Research Proposal PAD 689 Research Methods in Public Administration Presented by: Herbert Schmidt The Effects of Widowhood on Volunteerism
Introduction 1 • Volunteerism flourishes in the United States. • Society must know and understand the dynamics. • The largest retirement in history caused by the Baby Boomers. • How Does Widowhood Affect Volunteerism in Baby-Boomers? • There will be an expected growth in the number of widows and widowers.
Introduction 2 • The ramifications of this population shift have been studied very little. • Relationship of non-profit organizations. • The Baby-Boomer population may be similar to previous generations. • Research must continue with each generation in order to stay current to the needs of the populations.
Summary of Literature 1 • Volunteerism a major source of labor in the United States • 30-year high, Baby Boomers (ages 45 to 64)highest mid-life volunteer rate in years • Older adults (ages 65 and older) has increased 64 percent since 1974 • One in every five Americans 38 million volunteers, about 20.4% • 15.3% are widowed • 16.9% aged 65 and older • In 2003, 27.6% of the population is volunteering representing 59 million people. • Changes in marriage and childbearing behavior may have increased opportunities to recruit mid-life adults
Summary of Literature 2 Changes in Volunteerism • Parents are distracted by children and family commitments, will engage is school-related groups • Teens are becoming involved in volunteerism, need to fulfill community service requirements • People in early years of retirement are more inclined to volunteer because of the newly found free time. This spike in volunteerism then declines until the end of life. • It is understood that humans slow down toward extreme old age.
Summary of Literature 3 Widowhood • Plays a large role in someone’s decision to stay or become an active volunteer • Eliminates a major source of spousal support • Most likely a major trigger provoking an increase in social activities and volunteer participation • Volunteerism mostly focused on informal social participation as opposed to formal social participation • Increases their needs for sources of other social support but will not change their volunteer activities. • Supports the continuation of volunteerism to maintain a level of normalcy • Alack of substantial evidence available about leisure involvement changes resulting from the death of a spouse. • Results showed that widows reduced their involvement. • Well-being is the lead factor in influencing the increase of leisure.
Research Design • Examining the relationships of widowhood on volunteerism within the Baby-Boomer population. • The Baby-Boomers comprise the largest generation in American history. In the midst of retirement. • Understanding how this generation will respond to certain obstacles will allow society to better serve and engage. • Sample groups: • Over 50 Magazine- A source for active adults in their mature years. • Fraternal Unions- These are organizations who provide financial resources for retirement as well as life insurance. • Leisure Organizations- These include cultural clubs, car clubs, social clubs, service clubs, sports clubs, etc. • Retirement Communities- These include assisted living and full service facilities. • Labor Unions- These include individuals from each career associated with the Union.
Hypothesis • True experimental research design: • Independent Variable Widowhood • Dependent Variable Volunteerism • Hypothesis is that becoming a widow or widower will reduce the likelihood that a volunteer will engage in activity. • Caused by a person’s inability to recover from the traumatic effects of the loss of a loved one • Inability to find continued self satisfaction in volunteer pursuits
Data Collection • Indicators • Number of volunteer hours before and after the loss of a partner. • The primary tools for data collection • Random samples within the study groups stated previously will be used to develop a true sampling of the population. • Basic Surveys to determine the types of activities engaged in before and after the loss. • Secondary data will be used and collected from the participating agencies.
Data Analysis Data Analysis will occur thorough the tabulation of the results based upon the following table.
Implications & Limitations • If support hypothesis is found it will support a need to further understand why widows and widowers reduce their volunteerism. • Better support and service • Important in order to get the most out of this valuable volunteer resource. • The research will not be addressing the why in regards to why recently widowed volunteers reduce their volunteering. • Short comings • Baby-Boomer population is only just starting to enter retirement • The scope of this research, Limited to Western New York • The surveys are mostly based upon voluntary feedback.
Thank You! • Further questions may be directed to: Herbert Schmidt PAD 689 Research Methods in Public Administration