Krageloh, C., & Shepherd, G. (2015). Quality of life of community-dwelling retirement-aged New Zealanders: The effects of volunteering, income, and being part of a religious community. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(6), 2462-2478
Contact corresponding author: Chris Krageloh
Previous research highlighted the beneficial effects of volunteering, income and employment, and religiousness in older adults, but not the interrelationships between these variables and their effects on quality of life. In the present study, 399 community-dwelling retirement-aged New Zealanders completed the WHOQOL-BREF quality of life questionnaire and questions about their volunteering and employment activities. Path-analysis models tested the direct and indirect effects of these variables on quality of life. While employment was not a significant predictor, volunteering was positively associated with physical, psychological, and environment quality of life, and religious community membership predicted psychological and social quality of life, although effects were small.
Volunteering did not mediate the relationship between religious community membership and quality of life. Volunteering and religious community membership thus provide independent QOL benefits, and future work may model their unique effects by including measures of feeling a sense of meaning and purpose as potential mediating variables.