Do Volunteering and Charity Pay Off? Well-being Benefits of Participating in Voluntary Work and Charity for Older and Younger Adults in Finland
Happiness and health are commonly used well-being indicators, and studies have shown that engaging in voluntary work and charity is associated with increased well-being. However, few studies have analysed the association between volunteering or charity and well-being using nationally representative data from two adult generations. Utilising the Generational Transmissions in Finland surveys collected in 2012, we examined whether volunteering and charity were associated with self-perceived happiness and health in older (born 1945–1950) and younger (born 1962–1993) generations. We found that older adults who engaged in voluntary work were happier than those who did not. Further, younger adults who had made donations to charity were found to be happier than those who had not. With both older and younger generations, we found no correlations between volunteering or charity and self-perceived health. Results are discussed in the light of different life course phases older and younger generations are going through.