Intersections of Home, Health, and Social Engagement in Old Age: Formal Volunteering as a Protective Factor to Health After Relocation

Ernest Gonzales, Huei Wern Shen, Tam E. Perry, Yi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aims to further our understanding of formal volunteering as a protective mechanism for health in the context of housing relocation and to explore race, gender, and education as moderators. A quasi-experimental design evaluated the effects of volunteering on older adults’ health (self-report health, number of instrumental activities of daily living [IADLs], and depressive symptoms) among individuals who relocated but did not volunteer at Time 1 (N = 682) in the Health and Retirement Study (2008–2010). Propensity score weighting examined health differences at Time 2 between 166 volunteers (treated) and 516 nonvolunteers (controlled). Interaction terms tested moderation. Individuals who moved and engaged in volunteering reported higher levels of self-rated health and fewer IADL difficulties compared to the control group. Race moderated the relationship between volunteering and depressive symptoms, while gender moderated the relationship between volunteering and self-assessed health. Formal volunteering protects different dimensions of health after relocation. Volunteering was particularly beneficial for females and older Whites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-53
Number of pages23
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • formal volunteering
  • health
  • health equity
  • protective factors
  • relocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Intersections of Home, Health, and Social Engagement in Old Age: Formal Volunteering as a Protective Factor to Health After Relocation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this