|Title||Identifying pathways to increased volunteering in older US adults.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Nakamura, JS, Lee, MT, Chen, FS, Lee, YArcher, Fried, LP, VanderWeele, TJ, Kim, ES|
|Keywords||Physical Health, Volunteering, Well-being|
While growing evidence documents strong associations between volunteering and improved health and well-being outcomes, less is known about the health and well-being factors that lead to increased volunteering. Using data from 13,771 participants in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS)-a diverse, longitudinal, and national sample of older adults in the United States-we evaluated a large range of candidate predictors of volunteering. Specifically, using generalized linear regression models with a lagged exposure-wide approach, we evaluated if changes in 61 predictors spanning physical health, health behaviors, and psychosocial well-being (over a 4-year follow-up between t; 2006/2008 and t; 2010/2012) were associated with volunteer activity four years later (t; 2014/2016). After adjusting for a rich set of covariates, certain changes in some health behaviors (e.g., physical activity ≥ 1x/week), physical health conditions (e.g., physical functioning limitations, cognitive impairment), and psychosocial factors (e.g., purpose in life, constraints, contact with friends, etc.) were associated with increased volunteering four years later. However, there was little evidence that other factors were associated with subsequent volunteering. Changes in several indicators of physical health, health behaviors, and psychosocial well-being may predict increased volunteering, and these factors may be novel targets for interventions and policies aiming to increase volunteering in older adults.