Participation in different types of volunteering at young, middle and older adulthood
Australia Civic participation
Education and training
Sport and recreation
Welfare and community
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AbstractAround 35 % of Australian adults volunteer. It has been found that participation in volunteering varies with life course stage: people tend to participate less in early adulthood, which has been referred to as a 'demographically dense' period, and more in middle adulthood, which has been characterized as a more stable period of life. This paper extends this research to investigate the types of organizations for which people volunteer at different life course stages. This paper uses data from the Negotiating the Life Course project (2003 and 2006) to examine participation in volunteering for different types of organizations. The focus is on the type of organizations for which people volunteer and how that differs in young, middle and older adulthood. There are three dominant types of organizations that people volunteer for: welfare and community, sport and recreation, and education and training, and volunteering with each of these groups varies with a person's life course stage. Younger adults tend to be more likely to volunteer for religious groups. People in middle adulthood, and particularly those with school-aged children, tend to volunteer in sport and recreation groups and education and training organizations, and volunteering with welfare, community and health organizations is dominant in older adulthood.