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Volunteer work in youth organizations: predicting distinct aspects of volunteering behavior from self- and other-oriented motives


  • This research was supported by a postdoctoral research grant of the Special Research Fund of Ghent University, awarded to Ilse Cornelis.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ilse Cornelis, Thomas More Kempen, Kleinhoefstraat 4, 2440 Geel, Belgium. E-mail:


This study examined the impact of motivational underpinnings of volunteerism on self-reported volunteer behaviors and satisfaction. Data from 153 volunteers in youth organizations supported a two-dimensional structure of self- and other-oriented motives. Self-oriented motives were more important in explaining in-role volunteer behavior, while other-oriented concerns were also important in predicting extra-role volunteer behavior and satisfaction. These findings are discussed in the context of a functional approach to volunteerism and linked to recent findings regarding the role of self- and other-oriented motives from the organizational literature. Suggestions for recruiting and motivating young volunteers in youth development organizations are presented.