Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

While older adults are frequently portrayed as incompetent, dependent, and a drain on societal resources, theory and research demonstrate that the elderly engage in diverse prosocial behaviors but that much of the prosocial capability of the elderly lies dormant. The authors present evidence in support of a model recognizing the powerful contributions made by the elderly to their families and communities. This contributory model of successful aging suggests that prosocial behavior by older adults is motivated by empathetic concern, religious obligation, and a sense of duty. Prosocial behavior is presented as a normative facet of old age that is conceived as a direct expression of the motivation to help future generations and society. The impacts of prosocial behavior on physical health, mental health, and mortality are considered. Because of the cross-disciplinary nature of this inquiry, the authors propose directions for future research intended to produce an integrative understanding at the micro, meso, and macro levels.

Keywords: prosocial behavior, elderly, altruism, voluntarism, philanthropy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.