Skip to the main content

Original scientific paper

Types of associations and motivations to join: A study with young people in Spain

Ana Lanero Carrizo ; University of León, Faculty of Economics and Business Sciences, León, Spain
José Luis Vázquez Burguete orcid id ; University of León, Faculty of Economics and Business Sciences, León, Spain
César Sahelices Pinto orcid id ; University of León, Faculty of Economics and Business Sciences, León, Spain

Full text: english pdf 193 Kb

page 233-244

downloads: 223



Although voluntary associations are known to play a very important role in the civic integration of young people, figures of participation in Europe are considerably lower than those registered in countries like the United States. By using a Spanish sample, this paper seeks to analyze the factors that motivate young people to get involved in different types of associations and the benefits they obtain from membership. A survey study was conducted to analyze the relationship between expressive, instrumental and career-related motivations, belonging to several types of associations and non-members’ intentions to join in a sample of 223 young people. The data was analyzed by means of descriptive analysis, principal components factor analysis and a series of logistic and multiple regression analyses. In line with the official statistics, the results point to a poor involvement of Spanish young people in associations, with sports and leisure clubs as the most frequent forms of youth organizing. Similarly, participants reported sociability and other expressive reasons as their main motivation to join associations. Furthermore, the research findings suggest a connection between motivations and participation in different types of associations. Particularly, expressive motivation predicted belonging and intention to join sociocultural, sports and leisure associations, whereas instrumental motivation was related to participation in environmental, pacifist and health associations. Career-related motivation did not appear as an important driver to explain associational involvement. These results point to the suggestion of considering the diversity of functions performed by associations and using specific motivational appeals in recruitment campaigns.


voluntary associations, young people, expressive motivations, instrumental motivations, career-related motivations

Hrčak ID:



Visits: 417 *