Volunteering among older people in Korea

Jibum Kim, Jeong Han Kang, Min Ah Lee, Yongmo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. Faced with aging societies, there is an immense need to better understand the nature of volunteering outside advanced Western industrial countries. As a case of a rapidly aging society, we identify robust factors associated with elderly volunteering in Korea in terms of a resource framework. Methods. Data were derived from the Social Statistics Survey conducted by the Korea National Statistical Office in 1999 (N = 7.135) and 2003 (N = 8.371). We first determined overall and age-related volunteer rates for Korea compared to the United States. Using logistic regression, we then examined the effects of human, cultural, and social capital variables on volunteering. Results. Approximately 6% of Koreans aged 65 years and older participate in volunteer programs. All human capital variables are positively related with volunteering. For cultural capital, those who identify their religion as Buddhism or Catholicism are more likely to volunteer than those who have no religion. But surprisingly, Protestantism does not consistently promote volunteering across both years. For social capital, older adults who live alone or with a spouse are more likely to volunteer than those living with both a spouse and children. Discussion. In contrast to human capital, cultural and social capital on elderly volunteering appears to be contoured by social contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S69-S73
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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