|Title||Perceived neighbourhood safety and volunteerism among older adults|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Journal||Ageing & Society|
|Keywords||fear of crime, neighborhood, perceived safety, Volunteer activity, women|
Previous research shows the benefits of volunteerism to individuals and communities. The purpose of this study was to determine whether lower perceived neighbourhood safety is associated with reduced volunteerism and whether this association differs by sex. Data from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study in the United States of America were used (N = 13,009 adults 60 years and older). Multivariate logistic regression models were estimated to assess the association between perceived neighbourhood safety and volunteerism while controlling for potential confounders. Perceived neighbourhood safety was associated with volunteering. The odds of volunteering were higher for those rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as excellent compared with those rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as fair/poor. Those rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as very good also had greater odds of volunteering than those rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as fair/poor. Results differed somewhat by gender. Men who perceived their neighbourhood safety as excellent had increased odds of volunteering. The association of neighbourhood safety with volunteerism was significant for women rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as excellent or very good. Among men, being married was associated with increased odds of volunteering; being completely or partly retired was associated with increased odds of volunteering among women. Initiatives aimed at improving older adults’ perceptions of safety would help improve volunteerism, which is beneficial to both older adults and communities.