Motives, Role Identity, and Prosocial Personality as Predictors of Volunteer Activity

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Constructs from the functional analysis and role identity models of volunteerism were combined in a study of activity and tenure among hospice volunteers. The influence of prosocial personality tendencies on sustained volunteer activity was also examined. The findings were most supportive of a role identity model of sustained volunteerism. Identity and perceived expectations emerged as the strongest predictors of both time spent volunteering and length of service. Initial motives for volunteering showed a weaker than expected relationship with volunteerism. Motives were, however, correlated with role identity and perceived expectations in an interpretable and theoretically coherent manner. The results provided preliminary support for a conceptual framework that integrates the functional and identity approaches to understanding long-term volunteers.

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Social Behavior and Personality, v. 33, issue 4, p. 403-418