Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making



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KEY WORDS: Aging; Behavior Change; Clients; Community Services; Volunteers; Policy Making; Volunteer Work.

Grossman, J. B., & Rhodes, J. E. (2002). The test of time: Predictors and effects of duration in youth mentoring relationships. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30(2), 199-219.


This study examines the effects and predictors of duration in youth mentor relations. Participants include 1,138 young, urban adolescents (10-16 yrs old), who have all applied to Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. They were randomly assigned to the treatment or control group, and given questions at baseline and 18 months later. Findings indicate that hose in relationships that lasted one year or longer reported the largest number of improvements. Those with progressively fewer effects emerged among youth who were in relationships that ended earlier. Those adolescents who were in short term relationships reported decrements in several indicators of functioning. Older adolescents, those who had been referred for services, and those who had sustained emotional, sexual or physical abuse were most likely to be in early terminating relationships. So were married volunteers between the ages of 26 and 30 and those with lower incomes. Others factors including race, gender and relationship quality were also found to be related to earlier terminations.
KEY WORDS: Interpersonal Interaction; Mentor; Prediction; Program Evaluation; Volunteer Work.

Hardill, I., & Baines, S. P. (2007). Volunteering for all? Explaining patterns of volunteering and identifying strategies to promote it. Policy & Politics, 35(3), 395-412.


This study examines policy on volunteer work in the UK, where this type of work has become associated with training and retraining for the workplace. The authors emphasize limitations of instrumental approaches to volunteering work and based on a neo-Durkheimian framework, they explore how far the patterns of volunteering can be explained by the underlying institutional factors of strong and weak social regulation and social integration.
KEY WORDS: Volunteering; Gender; Motivation; Neo-Durkheim Institutional Theory.

Hopkins, S. (2000). VET and the voluntary sector: Dealing with ambiguities. Working Paper. Australia; Victoria: Australian National Training Authority, Melbourne.


Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 1994-95 survey indicate that about one-fifth of the adult population volunteers and an estimated value of their work is 3% of the gross national product, $12.5 billion. Because volunteer training is neglected in the National Strategy for Vocational Education and Training (VET), a seminar was conducted to identify volunteer training issues. Participants presented a number of insights such as, ideally, organizations should have a mix of volunteers and paid personnel and that volunteer experience is a valuable indicator of employability. It was also indicated that better delivery of training would improve satisfaction. Constraints around volunteer training include cost, loss of investment when volunteers leave, tensions between paid and unpaid workers, and lack of capacity. Lastly, there was strong anecdotal support found for volunteer work as a significant path to paid work. Participants demonstrated a support for national Training Packages, if used selectively and sensitively. The choice of undergoing formal assessments involved in the Training Packages should be left to the volunteer.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Employment Potential; Foreign Countries; Government Role; Job Training; Personnel Management; Policy Formation; Public Service; Service Learning; Student Evaluation; Vocational Education; Volunteer Training; Volunteers; Work Experience; Volunteer Work.

Huang, Y.-Y. (2001). Women's contradictory roles in the community: A case study of the Community Development Project in Taiwan. International Social Work, 44(3), 361-373.


This article explores women's positioning in the Taiwanese Community Development Project. It examines the qualitative changes in styles of women's community involvement from the 1960s to present-day. In particular, it analyses how the state uses community work as a means of social control. For example, community involvement can be used to reinforce patriarchal family relations, and to manipulate women as a reserve army of labor intended to meet the need for cheap labor in the export-oriented industrialization process of the 1970s.
KEY WORDS: Community Development; Human Females; Sex Roles; Social Control; Trends; Volunteer Work.

Hustinx, L. (2007). Brave new volunteers? The value of paid and unpaid work for Flemish Red Cross volunteers. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 18(1), 73-89.


This paper considers the current debate on the changing position and meaning of paid work in Western societies. In the wake of a structural crisis of fulltime employment, a new role and potential is attributed to voluntary work. With data drawn from a survey of Red Cross volunteers in Flanders (Belgium), this research assesses empirically the value volunteers attach to paid and unpaid work and their disposition to combine paid and unpaid work more flexibly. Contrary to current theorizing about the advent of a brave new world of work, this study provides evidence for a continuing existence of strong paid work orientations, even among a population that actually performs unpaid work. Moreover, it is not the economic (dis)embedding of volunteers, but the extent and nature of their social participation that primarily explains the strength of paid work orientation and the propensity to tailor paid work more flexibly to volunteer work.
KEY WORDS: Post-Fordism; New work Society; Transitional Labor; Civic Work; Red Cross Volunteering; Flanders.

Hustinx, L., & Lammertyn, F. (2003). Collective and reflexive styles of volunteering: A sociological modernization perspective. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 14(2), 167-187.


This paper presents examines the changing nature of volunteering through the lens of sociological modernization theories. It is argued that volunteer involvement should be recognized as a biographically embedded reality, and a new analytical framework of collective and reflexive styles of volunteering can be constructed along the lines of the ideal-typical biographical models that are outlined by modernization theorists. Approaches of volunteering can be understood as basically multidimensional, multiform, and multilevel in nature. Both structural-behavioral and motivational-attitudinal volunteering characteristics are explored with regard to six different dimensions: the biographical frame of reference, the motivational structure, the course and intensity of commitment, the organizational environment, the choice of (field of) activity, and the relation to paid work.
KEY WORDS: Changing Nature of Volunteering; Voluntarism; Styles of Volunteering; Volunteer Work.

Isham, J., Kolodinsky, J., & Kimberly, G. (2006). The effects of volunteering for nonprofit organizations on social capital formation: Evidence from a statewide survey. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 35(3), 367-383.


As membership in civic organizations declines in the United States, could volunteering for civic organizations be an alternative source of social capital formation? After theoretically connecting volunteering with social capital using a household production framework, the authors then use a unique data set from Vermont to estimate the determinants of the probability of receiving a social capital benefit and the level of such a benefit. The probability of receiving a social capital benefit from one's most important nonprofit organization is increased: (a) if it is a religious or social service organization, (b) if one increases their volunteering for the organization, and (c) if one is female, college educated, or in a two-parent family. However, the relative magnitude of volunteering is similar, or relatively small, compared to the other significant determinants. An increase of volunteer hours does increase levels of social capital; however, the magnitude of this effect is also relatively small.
KEY WORDS: Social Capital; Membership, Volunteering; Civic Organizations; Civic Organizations.

Itzhaky, H., & York, A. S. (2002). Showing results in community organization. Social Work, 47(2), 125-131.


This article begins by describing a community organization program that lasted for 6 years in a stigmatized neighborhood in the center of Israel. The program focused on increasing the autonomy of the community, empowering its residents, and collaborating among the human services workers and between them and the resident leaders. Results indicated a large increase in community activists; strong and statistically significant increases in self-esteem and mastery of surroundings; increase in family, service delivery, and community empowerment among the activists, and the participation of residents and outsiders to build their own homes.
KEY WORDS: Communities; Community Services; Cooperation; Empowerment; Program Evaluation; Community Work.

Kim, S., & Feldman, D. C. (2000). Working in retirement: The antecedents of bridge employment and its consequences for quality of life in retirement. Academy of Management Journal, 43(6), 1195-1210.


Using a continuity theory of aging, this article utilizes survey responses from 371 (mean age 59 yrs) retiring professors to examine bridge employment. The acceptance of bridge employment was positively associated with excellent health, organizational tenure, and having working spouses and dependent children. Findings indicated that age and salary were inversely related to accepting bridge employment. Bridge employment was strongly linked to retirement satisfaction and overall life satisfaction. Volunteer work and leisure activity complemented bridge employment in assisting with the transition to retirement.
KEY WORDS: Occupations; Quality of Life; Retirement; Volunteer Work.

Lam, P.-Y. (2002). As the flocks gather: How religion affects voluntary association participation. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41(3), 405-422.

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Using data from Queen's U's (1996) "God & Society in North America" survey, this study investigates the relationship between different dimensions of religiosity & voluntary association participation. It explores the participatory, devotional, affiliative, & theological dimensions of religiosity & examines the affects on voluntary association participation at three different levels: membership, volunteering, & serving on a committee. The findings demonstrate that all four religious dimensions have distinctive influences on secular voluntary association participation.


KEY WORDS: Religiosity; Volunteers; Associations; Social Participation; Membership; Committees; Volunteer Work.

Lamoureux, H. (2002). The danger of a diversion of meaning. The scope and the limits of volunteer work. Nouvelles Pratiques Sociales, 15(2), 77-86.


In this article, the author attempts to evaluate the meaning that we to voluntary help when this practice is subjected to a double tension. On the one hand, in a context of market globalization and investments, the liberal state restructures its spheres of intervention: it is "less providential." On the other hand, in mass consumption societies, the family tends not to be the first source of aid in times of difficulties. In such a context, is it possible to think of voluntary commitment as the object of a diversion of meaning?
KEY WORDS: Volunteers; Meaning; State Society Relationship; Welfare State; Volunteer Work.

Lichter, D. T., Shanahan, M. J., & Gardner, E. L. (2002). Helping others? The effects of childhood poverty and family instability of prosocial behavior. Youth and Society, 34(1), 89-119.


This article explores the relationship between poverty and family instability during childhood on prosocial behavior - volunteerism - during late adolescence. Because the 1996 Young Adult supplements of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) are linked to mother and family records from the 1979-1996 the main NLSY sample was used. Specifically, life history records spanning childhood and adolescence were utilized. Findings indicate that adolescent males from single-parent are less likely than those growing up in married-couple households to be involved in volunteer work. Volunteerism is more strongly linked to time spent in poverty among females than males. The results support a mediational model, where negative effects of childhood social and economic disadvantages on later prosocial behavior occur indirectly through effects on socioemotional development and life experiences during adolescence. These findings inform current concerns about putative declines in a civil society and the elevation of individualism over communalism among today's young people.
KEY WORDS: Poverty; Volunteers; Adolescents; Childhood Factors; Family Stability; Social Background; Adolescent Development; Disadvantaged; United States of America; Volunteer Work.

Luoh, M.-C., & Herzog, A. R. (2002). Individual consequences of volunteer and paid work in old age: Health and mortality. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 43(4), 490-509.


This paper employs data from Waves 3 & 4 of the Asset & Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) Study to (1) investigate the impact on health measured as self-reported health & activities of daily living (ADL) functioning limitations & to (2) explore possible causes. Using multinomial logistic regression analysis, volunteer & paid work over at Wave 3 were related to poor health & death, controlling for health measured at Wave 2 & for other predictors of poor health & death. Findings indicate that performing more than 100 annual hours of volunteer and paid work have significant protective effects against subsequent poor health & death. Subsequent analyses also suggest that volunteer and paid work over 100 annual hours is not related to health outcomes. Moreover, physical exercise and mental health measured explain not entirely overlapping parts of the relationship between productive activities & health.
KEY WORDS: Elderly; Volunteers; Employment; Health; Activities of Daily Living; Volunteer Work.

MacLeod, M. W. (2000). Quiet power: Women volunteer leaders. Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 61(5), 2064-A.


This study explores power and gender in the lives of women leaders of elite nonprofits in Boston during the mid 1980's. This was a period characterized by great transition, changing definitions of acceptable female behavior, and financial pressure on those nonprofit organizations dependent on fundraising from traditional upper class sources. Alternate definitions of power were derived from the attitudes and practices of the older generation of volunteers. An effective leadership style referred to as "quiet power" emerges because it encourages high levels of participation and consensus building. Employing this leadership style, upper class and upper middle class leaders were able to both reinforce and make flexible the boundaries of class. At the same time, their private family lives reveal the power inherent in the caring activities of the dependent and deferential in these settings. Serious volunteer work provides these women with the means and opportunity to play out a kind of integrative form of power which is foundational to both familial and community life. Extensive interview and observation data illustrate the range of apparently contradictory perspectives that are ultimately resolved by making visible the quiet forms of power.
KEY WORDS: Volunteers; Females; Leadership; Social Power; Nonprofit Organizations; Boston, Massachusetts; Volunteer Work.

Martin, F. (2003). The changing configurations of inequality in post-industrial society: Volunteering as a case study. Alternate Routes, 19, 79-108.


This paper explores the relationship between volunteer work and postindustrial society focusing on a homeless assistance program in Melbourne, Australia. The influence of structural adjustment on welfare policy is evaluated, bringing attention to the emergence of nongovernmental organizations. Reasons for volunteering and perspectives on the assistance program are surveyed. The transition of the welfare state from one of state responsibility to one that emphasizes individualism is examined with examples of Australia's policy reforms.
KEY WORDS: Welfare Reform; Volunteers; Nongovernmental Organizations; Social Programs; Homelessness; Postindustrial Societies; Australia; Volunteer Work.

Mattis, J. S., Beckham, W. P., Saunders, B. A., Williams, J. E., McAllister, D. Y., Myers, V., et al. (2004). Who will volunteer? Religiosity, everyday racism, and social participation among African American Men. Journal of Adult Development, 11(4), 261-272.

This article investigated the relative importance of everyday racism, empathic concern, communalism, and religiosity as predictors of pro-social involvement of a sample of African American men (N=151). Findings indicated that Involvement in church was a positive predictor that African American men were involved in volunteer work as well as the number of hours that they devoted to volunteer work. Communalism positively predicted the amount of time (in hours per year) that men were engaged in volunteer work. Subjective religiosity and the stress of everyday racism were associated with a greater probability of being a member of a political-social justice organization.
KEY WORDS: Blacks; Human Males; Political Participation; Racism; Religiosity; Community Involvement; Empathy; Volunteers; Volunteer Work.

Mattis, J. S., Jagers, R. J., Hatcher, C. A., Lawhon, G. D., Murphy, E. J., & Murray, Y. F. (2000). Religiosity, volunteerism, and community involvement among African American men: An exploratory analysis. Journal of Community Psychology, 28(4), 391-406.


Social activists contend that African American males must play a prominent role as volunteers in social programs that affect the African American community. One hundred and seventy-one African American men aged 17-79 yrs participated in this study. This paper examined the relative effectiveness of social capital, communalism, and religiosity variables as predictors of volunteerism, membership in community-based as well as political and social justice organizations, and the number of hours males were dedicated to volunteer work each year. Church involvement was linked to a greater likelihood of volunteering and a greater likelihood to be a member of a community-based organization. Men scoring higher on communalism, and men who were more involved in church life dedicated more time to volunteering in each year. A multifaceted relationship emerged between age, education, and the various participation outcomes.
KEY WORDS: Blacks; Communities; Human Males; Religiosity; Volunteers; Activism; Involvement; Prosocial Behavior; Volunteer Work.

Merkes, M., & Wells, Y. (2003). Women of the Baby Boom generation and unpaid work: What are the indications for the future? Australasian Journal on Ageing, 22(4), 186-190.


This article explores the indications for changes in the provision of unpaid work in the future, in particular, the potential future contribution of unpaid work carried out by women of the baby boom generation. Data from the Healthy Retirement Project were used to assess the views of 1,359 women from the baby boom generation concerning voluntary work in retirement. Focus groups explored in more depth the views of female baby boomers regarding paid and unpaid work after the age of 65. A large proportion of female baby boomers plan to provide unpaid caring and community work after their retirement. Women in the baby boom generation were just as likely as their predecessors to be volunteers and to be looking forward to having more time for voluntary work in retirement. Women were more likely to anticipate having more time for voluntary work in retirement if they were previously involved in voluntary work and in good health. The provision of unpaid work in Australia is expected to increase, as the proportion of older people in the population increases.
KEY WORDS: Females; Caregivers; Australia; Retirement; Volunteers; Middle Aged Adults; Volunteer Work.

Miller, K. D., Schleien, S. J., Rider, C., Hall, C., Roche, M., & Worsley, J. (2002). Inclusive volunteering: Benefits to participants and community. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 36(3), 247-259.


This article examines the benefits of volunteerism for people with disabilities as well as their non-disabled peers and the organization in which they served. Participants in this study were college students who were matched with adolescents from a local school for students with disabilities. After two semesters of volunteer work for a local museum, participants reported the benefits which were then evaluated. The article concludes by highlighting the benefits for all participants.
KEY WORDS: College Students; Developmental Disabilities; Higher Education; Program Effectiveness; Program Evaluation; School Community Relationship; Special Education; Student Volunteers; Volunteer Work.

Moen, P., Fields, V., Meador, R., & Rosenblatt, H. (2000). Fostering integration: A case study of the Cornell Retirees Volunteering in Service (CRVIS) program. In K. Pillemer (Ed.), Social integration in the second half or life (pp. 247-265). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.


This chapter discusses the issues relating to the growing numbers of American retirees who are spending more years in retirement and the need to design more effective social opportunities and roles for this population. The authors propose that, since retirees are now younger, healthier, and more capable than ever in history, they are creating a new life stage. This population represents an important untapped reserve of human capital that can support community service. The authors recommend that fostering integration in retirees in relation to volunteering is not only advantageous to society, but also promotes the social integration of this growing segment of the population. Challenges arise when considering how to give volunteer work the same sense of purposive activity, collegiality, and salience it accords to paid work. The chapter concludes by suggesting corporate retiree volunteer programs, which offer strategies to move from paid work for their company to volunteer services as they retire, may be one solution to the problem.
KEY WORDS: Employee Assistance Programs; Retirement; Social Integration; Volunteers; Volunteer Work.

Mook, L., Handy, F., & Quarter, J. (2007). Reporting volunteer labour at the organizational level: A study of Canadian nonprofits. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 18(1), 55-71.


Volunteer contributions in the production of services are an important resource internationally. However, few countries include volunteer contributions in their national accounts, even though many encourage their populations to engage in volunteering. At the organizational level, many nonprofit organizations using volunteers often limit their input to a footnote in annual reports acknowledging their contribution; few estimate their value in financial terms. As a result, their financial accounts lack information upon which to base decisions affecting the organizations and the communities they serve. Additional information is required to assess the impact of volunteers in individual nonprofits as well as the sector as a whole. This study focuses on Canada, one of the few countries that include volunteers in the national accounts, to examine to what extent nonprofit organizations estimate a financial value for these contributions and include this in their financial statements. This paper reports the results of an online survey of 661 nonprofits from across Canada. In order to understand why some organizations keep records for volunteer contributions and quantify them, two sets of explanatory factors are explored: organizational characteristics and the attitude of the executive director. We find larger organizations were more likely to engage in record keeping and estimating volunteer value, as were organizations with a relatively large group of volunteers and volunteer programs. The attitude of the executive director is important in determining which organizations engage in these practices.
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