Thy will be done: exploring the longitudinal rewards of religious group membership enactment during volunteering

Wakefield, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-9155-9683, Bowe, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-0491-1472 and Kellezi, B. ORCID: 0000-0003-4825-3624, 2021. Thy will be done: exploring the longitudinal rewards of religious group membership enactment during volunteering. British Journal of Social Psychology. ISSN 0144-6665

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The volunteering literature is replete with studies revealing the health benefits of volunteering. This has led psychologists to question whether social processes may help deliver these benefits while also supporting sustained volunteering engagement. The Social Identity Approach (SIA) recognises that volunteering takes place in groups, and sheds light on these processes by providing insights into group dynamics. Specifically, recent work within the Social Cure tradition has revealed the dynamic relationship between volunteering and group identification, and how this can influence health and wellbeing. This study extends previous work by exploring whether the relationship is mediated by the extent to which volunteers feel able to enact their membership of a valued group (specifically their religious group) through their volunteering. People who volunteer with religiously-motivated voluntary groups (N = 194) completed the same online survey twice, three months apart (T1/T2). For participants high in religiosity, T1 identification with their voluntary group positively predicted their sense of being able to enact the membership of their religious group through their voluntary work at T2, which in turn was a positive predictor of T2 mental health and volunteer engagement. The implications of these findings for both the theoretical literature and for voluntary organisations are discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Volunteering as identity enactment
Publication Title: British Journal of Social Psychology
Creators: Wakefield, J., Bowe, M. and Kellezi, B.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 18 June 2021
ISSN: 0144-6665
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 10 Jun 2021 15:26
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2022 03:00

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