Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.H.K.

Department

Kinesiology

First Advisor

Horton, Sean

Second Advisor

de Witt, Lorna

Keywords

Health and environmental sciences, Active engagement, Older adults, Successful aging

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This study explored 'how' and 'why' engagement profiles change throughout older adulthood within a framework of successful aging. A convergent parallel mixed methods design was employed. Fifty-four participants (mean age = 79.17, age range = 65-97 years; 21 males, 33 females) completed questionnaires to quantify 'past' and 'present' engagement. Focus groups segmented by decade of life and semi-structured interviews were completed with a subsample of participants (n = 42). Results indicated that participation in productive and active leisure activities decreased with increasing age, while social and passive leisure engagement remained stable. This change in engagement pattern may be a function of the themes derived from the fundamental qualitative description: (a) health and physical limitations, (b) death, (c) freedom, (d) desire, and (e) external influential factors. The 'how' and 'why' of engagement changes in later life were often embedded within the lay-based, multi-dimensional model of successful aging proposed herein.

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Kinesiology Commons

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