Generativity, reflexivity, volunteering, and providing care among older adults

Martin Hyde, Swansea University and Martjin Hogerbrugge, Cardiff University 

 As populations age there is increasing pressure for older people to provide voluntary work and care. Many studies have looked at the socio-demographic factors that are associated with these activities. However, relatively few have looked at the potential impact of generativity, the development stage in middle and late age that primarily challenges one’s ability to establish and guide the next generation. Using data from a pilot study of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH), we analysed to what extent an individual’s level of generativity is related to the hours spent volunteering and providing care. Moreover, we examined to what extent the associations are moderated by an individual’s mode of reflexivity, that is the internal conversation an individual has before he or she performs certain acts or not.