Self-Esteem, Self-Efficacy, and Social Connectedness as Mediators of the Relationship Between Volunteering and Well-Being

Kevin M. Brown, Russell Hoye, Matthew Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the potentially mediated relationship between volunteering and well-being. Using survey data from a random sample (N = 2,990) of the population of the state of Victoria, Australia, three hypotheses were tested: Volunteers will report higher well-being than nonvolunteers; volunteers will report higher self-esteem, self-efficacy, and social connectedness than nonvolunteers; self-esteem, self-efficacy, and social connectedness will mediate the relationship between volunteer status and well-being. Results supported the hypotheses and showed that self-esteem, self-efficacy, and social connectedness were all significant mediators of the volunteering-well-being relationship. Increased social connectedness associated with volunteering was found to be the strongest first step in these pathways. This points to the importance of social connection for well-being, but future research using longitudinal designs is required to further test these relationships and provide the capacity for evidence of causality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-483
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • self-efficacy
  • self-esteem
  • social connectedness
  • volunteering
  • Well-being

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