Volunteering by older adults and risk of mortality: a meta-analysis.

@article{Okun2013VolunteeringBO,
  title={Volunteering by older adults and risk of mortality: a meta-analysis.},
  author={Morris A. Okun and Ellen W Yeung and Stephanie L. Brown},
  journal={Psychology and aging},
  year={2013},
  volume={28 2},
  pages={
          564-77
        }
}
Organizational volunteering has been touted as an effective strategy for older adults to help themselves while helping others. Extending previous reviews, we carried out a meta-analysis of the relation between organizational volunteering by late-middle-aged and older adults (minimum age = 55 years old) and risk of mortality. We focused on unadjusted effect sizes (i.e., bivariate relations), adjusted effect sizes (i.e., controlling for other variables such as health), and interaction effect… 

Tables from this paper

Volunteering and mortality risk: a partner-controlled quasi-experimental design.

This study provides further evidence that the lower mortality associated with volunteering is unlikely to be due to health selection or to residual confounding arising from unmeasured selection effects within households, and increases the plausibility of a direct causal effect.

The health advantage of volunteering is larger for older and less healthy volunteers in Europe: a mega-analysis

A small but consistently positive association between changes in volunteering and changes in health within individuals is indicated, and volunteering may protect older and less healthy adults from health decline in the long run.

Volunteer Retirement and Well-Being in Older Adults: A Longitudinal Study

The extant literature on volunteering has focused primarily on the many benefits of volunteering for older adults. However, the question rarely investigated is whether these benefits dissipate when

The benefits of investing in others: volunteering and longevity based on analysis of obituary data

Previous research suggests giving social support may be a critical component to the health benefits of social relationships (Brown, 2003). The current study aimed to investigate how giving support to

Are volunteering and caregiving associated with suicide risk? A Census-based longitudinal study

Although an increased risk of poor mental health was identified amongst caregivers, there was no evidence of an increasedrisk of suicide among people engaged in prosocial activities of caregiving and/or volunteering.

Volunteering is prospectively associated with health care use among older adults.

The benefits associated with volunteering among seniors: a critical review and recommendations for future research.

The extant evidence provides the basis for a model proposing that volunteering increases social, physical, and cognitive activity which, through biological and psychological mechanisms, leads to improved functioning and that these volunteering-related functional improvements should be associated with reduced dementia risk.

Motivation for volunteering with older adults in a rural community

Motivation for Volunteering With Older Adults in a Rural Community by Tonia Maria Truesdell MS, Walden University, 2005 BA, Finlandia University 2002 Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of

Caregiving, volunteering or both? Comparing effects on health and mortality using census-based records from almost 250,000 people aged 65 and over

There is a large overlap in caregiving and volunteering activities with complex associations with health status, and there is some evidence that combining care Giving and Volunteering activities, for those involved in less intense levels of caregiving, maybe associated with lower mortality risk than associated with either activity alone.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 55 REFERENCES

Volunteering and mortality among older adults: findings from a national sample.

Volunteering has a protective effect on mortality among those who volunteered for one organization or for forty hours or less over the past year, and the protective effects of volunteering are strongest for respondents who report low levels of informal social interaction and who do not live alone.

Motives for volunteering are associated with mortality risk in older adults.

Replicating prior work, respondents who volunteered were at lower risk for mortality 4 years later, especially those who volunteered more regularly and frequently, but volunteering behavior was not always beneficially related to mortality risk: Those who volunteered for self-oriented reasons had a mortality risk similar to nonvolunteers.

Volunteerism and Mortality among the Community-dwelling Elderly

Lower mortality rates for community service volunteers were only partly explained by health habits, physical functioning, religious attendance, and social support, while volunteering was slightly more protective for those with high religious involvement and perceived social support.

Volunteering as a predictor of all-cause mortality: what aspects of volunteering really matter?

  • L. Ayalon
  • Psychology, Medicine
    International Psychogeriatrics
  • 2008
Not all aspects of volunteering have the same predictive value and that the protective effects of length of volunteering time and type of volunteering are particularly important, but whether or not volunteering is the most consistent predictor of mortality is questioned.

Differential Benefits of Volunteering Across the Life Course

Objectives. Studies often fail to adequately test the causal relationship between volunteering and well-being. Yet the media and empirical research have focused attention on the impact of

Does volunteering moderate the relation between functional limitations and mortality?

The Beneficial Effects of Volunteering for Older Volunteers and the People They Serve: A Meta-Analysis

This meta-analysis of thirty-seven independent studies provided the means of inferring not only that elder volunteers' sense of well-being seemed to be significantly bolstered through volunteering, but also that such relatively healthy older people represent a significant adjunct resource for meeting some of the service needs of more vulnerable elders, as well as those of other similarly vulnerable groups such as disabled children.

Volunteering is Associated with Delayed Mortality in Older People: Analysis of the Longitudinal Study of Aging

Testing the hypothesis that frequent volunteering is associated with less mortality risk when the effects of socio-demographics, medical status, physical activity and social integration are controlled found that frequent volunteers had significantly reduced mortality compared to non-volunteers.

Altruism relates to health in an ethnically diverse sample of older adults.

Testing the thesis that giving as well as receiving social support may be of benefit in a large, ethnically diverse sample of community-dwelling older adults found that levels of social support given were associated with lower morbidity, whereas levels of receiving were not.

Individual consequences of volunteer and paid work in old age: health and mortality.

Investigation of the impacts of the productive social activities of volunteer and paid work on health among the oldest Americans suggests that performing more than 100 annual hours of volunteer work and of paid work have independent and significant protective effects against subsequent poor health and death.
...