*Direct correspondence to E. van Ingen, Department of Sociology, Tilburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands 〈email@example.com〉. The authors will share all data and coding information with those interested in replicating this study. The Netherlands Kinship Panel Study is funded by Grant 480-10-009 from the Major Investments Fund of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam, and Tilburg University.
Does Voluntary Association Participation Boost Social Resources?*
Version of Record online: 6 APR 2010
© 2010 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 91, Issue 2, pages 493–510, June 2010
How to Cite
Van Ingen, E. and Kalmijn, M. (2010), Does Voluntary Association Participation Boost Social Resources?. Social Science Quarterly, 91: 493–510. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2010.00704.x
- Issue online: 6 APR 2010
- Version of Record online: 6 APR 2010
Objectives. Conflicting arguments exist in the literature about whether associational involvement can enhance people's social resources (operationalized as the extent to which people have nearby social networks they can rely on). We aim to test these arguments.
Methods. We use two-wave panel data. These are needed, as a causal relationship is presumed: participation as antecedent and social resources as outcome. To test this relationship, we compared two groups: respondents who became members of an association (between the two waves) and respondents who remained uninvolved.
Results. We found no general membership effect. However, starting volunteer work showed a small, positive effect on the growth of social resources. Furthermore, membership effects were found among groups with fewer possibilities of acquiring social resources in other contexts (the elderly, people without a partner, and ethnic minorities).
Conclusions. In line with the more skeptical ideas about voluntary associations, the effects of voluntary association participation seem small. However, people differ in the extent to which they profit from this participation.