Promoting volunteering among older adults in Hong Kong: A randomized controlled trial

Da JIANG, Lisa M. WARNER, Alice Ming-Lin CHONG, Tianyuan LI, Julia K. WOLFF, Kee Lee CHOU

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Volunteering has consistently been associated with better mental, physical, and cognitive health in older adulthood. However, the volunteering rate of older adults in Hong Kong is much lower than in Western countries. Few studies have examined whether interventions can be effective in motivating older adults to volunteer in Hong Kong. To fill this gap, we conducted a randomized controlled trial to examine the impact of a theory-based social-cognitive intervention on volunteering.
Research Design and Methods: A total of 264 community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong (Mage = 69.95 years, SDage = 6.90 years, 81.06% female) were randomly assigned to either an experimental group or an active control group. Participants in the experimental group received 4 weekly 1-hr face-to-face volunteering intervention sessions. Those in the active control group received parallel sessions targeting physical activity instead of volunteering. The time spent on volunteering per month was self-reported and measured at baseline, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after the intervention. Self-efficacy, intention, action planning, and self-monitoring of volunteering were measured as mediators.
Results: Monthly volunteering minutes increased among participants in the experimental group when compared with the active control group at 6-week, 3-month, and 6-month follow-ups. Self-efficacy, intention, and action planning consistently mediated the effect of the intervention on volunteering minutes.
Discussion and Implications: The findings demonstrate the effectiveness of the intervention on volunteering behavior in older adults in Hong Kong through well-established behavior change techniques. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-977
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number5
Early online date22 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


Jiang, D., Warner, L. M., Chong, A. M.-L., Li, T., Wolff, J. K., & Chou, K.-L. (2020). Promoting volunteering among older adults in Hong Kong: A randomized controlled trial. The Gerontologist, 60(5), 968-977. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz076


  • Volunteering
  • Older adults
  • Theory-based social–cognitive intervention
  • Randomized controlled trial


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