Volunteerism Project






Volunteerism is a form of sustained helping in which people actively seek out opportunities to assist others in need, make considerable and continuing commitments to provide assistance, and sustain these commitments without any bonds of prior obligation to the recipients of their services. Guided by a functional approach to personality, motivation, and social behavior, we are engaged in a program of basic and applied investigations, conducted in the field and in the laboratory, to examine personal and social motivations that dispose people to volunteer and that sustain their involvement in such ongoing helping relationships.

Of particular concern to us in these investigations are individuals involved in volunteer service programs that have emerged in the United States in response to the epidemic of HIV and AIDS. Accordingly, to understand the social and psychological aspects of volunteerism, we have conducted coordinated cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies with AIDS volunteers, persons living with AIDS, and members of volunteers’ social networks.

This research has been funded by the American Foundation for AIDS Research and by the National Institute of Mental Health. The Principal Investigators are Mark Snyder at the University of Minnesota and Allen M. Omoto at the Claremont Graduate University.


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Site last updated 6/13/06                                     

Questions/ Comments   volstudy@umn.edu