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Women's Experiences With Volunteering: A Comparative Analysis by Stages of the Life Cycle


Liat Kulik, School of Social Work, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel. E-mail:


The author conducted a cross-sectional study on experiences with and resources for volunteering among 201 Israeli women at 4 life stages: adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, and late adulthood. The experiences examined were positive responses (satisfaction with volunteering; perceived contribution to others), and negative responses (burnout; difficulties with the provider organization and beneficiaries; sense of sacrifice). The resources examined were family support for volunteer activity and empowerment in volunteering. Women in the oldest group reported greater satisfaction and empowerment than did the adolescents, whereas perceived contribution to others was stronger among the adolescents than among women in the other age groups. Differences were found between the women in the oldest and youngest groups with respect to difficulties in volunteering.