For older people being a volunteer can become an important role

In this new publication with John Wilson (Duke University) we show that the role of being a volunteer becomes a more important part of self identity in older age; older individuals are more likely to perceive voluteering as meaningful and consider it part of who they are. This is boosted by retirement but also by being unemployed or disabled. Religiosity is also an important determinant of volunteer role identity.
The article is published online (open access) in the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

Talks this week

I’m giving two talks this week. Tomorrow at the SSI conference I’m presenting a paper written together with Kevin Wright entitled “What Determines the Quality of Relationships in Online Support Groups?”. If you are interested: you can still register for the conference as far as I know. Alternatively, you can download the sheets of the presentation here.

Last Tuesday, I gave a talk on “Personal relations in the Internet age” at the PARIS research colloquium of VU Amsterdam. You can take a look at the sheets of that presentation

Two papers on getting help using the Internet

Two new publications from my project on how individuals use the Internet when dealing with negative life events.
With Sonja Utz and Vera Toepoel I showed how online coping can be measured and which online activities are helpful. This paper was published online in Social Science Computer Review.
With Kevin Wright I showed that the Internet is especially helpful for those who report feelings of loneliness, social isolation, and low self-esteem. In addition, we found that men mobilized more online coping resources than women. The paper will be published in Computers and Human Behavior and can be downloaded here.

Talk Kevin Wright on online support groups at TiU

On Wednesday 14 October (12:30-13:30; CZ-8) Kevin B. Wright (George Mason University) will give a talk entitled “More than Medicine: Online Support Groups for Individuals Facing Stigmatized Health Conditions.” Kevin is a renowned scholar in the area of social support and health and he has been studying online support groups for more than 15 years. He will talk about some of his current and future research projects in this area.
Registration is not required.

For more information on Kevin Wright look here or here.

Secularization and opinions about abortion, euthanasia, divorce, and homosexuality

In a new paper entitled “Secularization and Changing Moral Views: European Trends in Church Attendance and Views on Homosexuality, Divorce, Abortion, and Euthanasia” (HDAE) (see publications) together with Loek Halman we show that decreasing church attendance leads to greater acceptance of HDAE on average. However, the opinions do not simply shift from unacceptable to acceptable (which would cause polarization). Instead, among non-churchgoers there is a large variation of opinions, including convictions that these practices are unacceptable.