Volunteering and loneliness in older adults: A parallel mediation model.

TitleVolunteering and loneliness in older adults: A parallel mediation model.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsLee, S
JournalAging & Mental Health
ISSN Number1364-6915
Keywordsloneliness intervention, mediation model, Volunteering

This study aimed to examine the relationship between participation in volunteer work and loneliness among older adults, and to explore the mediating role of perceived control and perceived social self-efficacy in this association. This study was developed as a secondary data analysis using the data sampled from the 2016 Health and Retirement Study in USA. The sample comprised 9,944 individuals aged between 65 and 107 years (mean = 75.94, SD = 7.70; 59.4% females). Using a multi-item survey questionnaire, frequent participation in volunteer youth work and charity work, loneliness, perceived control, and social self-efficacy were assessed. To examine the mediating effects of perceived control and social self-efficacy on the association between volunteer work and loneliness, the bootstrapping technique was performed. The study's findings put forward a need to develop policy provisions that facilitate supporting systems and organizations for life-long education and recruitment of older volunteers. Community-based organizations should create and promote volunteer opportunities in older adults, thereby alleviating later-life loneliness. Two forms of volunteer works, namely, volunteer youth work and charity work, significantly predicted perceived control, social self-efficacy, and lower levels of loneliness. Perceived control and social self-efficacy appeared to significantly mediate the relationship between volunteer activities and loneliness.

Citation Key11585
PubMed ID33878983