Volunteer Motives, Role Identities and Sustained Volunteerism: An Intergenerational Comparison

Project: Research

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Growth in the number and prominence of volunteers has been recognised as a significant social phenomenon. In Hong Kong, the government has highly advocated volunteerism. Volunteerism is related to improved quality of life and suggests an interest in perceived and actual attitude change as a function of volunteering. These constructs are potentially important consequences of volunteering. The aim of the anticipated project is to explore and compare the motivations and experiences of Hong Kong Chinese across the generations from teenagers, university students, midlife adults, and elderly volunteers participating in community service projects.The study will investigate the different motives of volunteers participating in community projects and look at differences in experiences and role identities among these four cohorts, particularly the relationship between community service organisations and volunteerism, and its relationship with an individuals’ decision to volunteer and the consequences of volunteering. The project will also look at how volunteerism is sustained and how episodic volunteers might be inclined to become sustained volunteers for other causes or agencies following on from their initial experiences as volunteers. The study will adopt the three-stage conceptual framework of Omoto & Snyder (1995) that identifies psychological and behavioural features associated with the antecedents, experiences, and consequences of volunteerism. Respondents will be asked to complete three volunteerism surveys, one prior to the commencement of a community service project, the second immediately following the closure of the project, and the third a number of months succeeding the project. Subsequent to this will be a qualitative element to the project whereby a proportion of the same respondents participating in the three-stage quantitative framework will be invited to participate in focus groups to discuss in more detail their volunteer motives and experiences, role identities and their views of the sustainment of volunteerism following their involvement in volunteer work.


Project number9041460
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/1028/03/13