Fulfilling Two Needs With One Deed: The Psychological Effect of Volunteering on Persons with Physical Disabilities


  • Seongho An University of Central Florida
  • Mihee Kim Myong Ji College
  • Jihoon Jeong Texas A&M International University




Volunteering, Physical Disabilities, Psychological Well-Being, Propensity Score Matching


Volunteering not only benefits nonprofit organizations but also may contribute to volunteers’ well-being. This study examines the benefits of volunteering on the psychological well-being of persons with physical disabilities. Method: Using a sample of 3,440 individuals drawn from national survey data in South Korea, we applied propensity score matching (PSM), a quasi-experimental design that reduces potential bias in models using multiple regression. Results: Our findings revealed the positive effect of volunteering on the psychological well-being of people with physical disabilities. Volunteer participants (treatment group) showed significantly better psychological well-being than non-volunteers (control group). Conclusion: Empirical evidence from this study supports the benefits of volunteering for those with physical disabilities, indicating that participating in such prosocial behaviors may play an important role in their psychological well-being.

Author Biographies

  • Seongho An, University of Central Florida

    Seongho An is an Assistant Professor at University of Central Florida’s School of Public Administration where he teaches in the Master of Nonprofit Management program. His work has contributed to efforts to address policy and practice in nonprofit advocacy. His current research focuses on using digitalized text and network data to gain a better understanding about management patterns of human service organizations.

  • Mihee Kim, Myong Ji College

    Mihee Kim is an Assistant Professor at the Social Welfare Department of Myong Ji College in South Korea. She teaches planning and evaluation of social work programs. Her primary research interest areas are intervention and rehabilitation programs for elderly people that have had strokes.

  • Jihoon Jeong, Texas A&M International University

    Jihoon Jeong is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Administration in the Department of Social Sciences at Texas A&M International University. His research focuses on nonprofit and government collaboration, local government management, and collaborative governance. He is a recipient of the 2022 Emerging Scholar Award and 2021 Doctoral Fellowship Award by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).






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