Either you’re copywriting for an assignment or really interested in the benefits of volunteerism. Either way, I’m gonna help cause case studies are the basis for this post and there are references below. When we look at the word ‘volunteerism’, we don’t mean voluntary action, we’ll usually mean participation in voluntary labor activities like clean-up duties or sponsoring an AA member. That is if use Google’s definition. Since Google’s definitions are more famous, we’ll look at ‘volunteerism’ in that perspective. Volunteerism mainly exists in two forms of motivation, other-oriented or self-oriented. Meaning you either volunteer for yourself or others. Today, we’ll be looking at the benefits of volunteerism and how strong each type motivation is.
Benefits of Volunteerism
When we do volunteer work, we usually do it to help someone, impress someone, and to feel good about ourselves. However, who knew that volunteerism has a surprising number of health benefits. The study we’re using takes a look at how strongly does self-oriented and others-oriented volunteering affects various health condition such as mental and physical health, life satisfaction, social well-being, and depression. The studies we use based their research on the Survey of Texas Adults 2004, meaning that the results are not applicable for children or international adults. Also, due to the year when the survey was done, if the study is done today, we might have different results. Since that’s put out, let’s look at each condition. Do take note, this study involves hypothesis testing, type II error.
1. Physical Health
Participants of this study gave their answer through a 5-point scale system, with ‘5’ being poor and ‘1’ being the ‘excellent’. Statistically speaking, volunteering for others’ β-value is 0.087 and P-value is less than 0.01. This gives us a reliable prediction that other-oriented volunteering does boost physical health. The increase in physical health is roughly at 9.08%. For self-oriented, the β-value is 0.069 and the P-value is less than 0.05. This reliably predicts that self-oriented volunteering does boost physical health too. However, the increase is slightly lower, roughly at 7.14%.
2. Mental Health
Participants of this study gave their answer through the same system again. The β-value for others-volunteering for this study is 0.087 and P is under 0.01 Again, this means the prediction of better mental health is reliable. The estimated increase of mental health for others-oriented volunteering is 8.54%. The values of β is 0.63 and P is less than 0.05 for self-oriented. This, again, reliably predicts positive results. The estimated increase is 6.5%.
3. Life Satisfaction
Participants of this study also gave their answer through a scale system, but the points have been changed from 5 to 4. In this study, the options also have changed, with “I LOVE living” being 1 and “I hate
life” being 4. The β-value for others-oriented is 0.071 and the P-value is under 0.01. This reliably predicts positive results, again. The increase in life satisfaction is around 7.35%. The β-value for self-motivated volunteering is 0.036 and the P-value is under 0.05. Again, same reliable positive prediction. The increase, however, is significantly lower than its counterpart, around 3.66%. This shows that the motivation for volunteering plays a major role in benefits of volunteerism.
4. Social Well-being
Two questions are given in this part of the survey. The first is “I’m lacking companionship”, the second is “I feel isolated”. The questions use a five-point scale of agreeability. The β-value for others-motivation is 0.106 and the P-value is under 0.01. Again, the result is the same type of prediction. The increase of social well-being after volunteering, however, is a massive 11.11%. The β-value for the counterpart is 0.053 and P-value is under 0.05. Same reliability of the prediction. However, the increase is substantially lower around 5.44%.
Five questions are given, all relating to how one feels. The answering scale is a scale of how many times you feel that feeling per day. The β-value and P-value for other-oriented is -0.044 and under 0.05 respectively and this reliably predicts that volunteering because of other does decrease depression. The decrease is roughly around 4.3%. The β-value and P-value for self-motivated volunteering is -0.021 and above 0.05 respectively. In a hypothesis testing, this means the prediction that self-motivated volunteering decrease depression is highly unreliable.
Like for many actions, the benefits of volunteerism and the effectiveness of each benefit highly depends on the motivation behind the action. So to summarize, volunteerism does have benefits and each benefit’s effectiveness depends on the motivation. Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll have a wonderful day.