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Volunteering and its relationship with personal and neighborhood well-being
journal contributionposted on 01.02.2009, 00:00 authored by David MellorDavid Mellor, Yoko Hayashi, Mark StokesMark Stokes, L Firth, L Lake, M Staples, S Chambers, Robert CumminsRobert Cummins
Although a relationship between volunteering and well-being has been demonstrated in numerous studies, well-being has generally been poorly operationalized and often defined by the relative absence of pathology. In this study, the authors take a positive approach to defining well-being and investigate the relationship between volunteering and personal and neighborhood well-being. The theoretical approach incorporates elements of the homeostatic model of well-being. A sample of 1,289 adults across Australia completed a questionnaire that assessed personal and neighborhood wellbeing, personality factors, and the psychosocial resources implicated in the homeostatic model of well-being. Analyses reveal that volunteers had higher personal and neighborhood well-being than nonvolunteers and that volunteering contributed additional variance in well-being even after psychosocial and personality factors were accounted for. The findings are discussed in terms of previous research and the homeostatic model of well-being, and it is argued that the relationship between volunteering and well-being is robust.