Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Janet R. Hutchinson


The findings of this research indicate that volunteering is influenced by a number of factors, one of which is gender. The data used in this study reveal a different profile of the volunteer than is presented in much of the research on volunteering, which tends to profile the "most likely" volunteer as female, employed by the public sector, possessing a higher education and having children. The questions addressed in this research are: 1) What are the contextual effects of volunteering and 2) Is there a relationship of one or more of these effects to gender? The findings indicate men in this sample were not only more likely to volunteer, but were more likely to engage in volunteer activities that included political and civic roles. In addition, men were able to volunteer more hours as their family ties increased. The hours women volunteered were found to decrease as family ties increased. Women were less likely to volunteer for political and civic activities and more likely to volunteer for roles that included the care of children, elderly and family-oriented activities. These findings have implications for how volunteer activities contribute to the building of social and political resources for both men and women and bring to light how gendered definitions dominate patterns of civic engagement.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008