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Through Adversity Comes Strength: Volunteering and Self-Esteem Among People with Physical Disabilities

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Abstract

The goal of the present study was to examine differences in self-esteem between volunteers with physical disabilities and their counterparts who do not volunteer. Another goal was to examine the contribution of the characteristics of the volunteering experience (motives for volunteering, satisfaction with the rewards of volunteering, and the quality of relationships with beneficiaries) to explain self-esteem among volunteers with physical disabilities. The research sample included 160 Israeli participants with different physical disabilities. Of these, 95 volunteered and 65 did not volunteer. Participants who volunteered had higher self-esteem than those who did not. The findings highlight the compensatory role of volunteering for people with disabilities: The contribution of volunteering to enhancing self-esteem was mainly evident among participants with poor socioeconomic resources (low education, low economic status, and unemployed). Egoistic and altruistic motives for volunteering as well as satisfaction with the rewards of volunteering contributed to explaining self-esteem.

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... In later development, studies have shown positive impacts of prosocial behavior on self-esteem. For example, among adults, volunteerism is positively associated with self-esteem, both concurrently (Kulik, 2018) and across time (Brown et al., 2012;Mellor et al., 2008). Likewise, qualitative studies of adolescents' experiences of philanthropic service suggest positive associations with self-esteem (Conrad & Hedin, 1989;Yates & Youniss, 1996), and more recent quantitative data support these patterns (Bang et al., 2020). ...
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... Volunteering is an alternative employment option for people with disabilities due to their low employment rates in the job market and therefore constitutes an important means for improving their quality of life (Barlev, Keren-Abraham, Haber and Admon-Rick, 2015; Barron et al., 2009;Shier, Graham & Jones, 2009). Volunteering is an arena for independent and creative activity which improves one's self-image (Author, 2008(Author, , 2016Carone, Burker, & Gardner, 2007;Itzhaky & Schwartz, 1998;Kulik, 2018;Miller et al., 2002). It offers a chance to develop ties with the community and provides a framework of social belonging (Balandin, Llewellyn, Dew, Ballin, & Schneider, 2006;Oman, Thoresen, & McMahon, 1999). ...
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The study examined positive and negative responses to volunteering (satisfaction with volunteering, perceived contribution to beneficiaries, and burnout) among 102 adolescents in Israel. The conceptual framework for explaining those responses was the ecological approach to the study of human development. In that context, the paper deals with the combined contribution of two ecological systemsâ€"the ontogenic system and the microsystem. The ontogenic system included sociodemographic variables (gender and religiosity), as well as empowerment resources. The microsystem included variables related to family context (parental volunteer activity and family support for volunteering), as well as to the context of volunteer activity (perceived rewards, difficulties with volunteering, and professional supervision). Sociodemographic variables and difficulties in relations with the provider organization predicted burnout, whereas rewards and professional supervision predicted satisfaction with volunteering. Empowerment contributed most to explaining volunteers’ perceived contribution to the beneficiaries of services.
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Fruit characteristics of the disease-resistant bluggoe-type (ABB) cooking bananas (Musa × paradisiaca L.) ‘Saba’ and ‘Pelipita’ were compared with those of the susceptible ‘Currare’ (‘Horn’). Yields of ‘Saba’ and ‘Pelipita’ were similar to those of ‘Currare’; however, ‘Saba’ and ‘Pelipita’ yielded fewer hands with a greater number of small fruit when compared with ‘Currare’. Shoot-tip cultures of both clones were readily initiated on a modified Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium supplemented with N6-benzyladenine (BA) in combination with indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Propagation cultures were initiated by splitting shoot tips along their longitudinal axis and re-culturing the individual pieces to basal medium supplemented with 5 mg l−1 BA. Transfer of axillary shoots to hormone-free medium resulted in rapid and extensive root formation. Plantlet survival after transfer to methyl bromide-treated soil exceeded 90%. Establishment in the field was achieved following procedures normally used for vegetative propagation of this crop. Trial plantings of in vitro propagated ‘Saba’ and ‘Pelipita’ were established in various provinces of Costa Rica for grower evaluation and for future comparison of growth and reproductive development with plants of these and other cultivars propagated from corms.
Book
Five studies tested hypotheses derived from the sociometer model of self-esteem according to which the self-esteem system monitors others' reactions and alerts the individual to the possibility of social exclusion. Study 1 showed that the effects of events on participants' state self-esteem paralleled their assumptions about whether such events would lead others to accept or reject them. In Study 2, participants' ratings of how included they felt in a real social situation correlated highly with their self-esteem feelings. In Studies 3 and 4, social exclusion caused decreases in self-esteem when respondents were excluded from a group for personal reasons, but not when exclusion was random, but this effect was not mediated by self-presentation. Study 5 showed that trait self-esteem correlated highly with the degree to which respondents generally felt included versus excluded by other people. Overall, results provided converging evidence for the sociometer model.
Article
People with intellectual disabilities (IDs) have been defined as 'socially excluded' and policies of 'social inclusion' invoked to counter this through a focus on paid work and independent living. For many people with IDs this is either not desired or not possible, and as a result many have sought out alternative spaces and activities of inclusion. The paper provides a critique of social exclusion and inclusion, and then goes onto examine (using two case studies) the ways in which people with IDs develop feelings of attachment and belonging within artistic spaces. The paper concludes that not only do these spaces provide mostly positive outcomes for individual people, but also have a potential role in 'reinscribing' the social and cultural understanding of people with IDs.
Article
College students in 31 nations (N = 13,118) completed measures of self-esteem, life satisfaction, and satisfaction with specific domains (friends, family, and finances). The authors assessed whether cross-cultural variations in the strength of associations were related to societal dimensions including income and individualism. At the national level, individualism correlated -.24 (ns) with heterogeneity and .71 (p < .001) with wealth. At the individual level, self-esteem and life satisfaction were correlated .47 for the entire sample. This relation, however, was moderated by the individualism of the society. The associations of financial, friend, and family satisfactions with life satisfaction and with self-esteem also varied across nations. Financial satisfaction was a stronger correlate of life satisfaction in poorer countries. It was found that life satisfaction and self-esteem were clearly discriminable constructs. Satisfaction ratings, except for financial satisfaction, varied between slightly positive and fairly positive.
Article
In a study of 29 graduate students, self-ratings of stress correlated with low scores on self-esteem but were not related to an objective indicator of actual stress. Both self-rated stress and low self-esteem scores were related to scores on depression, with a weak interaction effect.
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine if variations in the construction and scoring of a life events scale (stress measure) for adolescents yield different outcomes. Scoring methods included frequency, sum, and average scores as indications of positive stress, negative stress, and a combination of both. Two types of comparison were used. First, the extent to which these scoring methods were intercorrelated was assessed in order to determine whether each measured similar or dissimilar aspects of stress. Second, the relationships between these different methods and a measure of self-esteem were examined. The findings indicated that frequency of life events and their average intensity were distinct measures and of equal importance when assessing stress among adolescents. The results lend support to the use of both stimulus- and cognitive-oriented models in constructing and scoring measures of adolescent stress.
Article
Four experiments examined the functional relationship between interpersonal appraisal and subjective feelings about oneself. Participants imagined receiving one of several positive or negative reactions from another person (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) or actually received interpersonal evaluations (Experiment 4), then completed measures relevant to state self-esteem. All 4 studies showed that subjective feelings were a curvilinear, ogival function of others' appraisals. Although trait self-esteem correlated with state reactions as a main effect, it did not moderate participants' reactions to interpersonal feedback.