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Pers Individ Dif. 2007 Jun 1;42(8):1467-1477.

Unpacking the Relation between Extraversion and Volunteering in Later Life: The Role of Social Capital.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1104.


This study tested the hypothesis that the relation between extraversion and volunteering by older adults is fully mediated by social capital (participation in clubs and organizations, church attendance, and contact with friends). Data for this study come from 888 adults between the ages of 65-90 years old who participated in the Later Life Study of Social Exchanges (LLSSE). In support of our hypothesis, structural equation modeling revealed that extraversion exerted (a) a significant total effect on volunteering (.122), (b) significant indirect effects on volunteering via contact with friends (.042), church attendance (.034), and clubs and organizations (females only: .042), and (c) a non-significant direct effect on volunteering (.010). These findings suggest that social capital provides a viable explanation for the association between extraversion and volunteering.

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