Volunteering and depression: The role of psychological and social resources in different age groups

Marc A Musick, John Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

399 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There are a number of reasons why volunteering might yield mental health benefits, especially to older people. Volunteer work improves access to social and psychological resources, which are known to counter negative moods such as depression and anxiety. Analysis of three waves of data from the Americans' Changing Lives data set (1986, 1989, 1994) reveals that volunteering does lower depression levels for those over 65, while prolonged exposure to volunteering benefits both populations. Some of the effect of volunteering on depression among the elderly is attributable to the social integration it encourages, but the mediating effect of psychological resources is very small. Volunteering for religious causes is more beneficial for mental health than volunteering for secular causes but, again, the effect is confined to the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Fingerprint

age group
Age Groups
Depression
Psychology
Mental Health
mental health
resources
cause
social integration
Insurance Benefits
mood
Volunteers
Anxiety
anxiety
Population
Psychological
Volunteering
Resources
Datasets
Causes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Mental health
  • USA
  • Volunteering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Volunteering and depression : The role of psychological and social resources in different age groups. / Musick, Marc A; Wilson, John.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 56, No. 2, 01.01.2003, p. 259-269.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3e8ba1a18d744be3ba956e45ed712e0f,
title = "Volunteering and depression: The role of psychological and social resources in different age groups",
abstract = "There are a number of reasons why volunteering might yield mental health benefits, especially to older people. Volunteer work improves access to social and psychological resources, which are known to counter negative moods such as depression and anxiety. Analysis of three waves of data from the Americans' Changing Lives data set (1986, 1989, 1994) reveals that volunteering does lower depression levels for those over 65, while prolonged exposure to volunteering benefits both populations. Some of the effect of volunteering on depression among the elderly is attributable to the social integration it encourages, but the mediating effect of psychological resources is very small. Volunteering for religious causes is more beneficial for mental health than volunteering for secular causes but, again, the effect is confined to the elderly.",
keywords = "Aging, Depression, Elderly, Mental health, USA, Volunteering",
author = "Musick, {Marc A} and John Wilson",
year = "2003",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00025-4",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "56",
pages = "259--269",
journal = "Social Science and Medicine",
issn = "0277-9536",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Volunteering and depression

T2 - The role of psychological and social resources in different age groups

AU - Musick, Marc A

AU - Wilson, John

PY - 2003/1/1

Y1 - 2003/1/1

N2 - There are a number of reasons why volunteering might yield mental health benefits, especially to older people. Volunteer work improves access to social and psychological resources, which are known to counter negative moods such as depression and anxiety. Analysis of three waves of data from the Americans' Changing Lives data set (1986, 1989, 1994) reveals that volunteering does lower depression levels for those over 65, while prolonged exposure to volunteering benefits both populations. Some of the effect of volunteering on depression among the elderly is attributable to the social integration it encourages, but the mediating effect of psychological resources is very small. Volunteering for religious causes is more beneficial for mental health than volunteering for secular causes but, again, the effect is confined to the elderly.

AB - There are a number of reasons why volunteering might yield mental health benefits, especially to older people. Volunteer work improves access to social and psychological resources, which are known to counter negative moods such as depression and anxiety. Analysis of three waves of data from the Americans' Changing Lives data set (1986, 1989, 1994) reveals that volunteering does lower depression levels for those over 65, while prolonged exposure to volunteering benefits both populations. Some of the effect of volunteering on depression among the elderly is attributable to the social integration it encourages, but the mediating effect of psychological resources is very small. Volunteering for religious causes is more beneficial for mental health than volunteering for secular causes but, again, the effect is confined to the elderly.

KW - Aging

KW - Depression

KW - Elderly

KW - Mental health

KW - USA

KW - Volunteering

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0037211761&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0037211761&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00025-4

DO - 10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00025-4

M3 - Article

C2 - 12473312

AN - SCOPUS:0037211761

VL - 56

SP - 259

EP - 269

JO - Social Science and Medicine

JF - Social Science and Medicine

SN - 0277-9536

IS - 2

ER -