Volunteerism and positive aging in hong kong : A cultural perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-231
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


This study aims to examine factors related to volunteerism and explore the relationship between volunteerism and positive aging across three age groups. A total of 1,170 Hong Kong Chinese respondents aged between 15 years and 79 years were recruited for the study via a random household survey. Results found that age was negatively related to participation in voluntary work. Older adults aged 60 years to 75 years demonstrated the lowest volunteer participation rate compared with younger adults (aged 15 years to 39 years) and midlife adults (aged 40 years to 59 years). Paradoxically, older volunteers exhibited the highest frequency of volunteering, operationalized as spending 10 hours or more on volunteer work in the past month. Compared with younger and midlife adults, older adults were motivated to volunteer by societal concern and esteem enhancement. Participation in voluntary work was associated with three positive aging outcomes: good health, caring engagement with significant others, and productive engagement in the community. The findings suggest great potential in promoting volunteering in old age because older volunteers tend to contribute more hours than younger volunteers do, and volunteering is associated with positive aging. © 2013, Baywood Publishing Co.