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Psychol Aging. 1998 Dec;13(4):608-21.

Motivation to volunteer by older adults: a test of competing measurement models.

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Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe 82287-1104, USA.


Four measurement models of the structure of motivation to volunteer were evaluated in 2 samples of older (minimum age = 50 years), active volunteers. Motivation to volunteer was assessed with the Volunteer Functions Inventory. Whereas no support was found for either unidimensional or bipartite models, qualified support was observed for both 6-factor and 2nd-order factor models. The best fit of the data was obtained with the 6-factor model of motivation to volunteer (career, enhancement, protective, social, understanding, and values). Contrary to the prediction derived from the 2nd-order factor model, the 6 volunteer motives were differentially related to demographic variables and number of hours spent volunteering for the organization during the past year. Implications for assessing motivation to volunteer among older adults and recruiting older adults as volunteers are discussed.

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