VOLUNTEERISM AMONG THE ELDERLY: A SECONDARY ANALYSIS OF A NATIONAL SURVEY (LIFE SATISFACTION)

ELAINE M WALSH, Fordham University

Abstract

This was a descriptive, explanatory survey designed to identify the characteristics of elderly volunteers and potential volunteers, to determine the predictors of volunteer activity by older persons, and to examine the relationship between life satisfaction and volunteerism among this population. The research was based on a secondary analysis of data collected in a 1981 national, random cross sectional survey commissioned by the National Council on Aging.^ The sampling plan for the original survey, which was conducted by Louis Harris and Associates, used a multi-stage random cluster of households stratified by geographic region and size of place. Institutionalized persons were excluded from the sample; and those over 65, blacks and Hispanics were oversampled. The sample for the secondary analysis was truncated to include only those 65 and over (N = 1837). Ten questions were posed in the analysis regarding the demographic and background characteristics and current life satisfaction of elderly volunteers, non-volunteers and potential volunteers. Descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used to answer the research questions. Less than 9 percent of the variance in volunteer status could be explained by the variables included in this study. Research findings suggest that health and income are predictors of both volunteer activity and life satisfaction, but that volunteerism is not a predictor of life satisfaction among the elderly. ^

Subject Area

Social work

Recommended Citation

WALSH, ELAINE M, "VOLUNTEERISM AMONG THE ELDERLY: A SECONDARY ANALYSIS OF A NATIONAL SURVEY (LIFE SATISFACTION)" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8701902.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8701902

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