Religious vs Secular volunteering motivations: A study on European elders

Antonio Ariza-Montes, Pilar Tirado-Valencia, Vicente Fernández-Rodríguez, Mark Hager


The reality of volunteering is highly complex. This concept is difficult to define and typify because of the great variety of interpretations, motivations, socio-demographic variables and cultural aspects that shape the volunteer profile. This work aims to analyze the differential and inter-related impact of socio-demographic and contextual variables, and cultural values on elder volunteer profile in Europe. We thus conduct an empirical study involving the use of a logistic regression model that shows, in probabilistic terms, traits that characterize senior and retired volunteers. Further, we study which variables motivate senior volunteers to a determined type of volunteering. Results from the European Value Study help to explain variable influence on volunteering and confirm that cultural values impact among elder people, both, election to volunteering activities and decisions regarding which kind of activity volunteers are drawn to. By analyzing two types of volunteering (religious and secular) that are supposed to be motivated by different forces, we conclude that certain values encourage religious volunteering while others stimulate secular volunteering.


social values, volunteering, elderly, types of volunteering

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

RASP - Research on Ageing and Social Policy | ISSN: 2014-671X

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