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Altruism and Health – Perspectives from Empirical Research - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Altruism and Health: Perspectives from Empirical Research

Stephen G. Post


Does a kindly, charitable interest in others have health benefits for the agent, particularly when coupled with helping behaviours? Although the answer remains unclear, researchers have established that there is an association between generous emotions, helping behaviour, and longevity. Increasingly, emotional states and their related behaviours are being studied by mainstream scientists in relation to health promotion and disease prevention. If helping affect or behaviour can be linked with health and longevity, there are significant implications for how we think about human nature and prospe ... More

Keywords: charity, health benefits, helping behaviours, generous emotions, longevity, health promotion, disease prevention

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780195182910
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182910.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephen G. Post, editor
Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University
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General Introduction

Stephen G. Post

Part I Research on Volunteering and Health


Stephen G. Post, and Brie Zeltner

4. Altruism, Well-Being, and Mental Health in Late Life

Elizabeth Midlarsky, and Eva Kahana

6 Self-Initiated Volunteering and Mental Health

Marc A. Musick Miranda R. Waggoner

7 Altruism and Health: Is There a Link During Adolescence?

Peter L. Benson, E. Gil Clary, and Peter C. Scales

8 Rx: Volunteer: A Prescription for Healthy Aging

Adam S. Hirschfelder, and Sabrina L. Reilly

Part II The Contribution of Altruistic Emotions to Health


Stephen G. Post, and Brie Zeltner

9 The Biology of Positive Emotions and Health

Andrea H. Marques, and Esther M. Sternberg

13 Helping Behavior and Longevity: An Emotion Model

Deborah D. Danner, Wallace V. Friesen, and Adah N. Carter

Part III Evolutionary Models of Altruism and Health


Stephen G. Post, and Brie Zeltner

16 Close Relationships and Health Through the Lens of Selective Investment Theory

Stephanie L. Brown, R. Michael Brown, Ashley Schiavone, and Dylan M. Smith

17 Health and the Ecology of Altruism

David Sloan Wilson, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

PART IV Altruism, Health, and Religion


Stephen G. Post, and Brie Zeltner

End Matter