Why University Students Volunteer? Comparisons across Six Countries



Although participation in volunteering and motivations to volunteer (MTV) have received substantial attention within national contexts, particularly in the United States, few studies compared and explained these issues across cultural and political contexts. In this study, we contrast how two theoretical perspectives, social-origins theory and signaling theory, explain country variations of rates of volunteering and MTV. Our study includes a sample of 5,794 students from six countries. The findings provide strong support for the signaling theory but less so for the social-origins theory. We conclude that volunteering is a personal decision and thus is influenced more at a micro level and less response to macro level societal forces.
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Lucas Meijs