What predicts Australian university students' intentions to volunteer their time for community service?
Article first published online: 5 FEB 2013
© 2013 The Australian Psychological Society
Australian Journal of Psychology
Volume 65, Issue 3, pages 135–145, September 2013
How to Cite
Hyde, M. K. and Knowles, S. R. (2013), What predicts Australian university students' intentions to volunteer their time for community service?. Australian Jnl of Psychology, 65: 135–145. doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12014
- Issue published online: 5 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 5 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 22 AUG 2012
- moral norm;
- theory of planned behaviour;
- university students;
University students represent one target population with great potential to serve as volunteers. The primary focus on describing the characteristics of students who choose to volunteer, however, has resulted in limited understanding of the psychosocial factors impacting on students' decisions to volunteer. To bridge this gap, we used an extension of a well-known theoretical framework, the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), to predict students' intentions to volunteer for community service. Using content and thematic analysis, we explored also students' motivations and constraints for volunteering. Students (N = 235; M age = 22.09 years) self-reported their attitude, normative influences, control perceptions, moral obligation, past behaviour, demographic characteristics, and intentions for volunteering via questionnaire. Regression analyses showed that the extended TPB explained 67% of the variance in students' volunteering intentions. In qualitative analyses, themes primarily represented the factors contributing to low efficacy for volunteering (e.g., time constraints). Control perceptions and perceived moral obligations related to volunteering represent important future targets to encourage student volunteering for organisations providing critical services for those most in need.