Based on the theoretical foundations of the caregiving system model, which holds that prosocial behavior can be conceptualized in relation to a neurobiological stress-buffering mechanism, we addressed the question of whether daily volunteering yields buffering effects in terms of suppressing a neuroendocrine response (i.e., salivary cortisol) to daily stressors. We used daily diary data from the second wave of the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE II), which is part of the Midlife in the United States study (MIDUS II), a nationally representative survey of middle-aged and older adults. Analyzing a sample of volunteers (N = 340), we tested the buffering role of daily volunteer work for the same day stressors-salivary cortisol response relationship (person-day observations, N = 1,042). Findings from multilevel models indicated that the relationship between daily stressors and cortisol output was attenuated on days when volunteering was performed compared to days volunteering was not performed. Our findings are suggestive of a unique, but unobserved, neurobiological mechanism underlying the link between volunteering and better health. Volunteer programs designed to help others in need may be considered as an intervention strategy for individuals living under stressful conditions.
Social Science & Medicine – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera