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Session Overview
RN01_02c_IC: Voluntary Work and Nonemployment
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Justyna Stypinska, Free University Berlin
Location: Intercontinental - Ypsilon I
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Level 1

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The influence of intentional on actual volunteering among older people in Germany. Results from a two-wave-study

Frank Micheel

Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany

Background: In the context of the active ageing discourse in Germany, older people who intend to participate in volunteering are discussed as a serious societal potential. However, the link between intention and subsequent realisation of volunteering has been examined infrequently. Thus, the study investigates the influence of intentional volunteering on actual participation at a later stage.

Data and method: Data were taken from the two-wave survey “Transitions and Old Age Potential” with 2,501 respondents born from 1942 to 1958. We examine the relationship between intentional volunteering from the first wave (2013) and actual volunteer behaviour in the second wave (2016). The main effect is based on a 2*2 typology along the dimensions “actual volunteer work” and “intention to start/expand volunteering in the future”. This effect is controlled for individual (e.g. Big Five) and socio-demographic variables (e.g. gender, education) as well as for past volunteer engagement.

Results: Intentional volunteering in the first wave has rather predictive power regarding actual volunteering in the second wave. Bivariate analyses reveal a strong association between the main effect and actual volunteering in the second wave (Cramer’s V=.6). This relation stays robust in multivariate analyses controlling for individual and socio-demographic variables and for past volunteering experience.

Implications: The results suggest that the intention to start or to expand volunteer work is a reliable indicator for subsequent volunteering in older adulthood. It gives new and valuable information for the public and scientific discourses about harnessing (further) old age potentials in Germany.

Volunteering among immigrants in middle and later life

Claudia Vogel, Julia Simonson, Clemens Tesch-Römer

German Centre of Gerontology, Germany

Volunteering contributes to successful ageing and social participation, and it is expected to be beneficial for both the society and the volunteers themselves. This should hold true for immigrants and native citizens likewise. In respect to volunteering among immigrants, two opposed hypotheses are discussed: (a) Volunteering rates should be higher among immigrants than in the native population, due to the necessity to cope with challenges in the immigration process and with the integration process in the host country; (b) Volunteering rates among immigrants should be lower than in the native population, e.g. due to disadvantaged socio-economic status and deficits in the knowledge of the civil society structures.

We deal with two research questions: How do the volunteering rates of the immigrant and the native population differ in middle and late adulthood? How can differences in volunteering rates in immigrants and natives be explained? The analyses are based on the German Survey on Volunteering 2014, a representative telephone survey of the population aged 14 and older (n = 15,941 respondents aged 50 and above; among them n = 938 immigrants aged 50 and above). The results show that among the population in middle and late life immigrants are clearly less likely to volunteer than natives in Germany. The differences can be partially attributed to socio-economic resources as well as to differences in the democracy index of the countries of origin, which we interpret as a socialization effect.

Barriers to Volunteering in Later Life

Dr Sarah Gibney, Ms Niamh Moran, Dr Mark Ward, Ms Sinead Shannon

Department of Health, Ireland

Background: As the population experiences rapid ageing, concerns are growing surrounding a public expenditure which will be unable to support an increasing proportion of society which will be out of the labour force. However, an increasing number of older people contribute to society through unpaid voluntary roles. Volunteering also benefits the volunteer by providing essential constructive and productive roles as well as being associated with positive health and well-being outcomes. The purpose of this study is to explore barriers to volunteering among adults aged 55+ in Ireland to inform local actions to promote volunteering in Irish communities. Method: The current study analysed data collected as part of Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) survey (n=10,500). This was a random-sample, population representative survey of people aged 55 and older, living in 21 Local Authority areas, in Ireland between 2015 and 2016. A mixed effects logistic regression was conducted to analyse the association between voluntary engagement and a range of predictor variables. Results: Not liking your neighbourhood (OR=2.76), severe daily limitations (OR=2.78), material deprivation (OR=1.91) and being single (OR=1.94) or divorced (OR=1.76) all significantly predicted non-volunteering. Other predictors included being a homemaker, being aged 75 or above, moderate daily limitations and being widowed. Conclusion: The results indicate that demographic factors, social roles and resources paired with lifestyle factors have propensity to determine volunteer engagement.

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