderate the negative impact of unemployment on older workers’ mental health. This study also explored the optimal intensity/hours of volunteering required to have a positive effect. This study analyzed six waves (12 years) of longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study using fixed effects modeling. The outcome variable was depressive symptoms, and the independent variables were labor force status and volunteering status. Observed time-varying confounders were controlled. There was a significant interaction between engaging in formal volunteering and unemployment status. Unemployed older workers who participated in volunteering fared better than those unemployed workers who did not volunteer. Further, those unemployed older workers who volunteered over 100 hours/year did not benefit from volunteering. Results from this study have important implications for future intervention development targeting the mental health of unemployed older workers.