Pathways to Late-Life Volunteering: A Focus on Social Connectedness

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Utilizing a mixed-methods research design consisting of two consecutive phases, this study investigates older adults’ perceptions and understanding of social connectedness factors influencing late-life volunteering. In the first phase, quantitative data from the Belgian Ageing Studies project (N = 24,508, from 89 municipalities) was analyzed through regression modeling. In the second, qualitative phase, focus groups with older people were conducted in each of the six research locations, to elucidate and build on the quantitative results. The research findings indicate that formal connectedness is highly influential for both the potential to volunteer and actually doing so. Membership of an association and being a new resident are key determinants for volunteering in later life. Moreover, local policy also functions as an important bridge between long-term residents and new residents in terms of the social structure of the society and the extent to which people are integrated into the community.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly |  

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