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Open AccessArticle

Socially Active Aging and Self-Reported Health: Building a Sustainable Solidarity Ecosystem

1
Departamento de Dirección y Organización de Empresas, Escuela de Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
2
Departamento de Psicología y Sociología, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
3
Departamento de Dirección y Organización de Empresas, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas, Universidad de Zaragoza, 44003 Teruel, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2665; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072665
Received: 19 February 2020 / Revised: 24 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 27 March 2020
Senior volunteering is associated with improved welfare, in addition to contributing to social development. Thus, the involvement of seniors in non-profit organizations (NPO), the third sector, or the social economy is encouraged by European national governments. At the organizational level, the situation for older volunteers in the third sector has improved in recent years, mainly due to European legal regulations. Despite a certain degree of homogenization across European countries, significant national differences persist in the adoption and promotion of volunteering. The present study examines the link between self-reported health and participation in volunteering activities among European seniors, stratified by sex and generation (the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomer Generation). We focus our analysis on seniors living in Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine. Analyses were conducted using empirical micro data from the World Values Survey (WVS; 1994/98, 2005/09 and 2010/14). Our results demonstrate the positive impact of volunteering on health status among the elderly, although we observed marked differences in the associated benefits between sexes, generational cohorts, and countries. Public policies should be developed with this important source of social capital in mind, but should also seek to address existing inequity. View Full-Text
Keywords: ageing; health; non-profit organizations; public policies; social economy; Sustainable Development Goals; volunteering; well-being ageing; health; non-profit organizations; public policies; social economy; Sustainable Development Goals; volunteering; well-being
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Gil-Lacruz, A.; Gil-Lacruz, M.; Saz-Gil, M.I. Socially Active Aging and Self-Reported Health: Building a Sustainable Solidarity Ecosystem. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2665.

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