Predictors of Volunteer Time: The Changing Contributions of Motive Fulfillment and Role Identity

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Relationships among constructs from the functional analysis and role identity theories of volunteerism were examined at 3 and 12 months into the volunteer process. Fulfillment of motives for helping and the strength of a volunteer role identity were assessed in a sample of hospice volunteers. Results showed that associations between motive fulfillment and amount of time devoted to hospice volunteering changed over time. Conversely, the correlations between time and role identity varied little between 3 and 12 months. The changes that were observed may explain some apparent discrepancies in the volunteer literature. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies can both yield invaluable insights into the contributions of motive and identity to sustaining volunteers. The challenge is understanding that time can change those conclusions.

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Social Behavior and Personality, v. 36, issue 10, p. 1353-1364.