Volunteer Transitions and Physical and Psychological Health Among Older Adults in Taiwan
ABSTRACT Objectives. This study examines the relationship between transitions in volunteering activity and physical and psychological health outcomes among older adults in Taiwan. Method. We used 3 waves of a longitudinal survey from Taiwan (1999, 2003, and 2007) including 1,847 older adults aged 58-74. We categorized volunteer activity over time into 5 categories and used generalized estimating equations to examine the relationship between volunteer transition group membership and health outcomes.
Approximately, 3% of older volunteers kept volunteering and 7% stopped or started their volunteering over time. Engaging in any volunteering, including continuous volunteering, discrete volunteering, active-to-inactive volunteering, and inactive-to-active volunteering, was significantly associated with better self-rated health and higher life satisfaction when compared with the nonvolunteering group. Only those in the continuous volunteer group and those who shifted from inactive-to-active volunteering showed a positive association with better physical function and less depression, compared with the nonvolunteering group. Discussion. The results suggest that the positive relationship between volunteering and health may decline when older adults discontinue or withdraw from volunteering. More research is needed to explore the mechanism behind older people's desistance from, persistence in, and resumption of volunteer engagement.
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ABSTRACT: Longitudinal data sets are comprised of repeated observations of an outcome and a set of covariates for each of many subjects. One objective of statistical analysis is to describe the marginal expectation of the outcome variable as a function of the covariates while accounting for the correlation among the repeated observations for a given subject. This paper proposes a unifying approach to such analysis for a variety of discrete and continuous outcomes. A class of generalized estimating equations (GEEs) for the regression parameters is proposed. The equations are extensions of those used in quasi-likelihood (Wedderburn, 1974, Biometrika 61, 439-447) methods. The GEEs have solutions which are consistent and asymptotically Gaussian even when the time dependence is misspecified as we often expect. A consistent variance estimate is presented. We illustrate the use of the GEE approach with longitudinal data from a study of the effect of mothers' stress on children's morbidity.Biometrics 04/1986; 42(1):121-30. DOI:10.2307/2531248 · 1.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Both cross-sectional comparisons and patterns of change in productive activities among members of the MacArthur Successful Aging cohort were examined. The data came from a three-site longitudinal study of community-dwelling adults aged 70-79. The highest functioning cohort (n = 1,192) was found to be significantly more productive than a comparison group of medium- and low-functioning respondents at baseline in four of five domains examined. In longitudinal models, we tested several hypotheses regarding the determinants of change in levels of productive activity over a three-year period. Overall, 15.1 percent (n = 162) of the cohort became less productive, while another 12.7 percent (n = 136) became more productive. Risk factors for decline in productivity included hospital admission and stroke. Age, functional disability, marriage, and increased mastery were protective against declines. Conversely, Blacks, those who were more satisfied with life at baseline, and those reporting increased mastery were more likely to increase their productivity.The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 04/1995; 50(2):S65-76. DOI:10.1093/geronb/50B.2.S65 · 3.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although a number of authors have proposed that older volunteers should benefit in terms of better health and well-being, few researchers have examined the issue empirically to see whether this is true. The purpose of this article is to build on this literature by empirically examining the association between volunteering and mortality among older adults. Using data from a nationally representative sample, we use Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate the effects of volunteering on the rate of mortality among persons aged 65 and older. We find that volunteering has a protective effect on mortality among those who volunteered for one organization or for forty hours or less over the past year. We further find that the protective effects of volunteering are strongest for respondents who report low levels of informal social interaction and who do not live alone. We discuss the possibility that the curvilinear relationship we observe between volunteering and mortality is due to a combination of factors, including self-identity, role strain, and meaningfulness. Other research using more precise data is needed to determine whether these ideas are supportable.The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 06/1999; 54(3):S173-80. DOI:10.1093/geronb/54B.3.S173 · 3.21 Impact Factor