Formal volunteering as a protector of health in the context of social losses

Publication Abstract

Jang, Heejung, Fengyan Tang, Ernest Gonzales, Yung Soo Lee, and Nancy Morrow-Howell. 2018. "Formal volunteering as a protector of health in the context of social losses." Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 61(8): 834-848.

This study aims to examine the effect of the death of a family member or friend on psychological well-being, specifically the moderating effects of first-time volunteering and social network. With the sample of 354 volunteers from the Experience Corps® (EC) programs, Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) estimated the differences in psychological well-being. Among volunteers who had experienced the death of a family member or friend, new volunteers showed significant improvement in positive affect compared to experienced volunteers. EC members gained additional social contacts through volunteering. Formal volunteering has a salutatory effect on older adults' health after the loss of family members.


Volunteering, positive affect, negative affect, social isolation, social contact, role loss

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