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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
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Academic Editor: Scott J. Hunter
Behav. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6040020
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 September 2016 / Published: 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
MDPI and ACS Style

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6040020

AMA Style

Elias JK, Sudhir P, Mehrotra S. Long-Term Engagement in Formal Volunteering and Well-Being: An Exploratory Indian Study. Behavioral Sciences. 2016; 6(4):20. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6040020

Chicago/Turabian Style

Elias, Jereesh K., Paulomi Sudhir, and Seema Mehrotra. 2016. "Long-Term Engagement in Formal Volunteering and Well-Being: An Exploratory Indian Study" Behavioral Sciences 6, no. 4: 20. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs6040020

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