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In this paper, we examined that whether engaging in voluntary work leads to greater well-being, measured by self-reported mental health and happiness. The primary objective of the research study was to establish a relationship between variables including volunteerism, mental health and happiness. Additionally, we assessed direct implication of volunteerism on mental health among the volunteers and non-volunteers. In order to evaluate, 50 volunteers and 50 non-volunteers were selected through snowball sampling from different areas of Karachi (Men: 56 and Women: 44). Participants filled questionnaire containing Demographic sheet, a Mental Health Questionnaire (Bargar, 1996) and The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (M. Argyle & P Hills, 2002). Pearson correlation test result indicated significant correlation between both variables. Moreover, an independent sample t-test revealed significant difference in the scores of mental health and happiness among volunteers and non-volunteers. Drawing on data, findings suggest that volunteerism lead to good mental health and happiness in volunteers.
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EFFECT OF VOLUNTEERISM ON MENTAL HEALTH AND HAPPINESS
SALIMA BARKAT ALI, NAIMA ASLAM KHAN & AMENA ZEHRA
University of Karachi, Pakistan
ABSTRACT
In this paper, we examined that whether engaging in voluntary work leads to greater well-being, measured by
self-reported mental health and happiness. The primary objective of the research study was to establish a relationship
between variables including volunteerism, mental health and happiness. Additionally, we assessed direct implication of
volunteerism on mental health among the volunteers and non-volunteers. In order to evaluate, 50 volunteers and 50
non-volunteers were selected through snowball sampling from different areas of Karachi (Men: 56 and Women: 44).
Participants filled questionnaire containing Demographic sheet, a Mental Health Questionnaire (Bargar, 1996) and The
Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (M. Argyle & P Hills, 2002). Pearson correlation test result indicated significant
correlation between both variables. Moreover, an independent sample t-test revealed significant difference in the scores of
mental health and happiness among volunteers and non-volunteers. Drawing on data, findings suggest that volunteerism
lead to good mental health and happiness in volunteers.
KEYWORDS: Happiness, Mental Health, Voluntary Services, Volunteers, Well-Being
INTRODUCTION
Volunteerism- service to others is integral for establishing world peace and creating harmony. It will help towards
education and giving people the ability to help them in the best possible way(Thoits, 2001). It is i mperative to understand
the fact that volunteerism is an integral step towards creating and sustaining healthy civic societies in the next millennium
(Van Willigen, 2000). In the sixth biannual scientific report on health, well-being, longevity and helping people it is safely
confirmed that a helpful life is more likely to be happier and a healthier one(Post, June,2014). This statement has been
central to our research which aims to provide an up to date scientific evidence for this association between giving,
flourishing interwoven with happiness and psychological aspects of health and well-being (Post, June,2014). All these
major surveys conducted nationally and internationally notably identify that giving and generosity is a crucial subject
linked to happiness and mental well-being.
The vast majority of people have more material wealth today than their parents had; the percentage of these
populations that is happy, however, has not increased whereas, depression and anxiety rates have increased dramatically
(Post G. , 2005). However, such elevated rates require serious reflection on our social environment. Given these trends,
sociologist and psychologist are interested in evaluating determinants and consequences of volunteer participation which
has improved significantly over the span of years (Thoits, 2001).
Over the years researchers have been trying to establish a relationship between the social and physiological
implications of volunteerism. For this purpose, several models have been designed to explain various domains of volunteer
work (Sullivan, 1997). Volunteer motivation model explains motivations behind the voluntary services. The model high
International Journal of Humanities
and Social Sciences (IJHSS)
ISSN(P): 2319-393X; ISSN(E): 2319-3948
Vol. 5, Issue 2, Feb - Mar 2016, 123-130
© IASET
124 Salima Barkat Ali, Naima Aslam Khan & Amena Zehra
Impact Factor (JCC): 2.7367 NAAS Rating: 3.19
points the fact that people volunteer for different reasons including accomplishing new skills, self-enhancement, improving
self-worth or to express community commitment and personal values (Omoto Allen, 1990). Furthermore, values and
attitude model establishes an important connection between volunteering services and individual beliefs about the
significance of community participation or altruistic responsibility (Janoski, 1998). Additionally, volunteer personality
model describes an individual personality or innate traits which motivates individual to involve in volunteer activities.
Psychological well-being or mental health is the capacity to develop psychologically and emotionally, knowing
about others, overcoming psychological problems and being able to maintain relationships socially. Kamkary, K. &
Shokrzadeh, S. (2012) found positive significant relationship between happiness and mental wellbeing. Several studies
revealed that volunteering makes people happier, particularly when there is personal contact between the server and service
receiver. Happiness increases when volunteers help people they do not know (Steger, 2008).
LITERATURE REVIEW
The volume of literature on the association between the variables such as volunteerism and impacts on
psychological health and well-being has increased rapidly in the last decade. Early cross-sectional studies showed positive
correlations between volunteering and mental health (Sneed, 2013). However, these studies have failed to establish a direct
relationship between volunteerism and mental health which can’t be generalized to the entire population (Post G. , 2005).
Recently, with a major shift in the evolving trend and paradigm there have been number of longitudinal studies which have
helped to determine a relationship with these various variables (Schwartz, 1999).Well-being includes a feeling of
hopefulness, happiness and goodness about one self. An early study by Hunter and Lin concluded that volunteers scored
significantly higher in life satisfaction and reported fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress in comparison to
non-volunteers (Hettman, 1990).
Additionally, Rietschlin, (1998) has found that volunteerism leads to a lower level of psychological pain and cope
up effectively with stressors. Similarly, Van Willigen, (1998) found that volunteerism increases life satisfaction and
decreases hopelessness; and its association with improved physical health. Implication of these studies suggests that
volunteerism and attendance in community work suggests that doing voluntary work improves the well-being of
individuals (Van Willigen, 2000).
Morrow-Howell, Hinterlong, Rozario and Tang (2003) researched on volunteering and well-being among the
individuals in the formal community involvement. Statistics of the research study revealed that volunteering is associated
with better health ratings, increased life expectancy, decreased mortality, higher levels of contentment and lower levels of
functional dependence and depressive symptomatology. However, overall evidence for contingent effects of volunteering
on well-being is limited and inconsistent. Additionally, few studies have investigated the extent to which volunteering
might be associated with different dimensions of psychological well-being (Greenfield, 2004).
Another popular research study by Borgonovi, F. (2008) defragmented the relationship between good health and
doing well. The research utilized self-reported measures of health and happiness in order to examine that whether engaging
in volunteer work leads to greater well-being (Borgonovi, 2008). The research suggested clear ties between volunteerism,
good physical health and mental health (Aknin, 2012). As per analysis, volunteers significantly highlighted decreased rates
of depression and mortality therefore, likely to be happier than non-volunteers. However, the research study does not
explain the motivating factors for voluntary work and reverse relationship between feeling well and inclination to
Effect of Volunteerism on Me ntal Health and Happiness 125
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voluntary work (Bruhin, 2009).
METHODOLOGY
For the purpose of this analysis, we conducted a survey which was based on the standard set of questionnaire. The
questionnaire was exclusively designed to assess self-reported psychological well-being and happiness among volunteers
and non-volunteers.
Participants
A random sample of 100 participants (N=100) was selected through snowball sampling. Out of 100 participants,
50 were volunteers and other 50 were non-volunteers. 68% of the participants were men and 32% were women. The
volunteers were selected from different areas of Karachi including Karachi University and Aga Khan Community in
Karachi. Both, volunteers and non-volunteers belonged to the age range of 18yrs – 65yrs.
Measures
Participants were asked to fill a questionnaire containing Demographic sheet, Bargar (1996) Mental Health
questionnaire and The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ) (M. Argyle & P Hills, 2002).
Bargar (1996) mental health questionnaire was based on 12 items measuring difficulty which an individual faces
in a particular area in one’s day-to-day life. It ranges from no difficulty to extreme difficulty. A low score on Mental
Health Questionnaire is linked with low difficulty in dealing with everyday issues and a better mental health. Internal
consistency at time 1 (alpha=0.62) and time 2 (alpha=0.58) separated by two weeks was found satisfactory (Bargar, 1996).
The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ) prepared by Michael Argyle and Peter Hills at Oxford University
(2002) was also administered in the research study. The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire is a scale used for the
measurement of psychological well-being, individual differences and personality. The OHQ demonstrated high scale
reliabilities with values a (167) = 0.92 and a (168) = 0.91 respectively. The inter-item correlations for the OHQ were _0.04
to 0.65, mean 0.28. The OHQ scores aggregated over all items were strongly and significantly related, r (163) =0.80,
P<0.001 (M. Argyle & P Hills, 2002).
Procedure
After taking informed consent from the participants, objective of the study were explained clearly to the
participating members. Participants were asked to fill a questionnaire which included a demographic sheet. Participants
were asked to fill Mental Health questionnaire (Bargar, 1996) and The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ) of Michael
Argyle and Peter Hills (2002). After filling questionnaire, results of individual participants were emailed to their respective
email address as token of appreciation to participate in the research study. For statistical analysis of data, an independent
sample t-test was conducted to compare happiness and mental health of both groups. Also, Pearson correlation was used to
establish a relationship between variables such as volunteers, psychological well-being and happiness.
126 Salima Barkat Ali, Naima Aslam Khan & Amena Zehra
Impact Factor (JCC): 2.7367 NAAS Rating: 3.19
RESULTS
Table 1: Correlation between Mental Health and Happiness
Variables
N
r
Sig
Mental Health &
Happiness 100 -.855** 0.00
Correlation is significant at 0.01 levels (2 –tailed)
Table 2: Independent Sample T-Test Indicating Difference of
Happiness of Volunteers and Non -Volunteers
Non
-
volunteers
Variable
M
SD
M
SD
t(98)
P
Cohen’s
d
Happiness
153.882 15.967 116.422 19.759 10.426** 0.00 2.08
An independent sample t test showed that the difference in happiness scores between the volunteers (n = 50, M =
153.882, SD = 15.967) and non-volunteers (n = 50, M = 116.422, SD = 19.759) were statistically significant, t
(98) = -10.426, p = .000, d = 2.08.
Table 3: Results Indicating Significant Difference in Mental
Health among Volunteers and Non-Volunteers
Volunteers Non-volunteers
Variable M SD M SD t(98) P Cohen’s
d
Mental
health 6.300 3.1184 26.3400 11.1403 12.249** 0.00 -2.44
An independent sample t test showed that the difference in mental health scores between the volunteers (n = 50, M
= 6.300, SD = 3.1184) and non-volunteers (n = 50, M = 26.340, SD = 11.140) were statistically significant, t(98)
= 12.249, p = .000, d = -2.44.
Table 4: Frequencies, Percentages and Chi-Square Test Indicating Gender,
Age and Marital Status Difference between Volunteers and Non-Volunteers
Variable
N=50
Non
-
Volunteers
N=50 X ²
Gender
Male 26 (46.4%) 30 (53.6%) 0.420ns
Female
Marital status
Married
Unmarried
Age
Young
old
24 (54.5%)
28(53.8%)
22(45.8%)
30(52.6%)
20(46.5%)
20(45.5%)
24(46.2%)
26(54.2%)
27(47.4%)
23(53.5%)
0.423ns
0.545ns
Ns = non-significant
Chi-square test results indicated non-significant gender, age and marital status differences among volunteers and
non-volunteers
Effect of Volunteerism on Me ntal Health and Happiness 127
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DISCUSSIONS
The systematic review and meta-analysis has identified numerical evidence based on potential health benefits of
volunteering. Volunteer work is widely believed to be beneficial not only for the community as a whole but also for an
individual who perform it. Unfortunately, very little attention has been paid to the actual consequences of the volunteer
service contributing to an individual’s physical and psychological mental well-being.
Qualls, (2002) found that over time the risk factors increase for mental illnesses so maintaining mental health is
extremely important. He added that in order to maintain mental health three things need to be followed first, having a low
risk of disability or any disease; second, mental and physical well-functioning, and thirdly living a life to its
fullest(Saroglou, 2005).
Overall, results of the study are congruent in illuminating the idea that volunteering has been found to have better
psychological effects in the lives of people. The result of the study summarizes a positive correlation between greater
mental health and volunteerism. Volunteering is significantly associated with happiness and increased frequency of formal
volunteering increases levels of self-reported happiness. The research study suggests a stronger link between volunteer
work and well-being. The research study makes an important contribution by high pointing a positive association between
the variables.
Voluntary work is beneficial to well-being as Reitschlin (1998) identified that those people who contribute in
voluntary group membership have low psychological distress and also decreases the quantity of negative effects of the
various events which cause stress(Jenkinson, 2013). Van Willigen (1998) said that volunteerism increases life satisfaction
and decreases depression of people (Van Willigen, 2000). Young and Glasgow (1998) also stated that volunteerism is
positively related with better physical health.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The major limitation of the study is the participants chosen for the study were mostly affiliated to a particular
community. Therefore, future research directions must include people from diverse backgrounds and communities.
Additionally, the research study did not analyze motivating factors among volunteers. Furthermore, the research study did
not establish a reverse relationship between feeling well and inclination to voluntary work. Moreover, the research study
did not compare the levels of psychological well-being and happiness in secular and religious work. Finally, all other
variables such as age, gender, socio-economic factors were kept constant.
CONCLUSIONS
Results of present study and in the light of the available literature suggest that engaging in voluntary services
improves mental health and also contribute in attaining happiness. The statistical analysis of the answers provided by the
respondents’ suggests greater prevalence of psychological well-being and happiness among volunteers. More research on
doing well and contributing to the society will spark a movement in public health focusing on civic engagement and
helping behavior within communities.
REFERENCES
1. Aknin, L. E. (2012). Happiness runs in a circular motion: Evidence for a positive feedback loop between prosocial
128 Salima Barkat Ali, Naima Aslam Khan & Amena Zehra
Impact Factor (JCC): 2.7367 NAAS Rating: 3.19
spending and happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 347-355.
2. Borgonovi, F. (2008). Doing well by doing good: The relationship between formal volunteering and self-reported
health and medicine. Social Science and Medicine, 2321-2334.
3. Bruhin, A. R. (2009). Happiness functions with preference interdependence and heterogeneity: The case of
altruism within the family. Journal of Population Economics, 1063-1080.
4. Greenfield, A. F. (2004). Formal Volunteering as a Protective Factor for Older Adults' Psychological Well-Being.
The Journals of Gerontology, 258-264.
5. Hettman, D. J. (1990). Volunteerism and Social Interest. Individual Psychology, 298-303.
Janoski, T. M. (1998). Being Volunteered? The Impact of Social Participation and Pro-Social Attitudes on
Volunteering. Sociological Forum, 495-519.
6. Jenkinson, E. P. (2013). Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of
the health and survival of volunteers. BMC Public Health, 889-920.
7. Omoto Allen, M. M. (1990). Basic Research in Action: Volunteerism and Society’s Responses to AIDS.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 152-156.
8. Post, G. (2005). Altruism, Happiness, and Health: It’s Good to Be Good. International Journal of Behavioral
Medicine, 66-77.
9. Post, G. (June,2014). It's Good to be Good: 2014 Biennial Scientific Report on Health, Happiness, Longevity and
Helping Others. New York: Jonnes and Barlett Publishers.
10. Saroglou, V. I. (2005). Prosocial behavior and religion: New evidence based on projective measures and peer
ratings. . Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 323-348.
11. Schwartz, C. M. (1999). Helping others helps oneself: Response shift effects in peer support. Social Science and
Medicine, 1563-1575.
12. Sneed, R. H. (2013). A prospective study of volunteers and hypertension risk in older. Psychology and Aging,
578-586.
13. Steger, F. T. (2008). Being good by doing good: Daily eudaimonic activity and well-being. Journal of Research in
Personality, 22-42.
14. Sullivan, G. M. (1997). Promoting wellness in cardiac rehabilitation: exploring the role of altruism. Journal of
Cardiovascular Nursing, 43-52.
15. Thoits, A. N. (2001). Volunteer Work and Well-Being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 115-131.
Retrieved from AKDN .
16. Van Willigen, M. (2000). Differential benefits of volunteering across the life course. The Journals of
Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 308-318.
Effect of Volunteerism on Me ntal Health and Happiness 129
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APPENDIX
INFORMED CONSENT
We, students of Psychology Department, Karachi University, are conducting a study concerning your beliefs and
attitudes. We need your cooperation for this purpose. You have to fill out the following questionnaires. Please don’t leave
any question unanswered. Feel free to ask any question. If you feel threatened in any way while answering the questions,
you can leave them unmarked and handover the questionnaires back. The information given by you is to be used only for
research purpose and would be kept confidential.
DEMOGRAPHIC SHEET
Age:
Gender:
Education:
Occupation:
Marital status:
Please answer the following Question:
Q. Do you presently offer volunteer work for any religious organization? For a school or educational
organization? For a political group or labor union? For a senior citizens group or related organization? For any other
national or local organization, including hospitals, schools etc?”
Yes
No
A Mental Health Questionnaire (Bargar, 1996)
INSTRUCTIONS: For the following questions, please rate your level of difficulty in the situations by circling
the corresponding number. Please fill this questionnaire completely.
0=No difficulty; 1=A little; 2=Moderate; 3=Quite a bit; 4=Extreme
ND AL M QB EX
0 1 2 3 4
1. Managing day-to-day life (e.g., getting places on time, handling money,
making every day decisions)
2. Performing your duties at home, work, or school
3. Relationships with family members
4. Getting along with people outside of the family
5. Lack of self-confidence, feeling bad about yourself
6. Adjusting to major life stresses (e.g., new job, new school,
moving, separation, death)
7. Feeling satisfaction with your life
8. Overall emotional condition
9. Maintaining a relationship with a significant other
10. Feeling comfortable around people you don’t know
11. Accepting the authority of others
12. Expressing your needs to others
130 Salima Barkat Ali, Naima Aslam Khan & Amena Zehra
Impact Factor (JCC): 2.7367 NAAS Rating: 3.19
The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ)
INSTRUCTIONS: Below are a number of statements about happiness. Would you please indicate how much you
agree or disagree with each by entering a number alongside it according to the following code:
1=strongly disagree; 2=moderately disagree; 3=slightly disagree; 4=slightly agree; 5=moderately agree;
6=strongly agree. You will need to read the statements carefully because some are phrased positively and others
negatively. Don’t take too long over individual questions; there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers and no trick questions.
The first answer that comes into your head is probably the right one for you. If you find some of the questions difficult,
please give the answer that is true for you in general or for most of the time.
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. I don’t feel particularly pleased with the way I am (_)
2. I am intensely interested in other people
3. I feel that life is very rewarding
4. I have very warm feelings towards almost everyone
5. I rarely wake up feeling rested (_)
6. I am not particularly optimistic about the future (_)
7. I find most things amusing
8. I am always committed and involved
9. Life is good
10. I do not think that the world is a good place (_)
11. I laugh a lot
12. I am well satisfied about everything in my life
13. I don’t think I look attractive (_)
14. There is a gap between what I would like to do and what I have done (_)
15. I am very happy
16. I find beauty in some things
17. I always have a cheerful effect on others
18. I can fit in everything I want to
19. I feel that I am not especially in control of my life (_)
20. I feel able to take anything on
21. I feel fully mentally alert
22. I often experience joy and elation
23. I do not find it easy to make decisions (_)
24. I do not have a particular sense of meaning and purpose in my life (_)
25. I feel I have a great deal of energy
26. I usually have a good influence on events
1 2 3 4 5 6
27. I do not have fun with other people (_)
28. I don’t feel particularly healthy (_)
29. I do not have particularly happy memories of the past (_)
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We examine whether a positive feedback loop exists between spending money on others (i.e. prosocial spending) and happiness. Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future. Thus, by providing initial evidence for a positive feedback loop between prosocial spending and well-being, these data offer one potential path to sustainable happiness: prosocial spending increases happiness which in turn encourages prosocial spending. KeywordsHappiness–Well-being–Money–Prosocial spending–Sustainability–Feedback loop
Conference Paper
Objectives. Guided by interactional role theory and employing a resilience framework, this study aimed to investigate whether formal volunteering protects older adults with more role-identity absences in major life domains (partner, employment, and parental) from poorer psychological well-being. Methods. We used data from 373 participants, aged 65-74, in the 1995 National Survey of Midlife Development in the U.S. (MIDUS). Multivariate regression models estimated the effects of major role-identity absences, formal volunteering, and the interaction between major role-identity absences and volunteering on respondents' negative affect, positive affect, and purpose in life. Results. Participants with a greater number of major role-identity absences reported more negative affect, less positive affect, and less purpose in life. Being a formal volunteer was associated with more positive affect and moderated the negative effect of having more major role-identity absences on respondents' feelings of purpose in life. Discussion. Consistent with previous studies, findings indicate that having more role-identity absences constitutes a risk factor for poorer psychological well-being. Results further demonstrate that being a formal volunteer can protect older adults with a greater number of major role-identity absences from decreased levels of purpose in life. The findings suggest that associations between volunteering and psychological well-being might be contingent upon the volunteer's role-identity status and the dimension of psychological well-being examined.
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Examined the social phenomenon of the involvement of volunteers in caring for persons with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Basic psychological theories were employed in coordinated longitudinal and cross-sectional research on 3 stages of the volunteer process: antecedents of the decision to be a volunteer, experiences of volunteers and those with whom they work, and consequences for volunteers and for society. Data collected from currently active AIDS volunteers illustrate the linkages between basic research and practical problems. Ways that basic theory can both guide research on societally important issues and be informed by such research conducted in applied contexts are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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120 individuals (aged 18–65 yrs), 60 of whom were active in 1 of 3 types of volunteer organizations, completed the Social Interest Scale. Findings partially validated the hypothesis that individuals who are involved in an ongoing commitment to a prosocial voluntary activity demonstrate a higher level of social interest values than those who do not volunteer. However, the hypothesis that social interest was a more important causal factor than the availability of leisure time in explaining participation in volunteer programs was not supported. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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An important discrepancy seems to exist between self-reports and laboratory studies regarding prosociality among religious people. Some have even suggested that this involves moral hypocrisy on the part of religious people. However, the assumption of the four studies reported here is that the impact of religiousness on prosociality is limited but exists, and does not reflect self-delusion. In Study 1 (N= 106), religious young adults tended not to use indirect aggression in dealing with hypothetical daily hassles. In Study 2 (N= 105), female students' religiosity was associated with willingness to help close targets in hypothetical situations but the effect was not extended to unknown targets. In Studies 3 (N= 315, 105 triads) and 4 (N= 274, 109 targets), religious targets not only reported high altruistic behavior and empathy, but were also perceived as such by peers (friends, siblings, or colleagues) in three out of four cases. Other results from the studies suggested that the prosociality of religious people is not an artifact of gender, social desirability bias, security in attachment, empathy, or honesty.
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While disagreeing over the reasons why the performance of civic obligations seems to be declining, conservatives and liberals agree that people need to be reminded of their duties as citizens for this decline to be halted. But do these exhortations work? This paper tests two theories about how people become volunteers. The normativist perspective assumes that volunteer behavior flows from socialization into pro-social attitudes; the social practice perspective stresses the formative role of practical experiences and social participation. Using a panel study of high school seniors who were reinterviewed in their mid-20s and again in their early 30s, we show that volunteer work undertaken in high school has long-term benefits as does social participation more generally but that socialization into pro-social attitudes has an even stronger influence on volunteering in middle age. The implications of our study are that mandatory community service programs can boost later volunteer efforts but that socialization into appropriate citizenship attitudes is of equal, if not greater, importance.
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Eudaimonic theories of well-being assert the importance of achieving one’s full potential through engaging in inherently meaningful endeavors. In two daily diary studies, we assessed whether reports of engagement in behaviors representative of eudaimonic theories were associated with well-being. We also examined whether eudaimonic behaviors were more strongly related to well-being than behaviors directed toward obtaining pleasure or material goods. In both studies, eudaimonic behaviors had consistently stronger relations to well-being than hedonic behaviors. Data also provided support for a temporal sequence in which eudaimonic behaviors were related to greater well-being the next day. Overall, our results suggest that “doing good” may be an important avenue by which people create meaningful and satisfying lives.