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Formal Volunteering and Mental Health in South Korea: Does Age Matter?

Manacy Pai1, Joongbaeck Kim2,*

1 Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, 44242, USA
2 Department of Sociology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, 02447, Korea

* Corresponding Author: Joongbaeck Kim. Email: email

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2021, 23(1), 27-42. https://doi.org/10.32604/IJMHP.2021.011996

Abstract

Extensive research shows a positive association between formal volunteering and mental health and this association is stronger for older adults compared to their younger peers. The purpose of our study is to re-examine the link between formal volunteering, age, and mental health in a non-western society, South Korea. We employ two recent waves—years 2012-13 -- of nationally representative data from the Korea Welfare Panel Survey to test the extent to which the relationship between formal volunteering and mental health, as measured by depression, varies across two non-elderly age groups—young adults (18–35) and those middle-aged (36–55). Findings reveal that being a formal volunteer is psychologically more beneficial to young adults compared to their middle-aged counterparts. Understanding the age differential in the link between formal volunteering and depression in South Korea is crucial, given the different economic and sociocultural contexts, at current time, for young adults and their middle-aged peers.

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Cite This Article

Pai, M., Kim, J. (2021). Formal Volunteering and Mental Health in South Korea: Does Age Matter?. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 23(1), 27–42.



cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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