The Gerontologist
 QUICK SEARCH:   [advanced]


This Article
Right arrow Full Text
Right arrow Full Text (PDF)
Right arrow Alert me when this article is cited
Right arrow Alert me if a correction is posted
Right arrow Similar articles in this journal
Right arrow Similar articles in PubMed
Right arrow Alert me to new issues of the journal
Right arrow Download to citation manager
Citing Articles
Right arrow Citing Articles via Google Scholar
Google Scholar
Right arrow Articles by Kaskie, B.
Right arrow Articles by Culp, K.
Right arrow Search for Related Content
Right arrow PubMed Citation
Right arrow Articles by Kaskie, B.
Right arrow Articles by Culp, K.
The Gerontologist 48:368-377 (2008)
© 2008 The Gerontological Society of America

Civic Engagement as a Retirement Role for Aging Americans

Brian Kaskie, PhD1, Sara Imhof, PhD1, Joseph Cavanaugh, PhD1 and Kennith Culp, PhD1

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Brian Kaskie, PhD, Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, E206GH, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail: brian-kaskie{at}

Purpose: Public attention directed toward the civic engagement of retired Americans has increased considerably. The purpose of this research was to define civic engagement as a retirement role and differentiate individuals who met this role definition from other retirees. Design and Methods: Retirees who met our definition of civic engagement were identified from a sample of 683 retired older adults living in a rural Midwestern state. Using a multinomial logistic regression analysis, we contrasted this group of engaged retirees to three other groups of retirees: (a) those who were neither working nor volunteering, (b) those who had returned to work in part-time or seasonal occupations, and (c) those who volunteered for fewer than 5 hours each week. Results: The analyses indicated that individuals assigned to the group of engaged retirees were similar across 24 variables. This group of engaged retirees differed from the other groups by gender, education level, and health status; retirement motives and planning efforts; primary retirement activities; and attitudes about volunteering and returning to work. Implications: This research supported the contention that civic engagement could be defined as a formal retirement role, as engaged retirees differ significantly from those who volunteer less, work in noncivic roles, or do neither. Further, we resolved that associating the act of volunteering, in itself, with civic engagement may no longer be appropriate for retired older adults. The definition of civic engagement as a retirement role should also include those individuals who return to work in organizations that pursue specific civic activities.

Key Words: Civic engagement • Older adults • Retirement roles • Volunteering

All GSA journals Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Copyright © 2008 by The Gerontological Society of America.