Motive, role identity, and prosocial personality as predictors of volunteer activity

Marcia A. Finkelstein1, Louis A. Penner2, Michael T. Brannick1
1University of South Florida, United States
2Wayne State University and Research Center for Group Dynamics and University of Michigan, United States
Cite this article:  Finkelstein, M., Penner, L., & Brannick, M. (2005). Motive, role identity, and prosocial personality as predictors of volunteer activity. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 33, 403-418.

Volume 33 Issue 4 | e1406 | Published: June 2005 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.4.403

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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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