Is volunteering in later life impeded or stimulated by other activities?

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18 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Volunteering among older adults has received increasing attention from researchers, policy makers, and associations. However, there remains a lack of knowledge in how volunteering is impacted by other activities in the lives of older adults. In order to understand activity engagement in later life, insights into the extent to which activities compete with or complement each other are necessary.

METHODS: Data for the present research were derived from the Belgian Aging Studies (N = 23,768). The main objective is to uncover the activities that impede or stimulate actual volunteering and/or the likeliness to volunteer at an older age.

RESULTS: Structural equation models indicate a strong positive correlation between altruistic types of activities and actual volunteering. Furthermore, older adults active in personal leisure activities are more drawn to be potential volunteers.

IMPLICATIONS: The article demonstrates that the activity level of older people is not sufficient to understand volunteering, that is, a distinction between the types of activities is essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-75
Number of pages25
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2015.


  • volunteering
  • activity engagement
  • multiple activities
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Older Adults


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