The Connection between Neighboring and Volunteering


Journal Article

© 2018 American Sociological Association Sociological theory predicts that volunteers are likely to be more socially integrated into their communities than nonvolunteers. In this study, we test this theory by examining three dimensions of relations to neighbors—contact, social engagement, and the perception that neighbors trust each other. We hypothesize reciprocal relations between volunteering and these three measures. Using cross-lagged structural equation models applied to two waves of data from the National Survey of Midlife in the United States (MIDUS), we find that frequency of contact with neighbors is positively related to volunteering, but there is no reciprocal effect. Frequency of social engagement does not predict future volunteering but volunteers tend to become more socially engaged with their neighbors. Perceptions of neighbors as trusting are unrelated to volunteering.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wilson, J; Son, J

Published Date

  • September 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 720 - 736

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-6040

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1535-6841

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/cico.12324

Citation Source

  • Scopus