this article analyzes the results of the study volunteers and ex-volunteers: paths to civic engagement through volunteerism, by marta, pozzi, and marzana (in this issue), who propose 4 types of volunteers: volunteers in action, volunteers for personal need, active citizens ex-volunteers and ex-volunteers by chance. the discussion builds upon the benefits of a multidimensional approach from the subject's perspective. to accomplish this, its contributions to the understanding of topics, such as the role of motivation in prosocial involvement, the mechanisms that promote this type of behavior, and the differentiation between causes and consequences of it, are analyzed. some ideas are discussed, like the importance of the re-elaboration of motivations, their potential mediating role in the relationship between family and voluntary participation, and the importance of considering in future designs temporal organization that young people themselves give to their experiences. also, some limitations of the study are identified. these are related to religious variables that could explain the results and to the difficulty of establishing whether these results are specific to this form of participation.