Municipality and Neighborhood Influences on Volunteering in Later Life

Sarah Dury, Jurgen Willems, Nico De Witte, Liesbeth De Donder, Tine Buffel, Dominique Verte, Joseph E. Gaugler Phd (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the relationships between municipality features and volunteering by older adults. In the literature, strong evidence exists of the influence of place on older people's health. However, the question how neighborhoods and municipalities promote or hinder volunteer participation remains under-explored. Data for the research are derived from the Belgian Aging Studies. We estimate logistic multilevel models for older individuals' engagement in volunteering across 141 municipalities in Belgium (N = 67,144). Analysis shows that neighborhood connectedness, neighborhood satisfaction, home ownership, and presence of services predict voluntary engagement at older ages. The findings support that perceptions and quality of social resources that relate to neighborhoods may be important factors to explain volunteering among older adults. Moreover, the findings suggest that volunteering in later life must be considered within a broader framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-626
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Joseph E. Gaugler PhD


  • Volunteering
  • Potential volunteers
  • Neighborhood
  • Multilevel analyses


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