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URA Archive
Scholars 2008 - 2009

April Melton and Monica Talcott, Social Work

"Motivation Behind Volunteering Versus Not Volunteering in the Aging Population"
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Laura Ting
Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2009
Contact: amel2@umbc.edu, Mtalcot1@umbc.edu

Monica Talcott, April Melton

The purpose of this study is to increase our understanding of volunteerism among the aging population. Specifically, the goal and research question is to explore the motivation behind volunteering or not volunteering in the over 65 age group, as well as benefits and disincentives associated with volunteering. A qualitative study with a grounded study approach will be conducted with 40 men and women over 65 from diverse racial, ethnic, economic and educational backgrounds to explore any differences or similarities in their motivations. Data will be collected, transcribed and analyzed using Atlas.ti software. Research on understanding the motivation of volunteers and non-volunteers, including perceived benefits and disadvantages, is important as this knowledge may assist in the development of new policies that ‘best promote productive aging” (Kim, Kang, Lee & Lee, 2007, p. 69) have clinical implications for practitioners working with the elderly, as well as impact agency administrators’ efforts to recruit and retain volunteers.