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Volunteering and well-being: is pleasure-based rather than pressure-based prosocial motivation that which is related to positive effects?


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to María L. Vecina, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Campus de Somosaguas, 28223 Madrid, Spain. E-mail:


This article seeks to establish whether prosocial motivation in a sample of 251 volunteers is based on pleasure and not on pressure, which is related to the states of general well-being (hedonic and eudaimonic measures) and the various states of well-being specifically associated with volunteerism (volunteer satisfaction, volunteer engagement, and study enjoyment), all of this irrespective of the age of the volunteers. An analysis of partial correlations and linear regression leads to the conclusion that volunteerism undertaken as a non-obligatory, planned helping activity, sustained over time and within an organizational context, is not always associated with positive effects in terms of well-being. It seems that these positive effects are related to pleasure-based prosocial motivation.