Unpacking the relation between extraversion and volunteering in later life: The role of social capital

Morris A. Okun, John Pugliese, Karen S. Rook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


This study tested the hypothesis that the relation between extraversion and volunteering by older adults is fully mediated by social capital (participation in clubs and organizations, church attendance, and contact with friends). Data for this study come from 888 adults between the ages of 65-90 years old who participated in the Later Life Study of Social Exchanges (LLSSE). In support of our hypothesis, structural equation modeling revealed that extraversion exerted: (a) a significant total effect on volunteering (0.122), (b) significant indirect effects on volunteering via contact with friends (0.042), church attendance (0.034), and clubs and organizations (females only: 0.042), and (c) a non-significant direct effect on volunteering (0.010). These findings suggest that social capital provides a viable explanation for the association between extraversion and volunteering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1477
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007



  • Church attendance
  • Extraversion
  • Friends
  • Older adults
  • Organizational ties
  • Social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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