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Are Older Adults More Willing to Donate? The Roles of Donation Form and Social Relationship


Gong, Xianmin; Zhang, Fan; Fung, Helene H (2017). Are Older Adults More Willing to Donate? The Roles of Donation Form and Social Relationship. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Objectives: Whether older adults are more prosocial than younger adults has been under debate. In the current study, we investigated how age differences in prosocial behaviors varied across different contextual factors, that is, donation form, kinship, and social distance.

Methods: To achieve this purpose, 89 younger and 66 older adults took part in a hypothetical donation task in which they were asked to donate money and time to relatives and nonrelatives at various social distances.

Results: The results showed that, compared to younger adults, (a) older adults donated less to nonrelatives (regardless of the donation form), but donated a similar amount (in money) or even donated more (in time) to relatives; (b) older adults displayed higher levels of kin selection (favoring relatives over nonrelatives) in both monetary and time donations; and (c) older adults showed higher levels of social discounting (favoring socially close over distant others) in monetary but not time donation.

Discussion: The study underscored the importance of contextual factors in understanding age differences in prosocial behaviors such as donation.

Abstract

Objectives: Whether older adults are more prosocial than younger adults has been under debate. In the current study, we investigated how age differences in prosocial behaviors varied across different contextual factors, that is, donation form, kinship, and social distance.

Methods: To achieve this purpose, 89 younger and 66 older adults took part in a hypothetical donation task in which they were asked to donate money and time to relatives and nonrelatives at various social distances.

Results: The results showed that, compared to younger adults, (a) older adults donated less to nonrelatives (regardless of the donation form), but donated a similar amount (in money) or even donated more (in time) to relatives; (b) older adults displayed higher levels of kin selection (favoring relatives over nonrelatives) in both monetary and time donations; and (c) older adults showed higher levels of social discounting (favoring socially close over distant others) in monetary but not time donation.

Discussion: The study underscored the importance of contextual factors in understanding age differences in prosocial behaviors such as donation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:21 July 2017
Deposited On:17 Jan 2018 10:09
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 10:30
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1079-5014
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbx099
PubMed ID:28977660

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