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Behav. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 20; doi:10.3390/bs6040020

Long-Term Engagement in Formal Volunteering and Well-Being: An Exploratory Indian Study

Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, NIMHANS, Bangalore 560029, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Scott J. Hunter
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 September 2016 / Published: 27 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [241 KB, uploaded 27 September 2016]


Sustained engagement in volunteering and its correlates have been examined in many studies across the globe. However, there is a dearth of research that explores the perspectives of long-term formal volunteers on the nature of changes perceived in oneself as a result of volunteering. Moreover, the linkages between psychological well-being and volunteering have been insufficiently explored. The present study was aimed at addressing these gaps. A heterogeneous sample of 20 long-term formal volunteer engaged in volunteering across different voluntary organisations in a southern metropolitan Indian city formed the primary sample for the study. In addition, a group of 21 short-term volunteers, matched on age, income and gender, was utilised for comparison with long-term volunteers on well-being indices. A semi structured interview schedule was used to explore self-perceived changes attributable to volunteering experience. In addition, a few standardised measures were used to comprehensively assess subjective well-being and psychological well-being. The interview data provided rich descriptions of perceived positive changes in self across cognitive, behavioral and emotional domains. Mirroring these patterns, the quantitative analyses indicated that long-term volunteers experienced higher levels of psychological well-being (sense of mastery and competence, self-acceptance and sense of engagement and growth) than short-term volunteers. The potential mechanisms involved in beneficial outcomes of long-term volunteering and implications for further research are highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: volunteering; formal volunteering; volunteering and well-being; well-being; psychological well-being volunteering; formal volunteering; volunteering and well-being; well-being; psychological well-being
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Elias, J.K.; Sudhir, P.; Mehrotra, S. Long-Term Engagement in Formal Volunteering and Well-Being: An Exploratory Indian Study. Behav. Sci. 2016, 6, 20.

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