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APPLYING THEORIES OF INSTITUTIONAL HELPING TO INFORMAL VOLUNTEERING: MOTIVES, ROLE IDENTITY, AND PROSOCIAL PERSONALITY

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Abstract:

Dispositional variables from a volunteer model were shown to apply to informal volunteering. The model integrates two theories of the volunteer process: functional analysis and role identity theory. Undergraduates, (N = 139), completed an informal volunteer inventory, and measures of motives, role identity, and prosocial personality. Two dimensions of informal volunteering: people-oriented and task-oriented were revealed. Both correlated with motives for helping and role identity. The personality dimension of Helpfulness was associated with both Informal Volunteering – People (IVP) and Informal Volunteering – Task (IVT), while Other-oriented Empathy correlated only with IVP. This study is the first to demonstrate the applicability of a model of formal volunteering to ongoing informal helping. Variables heretofore conceptualized as describing individuals within organizations, are seen as equally important in initiating and sustaining informal helping.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2007.35.1.101

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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