London Metropolitan University Research Institutes
 

Who volunteers, why and with what consequences? Life aspirations, motives and outcomes of volunteering and well-being

Author(s) Miljkovic, D., Rijavec, M. & Jurcec, L.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2013  
Editor P. Cunningham (ed.) Identities and Citizenship Education: Controversy, crisis and challenges  
Age group -  
Keywords/Abstract
Volunteering leads to the direct involvement of citizens in local development, and therefore plays an important role in the fostering of civil society and democracy. But, on the other side, volunteering also has positive effects on volunteers themselves. This study investigated the relationship between life aspirations, motives and outcomes of volunteering and well-being for 136 volunteers aged between 16 and 56 years. Participants completed four instruments: Aspiration Index (measuring intrinsic and extrinsic life aspirations), Volunteerism questionnaire (measuring intrinsic and extrinsic motives and their satisfaction), The Satisfaction with Life Scale and The Short Depression-Happiness Scale. Intrinsic motives for volunteering included values, understanding and enhancement while extrinsic motives included career and social function. Regression analysis showed that intrinsic motives for volunteering were best predicted by intrinsic life aspirations (self-growth and contribution to community) while extrinsic motives for volunteering were best predicted by combination of intrinsic and extrinsic life aspirations (contribution to community and social status). It was also shown that volunteers with intrinsic motives for volunteering were more happy in their life, while fulfilment of intrinsic motives was related to satisfaction with volunteering in general. Extrinsic motives for volunteering were not related neither to satisfaction with volunteering work nor to any indicator of well-being. It was concluded that although volunteering can attract individuals with both intrinsic and extrinsic life aspirations and motives for volunteering it is possible that volunteering for extrinsic reasons would not contribute to volunteers’ well-being and that they will not be satisfied with volunteering work. Keywords: motives for volunteering, outcomes of volunteering, life aspirations, well-being
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