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Vitamine V: Gezondheidseffecten van vrijwilligerswerk. 24 mei 2012 Rene Bekkers Filantropische Studies, VU Amsterdam Arjen de Wit Research Master Social Sciences, Universiteit van Amsterdam. 1. 2. Issues to be resolved. What kind of volunteering is most beneficial?

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Vitamine V:Gezondheidseffecten van vrijwilligerswerk

24 mei 2012

Rene Bekkers

Filantropische Studies, VU Amsterdam

Arjen de Wit

Research Master Social Sciences, Universiteit van Amsterdam

1


2


Issues to be resolved

  • What kind of volunteering is most beneficial?

  • What kind of health outcomes are affected by volunteering?

  • How and why does volunteering promote health?

  • How much of the relationship is causal?

3


Strictly speaking…

  • We do not know to what extent volunteering benefits health, and to what extent health benefits volunteering

  • It’s impossible to tell from cross-sectional relationships:

    • To what extent do more healthy individuals self-select into volunteering?

    • To what extent do changes in health affect changes in volunteering and vice versa?

4


Why volunteering benefits health

  • Joy of givinghypothesis: Volunteering has a physiological stress-buffering effect

  • Social network size hypothesis: Volunteering builds networks that may be called upon when in need oneself

  • Personality strength hypothesis: Volunteering enhances psychological well-being that sustains health

5



Results
Results

  • Subjective health: What is the effect of volunteering on self-reported health?

  • And how is the effect mediated by networks and personality strength?

  • Mortality risk: How does the probability to decease differ between volunteers and non-volunteers?

  • And how can this difference be explained?


Volunteering effects on subjective health

Estimates on effects of volunteering (m=27.6%) from random and fixed effects regression models. Source: LASA, 1992-2006 (n=9,860; 2,370; unbalanced panel)

8



Subjective health fixed effects
Subjective health (fixed effects)

Estimates on effects of volunteering (m=27.6%) from fixed effects regression models. Source: LASA, 1992-2009 (n=9,119; 2,339; unbalanced panel)

*p < 0.05** p < 0.01*** p < 0.001



Mortality risk (logit)

*p < 0.05** p < 0.01*** p < 0.001

12



Discussion

  • Are other social activities less beneficial than volunteering?

  • How does the health benefit vary with levels of engagement (number of hours volunteered)?

  • Which variables moderate the health benefit (age, religion, education)?

14


Contact

Dag van de Sociologie, Utrecht

Contact

  • René Bekkers, [email protected]

  • Blog: renebekkers.wordpress.com

  • Twitter: @renebekkers

  • ‘Giving in the Netherlands’, Center for Philanthropic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam: www.geveninnederland.nl


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