The Underappreciated Force of Informal Help in People's Lives

  • Julia Nakamura, Health Psychology
    Coach House, Green College, UBC (Resident Members only) and livestreamed

    Monday, March 14, 8-9 pm
    in the series
    Green College Resident Members' Series
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    People around the world spend millions of hours helping each other every year. Whether it be babysitting, cooking meals or providing transportation, informal helping is one of the most common prosocial behaviours and also one of the least studied. Current discussions of civic engagement may be too narrow and exclude these important informal contributions, devaluing those who do not engage in more commonly recognized prosocial activities (e.g., volunteering). While there is a large and growing body of evidence around the health and well-being benefits of formal volunteering, less is known about the downstream benefits of informal helping behaviors. Promoting informal helping may be a double-pronged approach to improving the health of the helpers on an individual level, and improving society as a whole. In this talk, Julia will explore the antecedents and outcomes of informal helping in a national sample of US older adults.


    Julia (she/her/hers) is a second-year graduate student in the Health Psychology program at the University of British Columbia. She integrates theories and perspectives from health psychology, epidemiology, gerontology, biostatistics and translational science to identify, understand and intervene in the dimensions of psychological well-being (e.g., purpose in life) and prosocial behaviors (e.g., volunteering) that reduce the risk of age-related physical health conditions in our rapidly aging population. Recognizing the great importance of translating research into meaningful, real-world, population-level change, Julia also engages in multiple translational science efforts with non-academic partners (e.g., United Way Worldwide, IDEO and the Consortium on Analytics for Data-Driven Decision-Making).

  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.


March 14th, 2022 from  8:00 PM to  9:00 PM
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
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