Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Wendy Zabava Ford

Second Advisor

Dr. James Gilchrist

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Northouse

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The purpose of this thesis was to assess supportive communication practices as predictors of volunteer outcomes. As healthcare organizations continue to grow and expand services to patients, the need for volunteers will expand as well. If volunteers are supported within the organization they will become a part of the healthcare environment and ultimately can make a difference for the organization. lt was hypothesized that supportive communication by both staff and co-volunteers would predict higher levels of volunteer satisfaction, role identity, safety perceptions, and loyalty, and lower levels of volunteer bumout. Results indicate that emotional support from staff was the strongest predictor of volunteer satisfaction, role identity, safety perceptions, word of mouth ( an indicator of loyalty), and reduced burnout. Informational support to volunteers was also significant in predicting satisfaction and safety perceptions. Emotional support from co-volunteers strongly predicted volunteer satisfaction, as well as safety perceptions. Problem-solving support by co-volunteers was also predictive of Word Of Mouth (WOM). Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.

Included in

Communication Commons