Older adult secular volunteering: volunteer engagement pathways for newcomers and longer-term residents in an American community
Clerkin, Richard; Nesbit, Rebecca; Christensen, Robert; Dula, Lauren; Tschirhart, Mary; Paarlberg, Laurie (2015)


When older individuals move, how do they become engaged in their new communities through volunteer work? Using data from a sample of older Americans in one community of residence in North Carolina in United States, we identify pathways to volunteer engagement for older people and demonstrate
how these pathways differ for newcomers and longer-term residents. We also distinguish the differences in pathways between older ‘super volunteers’ and less active ones. For all residents, volunteers are more likely than non-volunteers to report having strong organisational pathways. These
pathways may be religious and secular. However, the effect of having these pathways to volunteering is particularly strong for newcomers. While having weak organisational pathways and personal pathways are more likely to be reported for longer-term residents who volunteer, weak personal pathways
are connected to a lower likelihood of being a super volunteer. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for theory and practice.

Published in