'I want to know why he does good' : exploring the factors involved in formal volunteering behaviour

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Cunningham, Sharon
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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It has been estimated that 29% of the Irish population engage in Formal Volunteering, (Ruddle & Mulvihill, 1999) yet the understanding of the psychology of such behaviour is limited (Snyder & Omoto, 2000). The aim of this study was to investigate the motivational, personality and well-being factors involved in Formal Volunteering. There were 193 (n=193) respondents involved in this study, all recruited from convenience samples. An independent survey design was used, the two independent variables were; volunteer status, with two levels (volunteer and non volunteer) and volunteer group with four levels (crisis, helpline, community and hospice volunteers). The dependant variables were volunteer motivations (with 6 sub-scales), personality traits (with 2 sub-scales) and well-being (with 2 subscales). Statistical significance (p<0.05) was calculated using a series of Mann Whitney-U and Kruskal Wallis tests. These results were interpreted in light of previous research and recommendations for future research direction discussed.