Volunteer Work and Hedonic, Eudemonic, and Social Well-Being
Using two waves of panel data from the National Survey of Midlife in the United States (MIDUS), we examine the relationship between volunteer work and three dimensions of well-being: hedonic (e.g., positive mood), eudemonic (e.g., purpose in life), and social (e.g., feeling of belonging to the community). We test for the effects of volunteering measured as a binary and a continuous variable. Results show that volunteering enhances eudemonic and social well-being (but not hedonic well-being) although the number of hours contributed makes no difference. Conversely, people who have greater hedonic, eudemonic, and social well-being are more likely to volunteer and, in the case of hedonic and eudemonic well-being, volunteer more hours. © 2012 Eastern Sociological Society.
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