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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Learning activities in later life Clough, Barbara Stolze 1990

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LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN LATER LIFE by BARBARA STOLZE CLOUGH B . S c , M c G i l l U n i v e r s i t y , 1969 D i p . E d . , U n i v e r s i t y of Western O n t a r i o , 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE, ADULT AND HIGHER EDUCATION We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s tandard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February 1990 (c) Barbara S t o l z e C l o u g h , 1990 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Administrative, Adult and Higher Education The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date February 21, 1990 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT: L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e L e a r n i n g i s a l i f e l o n g a f f a i r . L e a r n i n g i s c r i t i c a l across the e n t i r e l i f e course f o r a d u l t s f a c i n g the p o t e n t i a l s and problems of an extended l i f e ; l e a r n i n g i s c r u c i a l f o r a s o c i e t y a d j u s t i n g t o the economic and s o c i a l pressures of a r a p i d l y a g i n g p o p u l a t i o n . How can a d u l t educators respond t o these c h a l l e n g e s and become e f f e c t i v e c a t a l y s t s f o r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e ? One i m p o r t a n t , p r e l i m i n a r y s tep i n v o l v e s unders tanding p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s from the o l d e r a d u l t p o i n t of v i e w . To d a t e , however, a d u l t educators o n l y have a p a r t i a l view of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e , a view c l o u d e d by narrow d e f i n i t i o n s of e d u c a t i o n and l e a r n i n g , and l i m i t e d by concepts of t r a d i t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n a l programs. The purpose of t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy was t o e x p l o r e p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a d u l t s over the age of 55 i n a broad range of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and t o examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and s e l e c t e d p e r s o n a l and ' soc iodemographic measures i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n . A q u e s t i o n n a i r e c o n s i s t i n g of a c h e c k l i s t of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and sociodemographic q u e s t i o n s was d i s t r i b u t e d t o 1228 a d u l t s over the age of 55. Responses from 332 respondents were a n a l y z e d u s i n g SPSS/PC+ (Ver. 3 . 0 ) . On average, o l d e r a d u l t s r e p o r t e d t a k i n g p a r t i n 35 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s over the past y e a r . Respondents r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n these l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r an average of 14 hours per week. i i Respondents who reported greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n were more l i k e l y to be female, younger, more educated, and i n better health. Those reporting greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n also reported more reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n , more sponsoring agencies for t h e i r learning a c t i v i t i e s , and were more l i k e l y to belong to community and professional organizations. Older adults reported certain changes i n t h e i r learning a c t i v i t y choices since age fo r t y . Active people remained active i n l a t e r l i f e although they restructured t h e i r learning a c t i v i t y choices. They restructured t h e i r learning a c t i v i t y patterns by increases i n attending senior centres; watching Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Knowledge Network and other educational t e l e v i s i o n ; r e f l e c t i n g on l i f e events; and, learning about health and n u t r i t i o n . The most important learning a c t i v i t i e s reported by respondents refl e c t e d the significance of nonformal and informal a c t i v i t i e s : reading books or plays; watching Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Knowledge Network and educational t e l e v i s i o n ; reading newspapers and magazines; t r a v e l l i n g ; t a l k i n g with family and friends; and, attending senior centres. The p r i n c i p a l sponsoring agencies for learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e were senior centres, media, and oneself. The primary reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n were growth and socially-oriented: keeping one's mind a l i v e , gaining knowledge or s k i l l , and meeting or being with friends. The leading b a r r i e r to p a r t i c i p a t i o n , being too busy, suggested an active l i f e s t y l e for many l a t e r l i f e learners. Other i i i barriers were transportation, money, location of the a c t i v i t y , and health status. A factor analysis of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n 71 learning a c t i v i t i e s produced 13 factors which accounted for 48% of the variance i n pa r t i c i p a t i o n . Major factor groups clustered around themes of Volunteer Involvement, Recreation, Home L i f e , Self Development, S p i r i t u a l Enrichment, Wellness, Language Arts, Crafts, Leisure, Expressive, Outdoors/Nature, Hobbies and Reflection/Reading. Current d e f i n i t i o n s of learning a c t i v i t i e s for older adults are too narrow. The findings from t h i s study demonstrated the d i v e r s i t y and breadth of learning a c t i v i t i e s engaged i n by older people. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n these learning a c t i v i t i e s i s not necessarily bounded by r i g i d age ba r r i e r s , educational background or income. This study challenges the relevance of narrow views of p a r t i c i p a t i o n based upon t r a d i t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - b a s e d programs and i d e n t i f i e s a complex web of predominantly nonformal, informal, and se l f - d i r e c t e d learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Collaborative e f f o r t s among older adults, community leaders and adult educators w i l l promote interdependent, pos i t i v e l i f e s t y l e s i n l a t e r l i f e and encourage the development of more accessible educational resources for older learners. i v Table of Contents A b s t r a c t i i Table of Contents v L i s t of Tables . v i i i Acknowledgements i x I . INTRODUCTION 1 Problem Statement: E f f e c t i v e programming f o r o l d e r a d u l t s i s compromised by incomplete knowledge about p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e 2 Purpose of Study: To e x p l o r e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and measures i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n 2 Background t o the study 3 Importance of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s across the l i f e course 3 C o n t r a d i c t i o n s between r e s e a r c h and s e l f - r e p o r t s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n 5 Research Quest ions 7 D e f i n i t i o n s 8 Older a d u l t 8 L e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y 8 Modes of e d u c a t i o n : F o r m a l , n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l 9 S e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s 10 P a r t i c i p a t i o n 11 O r g a n i z a t i o n a l cho ices made by o l d e r a d u l t s 11 Sociodemographic measures i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n 11 Summary 12 I I . REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 14 An emerging l i f e - s p a n p e r s p e c t i v e 14 L i f e l o n g e d u c a t i o n 17 Modes of e d u c a t i o n : F o r m a l , n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l and s e l f - d i r e c t e d 19 P o t e n t i a l b e n e f i t s from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s 26 Research about p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e 29 Age 32 Gender 33 E d u c a t i o n a l background 33 Socioeconomic s t a t u s 34 Measures of w e l l - b e i n g 35 S o c i a l context 36 Changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n 38 v Reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n 39 Barriers to pa r t i c i p a t i o n 42 Organizational choices made by older adults 45 Sponsoring agency 45 Topic and content area 48 Age-segregated and age-integrated settings 51 Summary 52 I I I . METHODOLOGY 55 Development of Research hypotheses 56 Design of the research instrument 58 Selection of operational measures 60 Respondents i n the study 64 Advantages and li m i t a t i o n s of the design 64 Data analysis 67 IV. FINDINGS 68 Po r t r a i t of respondents 68 Learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e 75 Most important learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e 79 Individual p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s 82 Sociodemographic variables influencing p a r t i c i p a t i o n 84 Changes i n pa r t i c i p a t i o n since age forty 87 Organizational choices made by older adults 91 Sponsoring agencies 91 Preferred time of day for p a r t i c i p a t i o n 97 Pa r t i c i p a t i o n alone or i n groups 97 Pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n age-integrated and age-segregated learning a c t i v i t i e s 98 Reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s 100 Barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s 105 Factor analysis of 71 learning a c t i v i t i e s 110 V. ANALYSIS OF FIELD NOTES 113 Gender Issues 113 Relationship between health and p a r t i c i p a t i o n 115 Necessity for keeping your mind a l i v e 116 Importance of the senior centre 116 Senior as teacher 117 Volunteer roles i n l a t e r l i f e 118 Leadership issues 118 Need for innovative programming 119 Encouraging and att r a c t i n g non-participants 120 Need for educators to move into the community 120 v i V I . DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS 122 Measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s 122 Most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e 123 Sociodemographic measures i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n 128 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and age 129 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and gender 130 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and income 131 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and e d u c a t i o n 132 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and measures of w e l l - b e i n g 134 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and s o c i a l context 136 Changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e age f o r t y 137 O r g a n i z a t i o n a l cho ices made by o l d e r a d u l t s 140 Sponsorship 140 P r e f e r r e d t ime of day f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n 143 P a r t i c i p a t i o n a lone or i n group s e t t i n g s 143 P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n age-segregated and age i n t e g r a t e d 144 s e t t i n g s Reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n 146 B a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n 149 F a c t o r a n a l y s i s of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s 150 V I . SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS 155 Summary 155 Recommendations 159 What types of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s do o l d e r a d u l t s engage i n ? 160 What are the most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e ? 161 What sociodemographic f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e 162 How does p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s change from age f o r t y t o l a t e r l i f e ? 164 What c h o i c e s do o l d e r a d u l t s make about the sponsorsh ip and o r g a n i z a t i o n of t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s ? 165 What are the reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e ? 166 What are the b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e ? 168 Do l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s group i n t o meaningful f a c t o r s ? 171 C o n c l u s i o n s 171 References 175 Appendices 187 Appendix A : Cover L e t t e r 187 Appendix B: Q u e s t i o n n a i r e 188 v i i L i s t of Tables Table 1: P o r t r a i t of Respondents: Age & Gender ,70 Table 2 : P o r t r a i t of Respondents: Work, Income & E d u c a t i o n 71 Table 3 : S e l f - R e p o r t s of L i f e S a t i s f a c t i o n & H e a l t h S ta tus 73 Table 4: Measures of S o c i a l Context 74 Table 5 : P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n 71 L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s : Frequency of 77 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Percentage P a r t i c i p a t i o n Table 6: Most Important L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e 80 Table 7: Three Measures of P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g 83 A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e Table 8: C o r r e l a t i o n s between Measures of P a r t i c i p a t i o n 86 And S e l e c t e d Sociodemographic F a c t o r s Table 9: Changes In P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s 89 S ince Age F o r t y Table 10: Sponsorship of L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e 94 Table 11: C o r r e l a t i o n s between Sponsorship Choices 95 and Sociodemographic Measures Table 12: C o r r e l a t i o n s between Number of Sponsors 96 and Sociodemographic Measures Table 13: O r g a n i z a t i o n a l Choices Made by Older A d u l t s 99 Table 14: Reasons For P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s 103 Table 15: C o r r e l a t i o n s between Reasons f o r P a r t i c i p a t i o n 104 and Sociodemographic Measures Table 16: B a r r i e r s To P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s 108 Table 17: C o r r e l a t i o n s between B a r r i e r s t o P a r t i c i p a t i o n 109 and Sociodemographic Measures Table 18: F a c t o r A n a l y s i s of 71 L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s I l l Table 19: R e l a t i o n s h i p between L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t y F a c t o r 153 Groups and O r i e n t a t i o n s t o A c t i v i t i e s v i i Acknowledgements My sincerest thanks to the 332 older adults who gave t h e i r time and energy to f i l l out a lengthy questionnaire and to discuss learning i n t h e i r l a t e r years. I would also l i k e to express my appreciation to administrators of senior centres, The University of B r i t i s h Columbia programs for r e t i r e d persons, and housing complexes for t h e i r assistance and support throughout t h i s project. My deepest gratitude to my supportive and knowledgeable advisory committee: to Dr. James E. Thornton for encouragement and guidance i n helping me turn a vague idea into a finished product and for a door that was always opened; to Dr. John B. C o l l i n s for a s s i s t i n g me through s t a t i s t i c a l floundering and for his insistence on finding out, "What i s the question?"; to Professor Gordon S. Selman for his int e r e s t , knowledge and humour. Thank you also to Bob Bajwa and Charles Tremewen of The Personal Computer Support Centre. A special thank you to Dr. Paula Brook for her sincere interest throughout my academic pursuits and to Barbara Berry, Sharon Harold, and Grace Hodgins for an enthusiastic gerontological network. My warmest appreciation to my family: to Paul, for his moral and f i n a n c i a l support during t h i s lengthy process; to Andrew, Elizabeth and Emily for t h e i r encouragement and ef f o r t s at "keeping the house together". F i n a l l y , gratitude to two l i f e l o n g learners, Eileen & P h i l i p Stolze, for passing on to me a tenacious s p i r i t and appreciation for the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of l a t e r l i f e . i x CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION Whatever e l s e s h o u l d our l i v e s be but a c o n t i n u a l s e r i e s of b e g i n n i n g s , of p a i n f u l s e t t i n g s out i n t o the unknown, p u s h i n g o f f from the edge of consc iousness i n t o the mystery of what we have not yet become, except i n dreams. D a v i d M a l o f f An Imaginary Dream L e a r n i n g does not s top because an i n d i v i d u a l reaches the p r e s c r i b e d r e t i r e m e n t age of s i x t y - f i v e ; l e a r n i n g does not s top because an i n d i v i d u a l l o o s e s v i s u a l or a u d i t o r y s e n s i t i v i t y . L e a r n i n g i s important throughout the l i f e c o u r s e . There i s a s u b s t a n t i a l r o l e f o r a d u l t educators i n l e g i t i m a t i n g , d e v e l o p i n g and enhancing r e l e v a n t l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r growing numbers of a g i n g a d u l t s f a c i n g the p o s s i b i l i t i e s and problems of l a t e r l i f e . D e v e l o p i n g t h i s r o l e can have s i g n i f i c a n t i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r i m p r o v i n g the q u a l i t y of l i f e f o r the a g i n g i n d i v i d u a l , f o r i n f l u e n c i n g the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n of a g i n g , and f o r debunking a g i n g myths t h a t set f a l s e l i m i t s on growth i n l a t e r l i f e . Before u n d e r t a k i n g these c h a l l e n g e s , however, an unde rs t an din g of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e must expand t o i n c l u d e broader d e f i n i t i o n s of e d u c a t i o n and a deeper u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the p e r s o n a l , soc ioeconomic , and p o l i t i c a l f o r c e s shaping p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h i s s t u d y , L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e , e x p l o r e s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a broad range of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and e x p l o r e s these a c t i v i t i e s from the o l d e r a d u l t p o i n t of v i e w . 1 Problem Statement I n an e r a or d e c r e a s i n g f i n a n c i a l resources and i n c r e a s i n g demographic a g i n g , i t i s c r i t i c a l t h a t p o l i c y makers, educators and community workers make e f f e c t i v e d e c i s i o n s and develop r e l e v a n t l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s . These l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s encompass a broad spectrum of programs i n c l u d i n g f o r m a l , n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l and s e l f - d i r e c t e d a c t i v i t i e s . To d a t e , however, p a r t i c i p a t i o n s t u d i e s i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n have not p r o v i d e d a complete p i c t u r e of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . I n s t e a d , numerous s t u d i e s have p r e s e n t e d narrow snapshots i n t i m e , bounded by t r a d i t i o n a l concepts of c o u r s e s , c l a s s r o o m s , and i n s t i t u t i o n a l s p o n s o r s h i p . Consequent ly , the r i c h n e s s and v a r i e t y of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e has been n e g l e c t e d . E f f e c t i v e programming f o r o l d e r a d u l t s i s compromised by incomplete knowledge about p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . As p o p u l a t i o n a g i n g e s c a l a t e s , i t w i l l be i n c r e a s i n g l y important t o p l a n , implement, and e v a l u a t e r e l e v a n t programs f o r o l d e r a d u l t s . Program p l a n n i n g d e c i s i o n s must be based on a r e a l i s t i c and broad v i s i o n of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . Purpose of the Study The purpose of t h i s study was t o i d e n t i f y and e x p l o r e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a wider range of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e than 2 c u r r e n t l y p r e s e n t e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e and t o examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n and s e l e c t e d p e r s o n a l and sociodemographic measures suspected of i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h i s e x p l o r a t i o n p r o v i d e s p o l i c y makers, e d u c a t o r s , and community w o r k e r s , w i t h a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n f o r p l a n n i n g and implement ing l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s t h a t acknowledge the p o t e n t i a l s , d i v e r s i t y , and problems of l a t e r l i f e . Background t o the Study Two major i s s u e s have i n f l u e n c e d the development of t h i s s t u d y : 1 . The importance of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s across the l i f e span. 2 . The c o n t r a d i c t i o n between p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e s e a r c h and s e l f -r e p o r t s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s by o l d e r a d u l t s . Importance of L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s A c r o s s the L i f e Course I t i s e s s e n t i a l f o r a d u l t s t o c o n t i n u e t o l e a r n i n a r a p i d l y changing , a g i n g s o c i e t y . Consequent ly , l e g i t i m a t i n g , s u p p o r t i n g , and enhancing p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s are important a d u l t e d u c a t i o n endeavors . R a p i d t e c h n o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l change r e q u i r e s a d u l t s , young and o l d , t o meet e v o l v i n g c h a l l e n g e s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s (Cross , 1981; Darkenwald & Merr iam, 1982; Long, 1987) . Thornton (1986) observed t h a t c o n t i n u i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s was a n e c e s s i t y f o r o p t i m a l f u n c t i o n i n g and t h a t l e a r n e r s must c o n t i n u a l l y use or l o o s e t h e i r l e a r n i n g a b i l i t i e s . 3 A number of s t u d i e s have r e f l e c t e d on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and i n d i v i d u a l needs i n l a t e r l i f e . For the i n d i v i d u a l , p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i s an e s s e n t i a l s t r a t e g y f o r meet ing the m u l t i p l e demands of a g i n g and f o r c h a l l e n g i n g the p o t e n t i a l s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of l a t e r l i f e . McClusky (1971) p r e s e n t e d f i v e c a t e g o r i e s of o l d e r a d u l t s ' needs t h a t c o u l d be met through p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . These i n c l u d e d (a) c o p i n g needs - needs t h a t a r i s e due t o changes i n the i n d i v i d u a l or changed r e l a t i o n s w i t h s o c i e t y ; (b) e x p r e s s i v e needs - needs f o r an a c t i v i t y f o r i t s own sake; (c) c o n t r i b u t i v e needs - needs a r i s i n g out of the d e s i r e t o g i v e something of v a l u e t o o t h e r s ; (d) i n f l u e n c e needs - needs t o c o n t r i b u t e t o the betterment of s o c i e t y ; and (e) transcendence needs -needs t o move beyond the c o n s t r a i n t s of the p h y s i c a l body towards a deeper u n d e r s t a n d i n g the meaning of l i f e . In a l a t e r s t u d y , B i r r e n and Woodruff (1973) examined the importance of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r the a l l e v i a t i o n of age r e l a t e d problems, f o r the p r e v e n t i o n of unnecessary d e c l i n e , and f o r s u p p o r t i n g and e n r i c h i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r c o n t i n u i n g growth i n l a t e r l i f e . More r e c e n t l y , the N a t i o n a l A d v i s o r y C o u n c i l on A g i n g (1989) suggested t h a t f o u r types of l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s were e s s e n t i a l f o r meeting the needs of the o l d e r a d u l t : (a) l e a r n i n g t o s u r v i v e , (b) l e a r n i n g t o cope, (c) l e a r n i n g t o g i v e , and (d) l e a r n i n g t o grow and e n j o y . From a s o c i a l p e r s p e c t i v e , r e l e v a n t l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s can i n f l u e n c e the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n of a g i n g and the c r e a t i o n of more 4 equitable futures i n l a t e r l i f e . These two issues are extremely relevant for Canada, a society continuing to age due to decreases i n f e r t i l i t y , improvements i n health-care systems, and the aging of the baby boom generation (Gutman, Gee, Bowjanowski, & Mottet, 1986; S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1987; Stone & Fletcher, 1986) . These issues are also c r u c i a l for groups within the older adult population with multiple and pressing educational needs. Among these groups are rapidly increasing numbers of older seniors facing a previously uncharted part of the l i f e course and older women often facing the quadruple jeopardy of being female, old, poor, and isolated. Unfortunately, however, many of these older adults are uncomfortable i n t r a d i t i o n a l educational settings and place l i t t l e value on p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n in s t i t u t i o n a l l y - b a s e d programs. How can educators become ef f e c t i v e catalysts of learning experiences for older adults whose "biography as a learner" (Thornton, 1986, p. 62) i s inconsistent with the structure and demands of more t r a d i t i o n a l educational programs? Developing a meaningful answer to t h i s question requires us, as educators, to broaden our understanding of ex i s t i n g learning networks, and to s h i f t perspectives from an i n s t i t u t i o n a l to a learner point of view. Contradictions Between Research and Self-Reports of P a r t i c i p a t i o n To date, p a r t i c i p a t i o n research i n adult education has aggregated persons over the age of s i x t y - f i v e into a single category, assumed an underlying homogeneity for t h i s group, and often implied decline and 5 disengagement w i t h advancing y e a r s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , numerous s t u d i e s have e x p l o r e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n more t r a d i t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y sponsored courses and programs (Carp, Pe terson & R o e l f s , 1974; Devereaux, 1985; Johnstone & R i v e r a , 1965). These s t u d i e s , r e f l e c t i n g an incomplete model of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , i n d i c a t e d t h a t the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of o l d e r a d u l t s i n e d u c a t i o n a l endeavors was v e r y l o w . For example, the recent Canadian s u r v e y , One i n Every F i v e (Devereaux, 1985), c o n s i d e r e d a d u l t e d u c a t i o n i n terms of courses and c l a s s e s and aggregated a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s over the age of s i x t y - f i v e . Devereaux (1985) r e p o r t e d t h a t the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of those s i x t y - f i v e and over i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n was 4%, w e l l below the n a t i o n a l average of 19% f o r a l l Canadians over the age of 17. These Canadian s t a t i s t i c s are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h e a r l i e r f i n d i n g s i n the U n i t e d S ta tes (Cross , 1981; Johnstone & R i v e r a , 1965; P e t e r s o n , 1983; Ventura and Worthy, 1982). In c o n t r a s t t o these r e p o r t s , a recent i n f o r m a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n conducted at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ' s 1988 Summer Program f o r R e t i r e d Persons p r o v i d e d i n s i g h t i n t o the r i c h n e s s of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e which c o n t r a d i c t e d f i n d i n g s from e a r l i e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n data (Clough, 1988). The r e s u l t s of t h i s i n f o r m a l survey suggested t h a t these o l d e r a d u l t s , r a n g i n g i n age from 60-89, c o n t i n u e d t o l e a r n i n m u l t i p l e and d i v e r s e a c t i v i t i e s . The 69 respondents r e p o r t e d a broad range of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s sponsored by a wide v a r i e t y or o r g a n i z a t i o n s . A d d i t i o n a l l y , these o l d e r a d u l t s o f t e n p lanned t h e i r own l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s u t i l i z i n g resources from the 6 formal, nonformal, and informal sectors. These findings not only underscored the diversity of learning ac t iv i t ies i n later l i f e but also raised a number of questions concerning our current understanding of the older adult as learner and about the organization of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n later l i f e . What are the most important learning a c t i v i t i e s for these older adults? Have cross-sectional studies assumed a homogeneous population of older adults which does not, in rea l i ty , exist? Which are the preferred sponsors of learning ac t iv i t ies for older adults? The answers to these questions have important consequences for older adults, program planners, and for the growing number of professionals and non-professionals working with and for older adults. Research Questions The following research questions were developed as a framework for analyzing learning ac t iv i t ies in later l i f e : 1. What types of learning ac t iv i t ies do older adults engage in? 2. What are the most important learning ac t iv i t ies i n later l i f e ? 3. What sociodemographic measures influence participation in later l i f e ? 4. How does participation in learning ac t iv i t ies change from age forty to later l i f e ? 5. What choices do older adults make about the sponsorship and organization of their learning act ivi t ies? 7 6. What reasons do o l d e r a d u l t s g i v e f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s ? 7. What are the b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e ? 8. Do l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s group themselves i n t o u s e f u l f a c t o r s ? D e f i n i t i o n s D e f i n i n g terms which d i r e c t the f l o w of a r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t i s an e s s e n t i a l t a s k . Whi le s c i e n t i f i c concepts connote phenomena w i t h f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d b o u n d a r i e s , concepts i n the s o c i a l s c i e n c e s o f t e n l a c k p r e c i s i o n or r i g i d boundaries and, consequent ly , r e q u i r e d e f i n i t i o n f o r each s t u d y . The d e f i n i t i o n s used i n t h i s s tudy are s y n t h e s i z e d from c u r r e n t a d u l t e d u c a t i o n and e d u c a t i o n a l geronto logy l i t e r a t u r e . Older A d u l t In t h i s s t u d y , the term o l d e r a d u l t r e f e r r e d t o an i n d i v i d u a l f i f t y - f i v e years of age or o l d e r . L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t y For the purpose of t h i s s t u d y , a l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y r e f e r r e d t o any exper ience d u r i n g the past year i n which a d u l t s over the age of 5 5 r e p o r t e d t h a t l e a r n i n g o c c u r r e d . These i n c l u d e d any f o r m a l , nonformal , 8 informal or sel f - d i r e c t e d a c t i v i t i e s that enhanced or expanded knowledge, s k i l l s , understanding or awareness. Modes of Education: Formal, Nonformal, Informal For the purpose of t h i s study Coombs' (1985) and Coombs & Ahmed's (1974) c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of formal, nonformal, and informal education were used as a typology for understanding learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Formal education referred to a "the highly i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d chronologically graded and h i e r a r c h i c a l l y structured ^education system', spanning lower primary school and the upper reaches of university" (Coombs & Ahmed, 1974). This formal mode of education i s used infrequently by older adults who pursue f u l l - t i m e degree or c e r t i f i c a t e programs offered by educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . Nonformal education referred to "any organized systematic, educational a c t i v i t y , carried on outside the framework of the formal system, to provide selected types of learning to p a r t i c u l a r subgroups i n the population, adults as well as children. Thus defined, nonformal education includes, for example, a g r i c u l t u r a l extension and farmer t r a i n i n g programs, adult l i t e r a c y programs, occupational s k i l l t r a i n i n g given outside the formal system, youth clubs with substantial educational purposes and various community programs of in s t r u c t i o n i n health, n u t r i t i o n , family planning, cooperatives, and the l i k e " (Coombs, 1985, p.23). Some examples of nonformal education with special relevance for older learners include Universities of the Third Age, 9 E l d e r h o s t e l , e d u c a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s sponsored by a wide v a r i e t y of v o l u n t e e r and church o r g a n i z a t i o n s , s e n i o r cent re programs, s e l f - h e l p groups , and w e l l n e s s programs. I n f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n r e f e r r e d t o " the l i f e l o n g process by which every person a c q u i r e s and accumulates knowledge, s k i l l s , a t t i t u d e s , and i n s i g h t s from d a i l y exper iences and exposure t o the environment - at home, at work, at p l a y ; from the example and a t t i t u d e s of f a m i l y and f r i e n d s ; from t r a v e l , r e a d i n g newspapers or books; or by l i s t e n i n g t o the r a d i o or v i e w i n g f i l m s or t e l e v i s i o n . G e n e r a l l y , i n f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n i s unorganized and unsystemat ic and even u n i n t e n t i o n a l at t i m e s " (Coombs, 1985, p . 2 5 ) . Some examples of i n f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n w i t h s p e c i a l re levance f o r o l d e r a d u l t s i n c l u d e e d u c a t i v e exper iences a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the media and l i b r a r y , t r a v e l , r e c r e a t i o n and h o b b i e s , and i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h f a m i l y and peer groups . There are no r i g i d boundaries between these t h r e e modes of e d u c a t i o n and boundary d i s p u t e s are i n e v i t a b l e . In t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy f o r m a l , nonformal and i n f o r m a l l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were not d i r e c t l y measured. The t y p o l o g y , however, p r e s e n t e d a u s e f u l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n system f o r e x p l o r i n g the d i v e r s i t y of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . S e l f - D i r e c t e d L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s S e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s r e f e r r e d t o s e l f - p l a n n e d a c t i v i t i e s , o f t e n u t i l i z i n g resources i n f o r m a l , n o n f o r m a l , or i n f o r m a l s e c t o r s . B r o o k f i e l d (1984) d e f i n e d s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g as the 10 i n t e n t i o n a l p u r s u i t of c l e a r l y s p e c i f i e d l e a r n i n g g o a l s w i t h the l e a r n e r e x e r c i s i n g c o n t r o l over the content and method of l e a r n i n g . P a r t i c i p a t i o n For each respondent , p a r t i c i p a t i o n was d e f i n e d i n t h r e e ways: 1) The number of s e l f - r e p o r t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 2) The r a t e of p a r t i c i p a t i o n f o r each respondent . Each respondent r e p o r t e d how f r e q u e n t l y they engaged i n each of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s ( D a i l y = l ; Weekly=2; Monthly=3; Quarter ly=4 ; Annual ly=5 ; Never=6). The p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e was an i n d i v i d u a l ' s average p a r t i c i p a t i o n across a l l a c t i v i t i e s . 3) The number of r e p o r t e d hours per week engaged i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . O r g a n i z a t i o n a l Choices Made by Older A d u l t s T h i s s tudy measured f o u r cho ices o l d e r a d u l t s made r e l a t e d t o the s p o n s o r s h i p and o r g a n i z a t i o n of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . These i n c l u d e d c h o i c e s about the s p o n s o r i n g agency f o r the a c t i v i t y , the t ime of day of p a r t i c i p a t i o n , p a r t i c i p a t i o n a lone or i n group s e t t i n g s , and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s w i t h one ' s own age cohor t (age-segregated) or w i t h persons of v a r i e d ages ( a g e - i n t e g r a t e d ) . 11 Sociodemographic Measures Influencing P a r t i c i p a t i o n This study measured selected sociodemographic variables influencing p a r t i c i p a t i o n . These measures included age, gender, marital status, education, work si t u a t i o n , occupation, income, and l i v i n g arrangement i n the household. Other sociodemographic measures included self-reports of l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n , health status, presence of a confidant, belonging to a community or professional organization, reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n , barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and changes i n pa r t i c i p a t i o n since age 40. These measures are operationalized i n Chapter I I I . Summary Older adults can continue to learn what i s necessary to make optimal adjustments and to make the best decisions based upon t h e i r own d i v e r s i f i e d situations and obligations (Peterson, 1983). P a r t i c i p a t i n g i n relevant learning a c t i v i t i e s can assist older adults i n making these adjustments and i n pursuing s i g n i f i c a n t potentials for growth i n l a t e r l i f e . Planning and implementing these learning opportunities for l a t e r l i f e learners i s , therefore, an essential adult education enterprise. To date, however, adult education l i t e r a t u r e has presented a narrow picture of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e , a picture l i m i t e d by narrow d e f i n i t i o n s of education and clouded by concepts of t r a d i t i o n a l programs. This study, Learning A c t i v i t i e s i n Later L i f e , explores 12 p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a broader range of learning a c t i v i t i e s than currently reported i n the l i t e r a t u r e . I t also examines the relationship between measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n and selected personal and sociodemographic measures suspected of influencing p a r t i c i p a t i o n : age, gender, marital status, l i v i n g arrangement, work s i t u a t i o n , income, education, l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n , health status, presence of a confidant, belonging to a community or professional organization, reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n , barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n since age forty. The findings from t h i s study suggest directions for research and practice which are important for adult educators and for the increasing number of professionals and non-professionals designing and implementing learning a c t i v i t i e s for a growing population of l a t e r l i f e learners. 13 CHAPTER II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE T h i s chapter reviews s i x i s s u e s r e l e v a n t t o enhancing an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e : - A n emerging l i f e - s p a n p e r s p e c t i v e - L i f e l o n g e d u c a t i o n -Modes of e d u c a t i o n : F o r m a l , n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l , s e l f - d i r e c t e d - B e n e f i t s from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s -Research about p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e - O r g a n i z a t i o n a l cho ices made by o l d e r a d u l t s An Emerging L i f e - S p a n P e r s p e c t i v e U n t i l 1930, i t was assumed t h a t development o c c u r r e d o n l y d u r i n g c h i l d h o o d and adolescent years (Havighurs t , 1973). The p e r i o d of a d u l t h o o d , e s p e c i a l l y the l a t e r y e a r s , was c o n s i d e r e d a p e r i o d of c o n t i n u a l d e c l i n e and disengagement (Cumming & Henry, 1961). Then, e a r l y l i f e - s p a n developmental p s y c h o l o g i s t s c h a l l e n g e d t h e o r i e s of d e c l i n e and disengagement (Buhler , 1935; E r i k s o n , 1950; H a v i g h u r s t , 1952) and adopted a l i f e - s p a n p e r s p e c t i v e . T h i s l i f e - s p a n p e r s p e c t i v e c o n s i d e r e d t h a t development was both p o s s i b l e and necessary and assumed an a c t i v e i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h the s o c i a l and p h y s i c a l environment throughout the l i f e course ( H a v i g h u r s t , 1973). L a t e r l i f e 14 was acknowledged as an i n t e g r a l p a r t of the l i f e span and was l e g i t i m a t e d as a focus f o r r e s e a r c h . T h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , i n o p p o s i t i o n t o a disengagement view of a g i n g , opened up new h o r i z o n s c o n c e r n i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r c o n t i n u i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s d u r i n g l a t e r l i f e . B i r r e n & Woodruff (1973) e x p l o r e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a developmental p e r s p e c t i v e and e d u c a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e and c o n c l u d e d : In o r d e r t o cope w i t h the demands of a c c e l e r a t i n g s o c i a l change i n the t w e n t i e t h century the o r i e n t a t i o n of e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s must be a l t e r e d from one of e x c l u s i v e concern w i t h the f i r s t two decades of l i f e t o involvement w i t h e d u c a t i o n over the e n t i r e l i f e - s p a n , (p. 306) H a v i g h u r s t (1952) suggested a l i n k between developmental t a s k s at each stage of the l i f e course and e d u c a t i o n . U s i n g E r i k s o n ' s s tages of ego development as a f o u n d a t i o n , H a v i g h u r s t proposed the concept of developmental t a s k s which "are based upon b i o l o g i c a l development and s o c i a l e x p e c t a t i o n s which change through the l i f e span and g i v e d i r e c t i o n , f o r c e , and substance t o the development of p e r s o n a l i t y " ( H a v i g h u r s t , 1973, p.11) at a l l s tages of the l i f e c o u r s e . These t a s k s produced what H a v i g h u r s t l a b e l e d as a r e a d i n e s s t o l e a r n which s i g n a l s important t eachab le moments throughout the l i f e course ( H a v i g h u r s t , 1952). More r e c e n t l y , Brown (1978) extended t h i s concept of developmental t a s k s t o l a t e r l i f e by examining developmental t a s k s f o r bo th the younger and the o l d e r o l d . C r i t i q u e s have q u e s t i o n e d the g e n e r a t i o n a l bound, m i d d l e - c l a s s , male b i a s of developmental t ask r e s e a r c h . These c r i t i c s must be 15 considered i f concepts of developmental tasks are to provide educators with guidelines for planning and implementing appropriate learning a c t i v i t i e s across the l i f e course. Contemporary research i s required to establish the relevance of these l a t e r l i f e - t a s k s for current cohorts of older adults. The li f e - s p a n view presented an alternative perspective for framing p a r t i c i p a t i o n studies i n adult education. Previously, p a r t i c i p a t i o n studies i m p l i c i t l y assumed an age-graded disengagement view of aging and provided l i m i t e d information on l a t e r l i f e . Older adults were also not often the focus of p a r t i c i p a t i o n studies (Percy, 1989) . Adult education research often aggregated a l l persons over the age of 60 or 65 and i m p l i c i t l y assumed a homogeneity among seniors which did not, i n r e a l i t y , e x i s t . Adult educators recognized the importance of learning throughout the l i f e course for t h e i r f i e l d of study and practice (Cross, 1981; Cross, Tough, & Weathersby, 1978). A conceptual basis for an expanded view of life-span learning emerged i n subsequent research (Courtenay & Long, 1987; Peterson, 1983; Thornton, 1986). Within t h i s perspective, learning was not bounded by t r a d i t i o n a l forms and organized structures; learning was viewed "within a context of time, place, antecedents, and events" (Thornton, 1986, p.65). This life-span perspective i n adult education inferred that p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s was both possible and necessary i n l a t e r l i f e . 16 The following section reviews concepts of l i f e l o n g education which provided an educational framework for t h i s study. Lifelong Education Concepts of l i f e l o n g learning, l i f e l o n g education, and a learning society are prevalent i n contemporary adult education l i t e r a t u r e . In a learning society people continue to learn throughout the l i f e course (Cross, 1981; Peterson, 1983; Thomas 1983); i n a learning society, l a t e r l i f e i s recognized as an int e g r a l part of the l i f e span. Thomas (1983) observed: The technically advanced societies i n particular...are increasingly dependent on learning, that i s , upon learning undertaken by increasing numbers and types of individuals i n t h e i r populations, over longer periods of t h e i r l i f e t i m e s -learning which cannot be accomplished by means of exposure to educational resources i n the f i r s t twenty years of l i f e , (p. 18) Concepts of l i f e l o n g education and l i f e l o n g learning provide a philosophical basis for the development of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . To c l a r i f y the basic terminology of l i f e l o n g learning and l i f e l o n g education, Cropley (1980) considered learning as a "process of change occurring within people as a result of experience, while education involves the influences which guide or encourage learning" (p.3). He noted that " l i f e l o n g education requires the consideration of the changes i n education which would be necessary for promoting, supporting, and even improving l i f e l o n g learning" (p. 3). Lifelong 17 education included more than additional schooling and had important consequences not only for moderating problems associated with aging but also for developing l a t e r l i f e ' s potentials. Three important p r i n c i p l e s of l i f e l o n g education are relevant to t h i s current study of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e (Cropley, 1977, 1980; Dave, 1976, 1983; Faure, 1972). These include: 1. The v e r t i c a l integration of learning a c t i v i t i e s over the l i f e course. This refers to the continuity of learning a c t i v i t i e s throughout l i f e . Age i s not a b a r r i e r to educational opportunities and learners can move i n and out of the educational system at any age. 2. The horizontal integration of learning a c t i v i t i e s across formal, nonformal, and informal boundaries. Educational i n s t i t u t i o n s are only one of numerous potential sponsors of learning a c t i v i t i e s across the l i f e span. Sponsorship of learning a c t i v i t i e s broadens from t r a d i t i o n a l educational i n s t i t u t i o n s to include family and community structures. 3. A framework acknowledging the importance of evolving alternatives, sponsors, and forms (Dave, 1976). Innovative learning opportunities, new sponsors, and d i v e r s i f i e d methods and techniques are legitimated and supported. Learning a c t i v i t i e s have a dynamic quality and are not trapped behind r i g i d , historically-based, boundaries. Concepts of v e r t i c a l integration, horizontal integration, and innovative evolving opportunities encompass issues relevant to an aging, 18 l e a r n i n g s o c i e t y . C r i t i c s , however, have noted the l a c k of c o n c e p t u a l c l a r i t y s u r r o u n d i n g the concept of l i f e l o n g e d u c a t i o n ( E l v i n , 1975) and remarked t h a t l i f e l o n g e d u c a t i o n o f t e n became yet another means of r e p r o d u c i n g i n e q u a l i t i e s t h a t a l r e a d y e x i s t e d i n f o r m a l s c h o o l i n g ( L a b e l l e , 1981; P a u l s t o n , 1980). E l v i n (1975) expressed concern t h a t l i f e l o n g e d u c a t i o n was p e r c e i v e d as a "magic f o r m u l a " ( E l v i n , 1975, p.26) f o r s o l v i n g the problems of f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n . O h l i g e r (1974) warned t h a t l i f e l o n g a d u l t e d u c a t i o n promoted permanent inadequacy through such s t r u c t u r e s as mandatory c o n t i n u i n g e d u c a t i o n . These c r i t i c i s m s , important as they a r e , do not o v e r r i d e the r e l e v a n c e of the b a s i c concepts of l i f e l o n g e d u c a t i o n f o r an a g i n g s o c i e t y . F l e x i b l e , h o r i z o n t a l l y and v e r t i c a l l y i n t e g r a t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the demands of a r a p i d l y changing , ag ing s o c i e t y . As G e l p i (1979) c o n c l u d e d : Let us be c l e a r t h a t i t i s not a matter of g i v i n g "power" t o o l d e r people but of r e s t o r i n g t o them the r i g h t t o l i v e , not merely t o s u r v i v e ; t o be as o t h e r s , and not t o be l e f t on one s i d e ; t o c o n t i n u e t o enquire i n t o t h i n g s , t o make d i s c o v e r i e s and t o develop i n t e r e s t s of t h e i r own. (p. 70) Modes of E d u c a t i o n : F o r m a l , Nonformal , I n f o r m a l and S e l f - D i r e c t e d Reports by Hiemstra (1976, 1985) and Tough (1971, 1979), a l o n g w i t h the r e s u l t s of the a u t h o r ' s p r e v i o u s l y r e f e r e n c e d i n f o r m a l survey at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia (Clough, 1988), r e v e a l e d the importance of a l t e r n a t i v e s t o t r a d i t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y sponsored 19 learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Weydemeyer (1981) reviewed the importance of alternatives to t r a d i t i o n a l education across the l i f e span and the growing importance of alternative learning opportunities throughout a person's l i f e . He also noted the educator's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for legitimating, creating, and promoting appropriate nonformal and informal learning a c t i v i t i e s which evolve to meet changing situations and varied needs. Commenting on the importance of an educative community, Thornton (1986) observed: Learning opportunities exist i n a l l s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s -a l l can perform an educative function and contribute s i g n i f i c a n t l y to indiv i d u a l and group development, (p. 76) The significance of alternatives to formal education, referred to as multiple "modes of transmission" (Colletta & Radc l i f f e , 1980), i s recognized i n educational l i t e r a t u r e (Cropley, 1980; Dave, 1976, 1983; Faure, 1972). This understanding of multiple modes of education has not, as yet, been incorporated into discussions of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . A typology developed by Coombs (1968, 1985) described three important modes of education with significance for the older adult: formal, nonformal, and informal education. Although t h i s typology was not d i r e c t l y measured i n t h i s current study, Coomb's categorizations were used as a to o l for exploring the d i v e r s i t y of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . There i s continuing controversy about d e f i n i t i o n s of formal, nonformal and informal education i n adult education l i t e r a t u r e . Darkenwald & Merriam (1982) established a d i s t i n c t i o n between formal and 20 i n f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n based upon s p o n s o r s h i p . A c c o r d i n g t o these authors "we might c o n s i d e r as i n f o r m a l any p u r p o s e f u l , s y s t e m a t i c , and s u s t a i n e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y t h a t i s not sponsored, p lanned or d i r e c t e d by an o r g a n i z a t i o n " (p. 152) . Mocker & Spear (1982), on the o t h e r hand, made a d i s t i n c t i o n between modes of l e a r n i n g based not upon s p o n s o r s h i p but upon the l e a r n e r s c o n t r o l of the means and o b j e c t i v e s of l e a r n i n g . They c o n c l u d e d : Formal L e a r n i n g - l e a r n e r s have no c o n t r o l over the o b j e c t i v e s or means of t h e i r l e a r n i n g Nonformal L e a r n i n g - l e a r n e r s c o n t r o l the o b j e c t i v e s but not the means I n f o r m a l L e a r n i n g - l e a r n e r s c o n t r o l the means but not the o b j e c t i v e s S e l f - D i r e c t e d L e a r n i n g - l e a r n e r s c o n t r o l bo th the o b j e c t i v e s and the means, (p. 4) The most w i d e l y accepted d i s t i n c t i o n s among f o r m a l , nonformal and i n f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n were e s t a b l i s h e d by Coombs (1968, 1985) and Coombs & Ahmed (1974): 1. Formal e d u c a t i o n r e f e r s t o the " h i g h l y i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y graded and h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d ^educat ion system' spanning lower p r i m a r y s c h o o l and the upper reaches of the u n i v e r s i t y " (Coombs & Ahmed, 1974, p . 8 ) . To d a t e , these formal l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s have l i m i t e d appeal t o most o l d e r a d u l t s . In a s tudy of l e a r n i n g p r e f e r e n c e of o l d e r a d u l t s R i g g o t t (1983) conc luded t h a t " t h e r e i s l i t t l e i n t e r e s t among r e s i d e n t s 21 of planned retirement communities. . . i n pursuing academic degrees" (p.78) . 2. Nonformal education refers to "any organized systematic educational a c t i v i t y , carried on outside the framework of the formal system, to provide selected types .of learning to p a r t i c u l a r subgroups i n the population, adults as well as children" (Coombs, 1985, p. 23) . Examples include senior centre programs, self-help groups, and wellness programs offered by government sponsored agencies. Nonformal learning a c t i v i t i e s for the older adult are prevalent and diverse. Many a c t i v i t i e s are s p e c i f i c a l l y targeted for seniors and are organized and sponsored by a wide variety of agencies and organizations. O'Donnell & Berkeley (1980) reported on the growing popularity of Elderhostel which sponsors organized nonformal t r a v e l and learning a c t i v i t i e s for those over 55. Self-help programs, wellness i n i t i a t i v e s , and volunteer endeavors are other examples of nonformal education with special relevance for older adults. 3. Informal education refers to "the l i f e l o n g process by which every person acquires and accumulates knowledge, s k i l l s , attitudes, and insights from d a i l y experiences and exposure to the environment - at home, at work, at play; from the example and attitudes of family and friends; from t r a v e l , reading newspapers or books, or by l i s t e n i n g to the radio or viewing films or t e l e v i s i o n . Generally informal education i s unorganized and unsystematic and even unintentional at times" (Coombs, 1985, p. 25). 22 Informal learning a c t i v i t i e s are an important segment of learning i n l a t e r l i f e . Coombs (1985) recently emphasized the importance of informal a c t i v i t i e s : the increase i n the publication of books, the sales of newspapers, and the growth of the media over the past 20 years. He remarked: Substantial increase i n the number of and attendance at public l i b r a r i e s , museums, theatres, exhibitions, and other important vehicles of knowledge, ideas, and culture has further enriched the informal learning environments and the l i v e s of great numbers of people, (p. 95) The merits and disadvantages of formal, nonformal, and informal education must be analyzed before making important programmatic choices. Nonformal and informal education provide alternatives to t r a d i t i o n a l formal learning opportunities but can too e a s i l y , according to c r i t i c s , be considered as a remedy for i n e q u a l i t i e s found i n mainstream education. C r i t i c s have reported that nonformal education i s not necessarily a panacea for structural change (Colletta & R a d c l i f f e , 1980; LaBelle, 1981; Paulston, 1980; Rubenson, 1982), and that nonformal education often serves to extend the s o c i a l class bias of formal systems and become just another cog i n the wheel of economic and c u l t u r a l reproduction (Bordieu & Passeron, 1977). Coombs (1985) considered that nonformal education could become "a hoax designed to delude the poor into thinking they are getting the real thing" (p.23). Commenting on 23 e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s , R a d c l i f f e (1982) remarked on the e l i t i s t q u a l i t y of many e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s f o r the e l d e r l y : L i k e s c h o o l i n g , much of i t i s c o m f o r t a b l y m i d d l e - c l a s s and i s best s u i t e d t o those who have a l r e a d y had the advantage and the s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n of some c r i t i c a l mass of p r e v i o u s e d u c a t i o n , (p. 315) There i s no e v i d e n t consensus i n the l i t e r a t u r e about the p o s i t i o n of s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g i n a t y p o l o g y of f o r m a l , n o n f o r m a l , and i n f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n . As p r e v i o u s l y n o t e d , Mocker & Spear (1982) d i s t i n g u i s h e d s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g from f o r m a l , nonformal or i n f o r m a l l e a r n i n g . On the o ther hand, Darkenwald & Merr iam (1982) and Rubenson (1982) a s s o c i a t e d s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g w i t h the i n f o r m a l s e c t o r . In c o n t r a s t t o both of these p o s i t i o n s , i t would seem reasonable t o c a t e g o r i z e s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g under Coombs' d e f i n i t i o n of nonformal e d u c a t i o n : l e a r n e r s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y p l a n and o r g a n i z e o b j e c t i v e s and a c t i v i t i e s f o r a s p e c i f i c c l i e n t e l e , themselves . Because of t h i s u n r e s o l v e d t y p o l o g i c a l d i s c r e p a n c y , s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g , i n t h i s s t u d y , i s c o n s i d e r e d as a separate mode of l e a r n i n g . S e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s r e f e r t o l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s which are p r i m a r i l y s e l f - p l a n n e d and s e l f - o r g a n i z e d . B r o o k f i e l d (1984) d e f i n e d s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g as the i n t e n t i o n a l p u r s u i t of c l e a r l y s p e c i f i e d l e a r n i n g g o a l s w i t h the l e a r n e r e x e r c i s i n g c o n t r o l over the content and method of l e a r n i n g . T h i s d e f i n i t i o n r e c o g n i z e d the importance of the l e a r n e r as a c e n t r a l p l a y e r i n s e l e c t i n g and p l a n n i n g 24 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Works by Tough (1971, 1979) and Hiemstra (1976) focused on the importance of these s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Hiemstra (1976) r e f l e c t e d on the re levance of s e l f - d i r e c t i o n f o r the a d u l t e d u c a t o r : Educators must l e a r n how t o remove t h e i r i n s t i t u t i o n a l b l i n d e r s and recognize a l l the s e l f - d i r e c t e d , independent l e a r n i n g g o i n g on and needed o u t s i d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s . T h i s w i l l r e q u i r e educators t o work i n new r o l e s , t o make new l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s a v a i l a b l e i n new s e t t i n g s , and t o make a v a i l a b l e more and b e t t e r resources f o r l e a r n i n g , (p. 337) Research i n t o the most a p p r o p r i a t e uses of v a r i e d modes of e d u c a t i o n must be extended t o support and enhance l e a r n i n g f o r the e l d e r l y . A l o n g these l i n e s , C o l l e t t a & R a d c l i f f e (1980) suggested t h a t f o r m a l , n o n f o r m a l , and i n f o r m a l modes of t r a n s m i s s i o n weave i n and out of one another , t a k i n g p r i o r i t y a c c o r d i n g t o changing i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i a l developmental t a s k s i n the l i f e course (p. 26) . They proposed f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h t o determine the most a p p r o p r i a t e forms of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s at v a r i o u s stages of the l i f e c o u r s e . Perhaps , as C o l l e t t a & R a d c l i f f e (1980) p o s t u l a t e d , each mode of l e a r n i n g has i t s s p e c i a l s t r e n g t h s : Formal t r a n s m i s s i o n i s more e f f e c t i v e when the e d u c a t i o n a l f u n c t i o n i s c o g n i t i v e , a b s t r a c t , and e v a l u a t i v e . . . a s best r e p r e s e n t e d i n the technology of s c h o o l i n g . I n f o r m a l t r a n s m i s s i o n i s more e f f e c t i v e when the e d u c a t i o n a l f u n c t i o n i s a f f e c t i v e , r e l a t e d t o v a l u e s and b e l i e f s . . . a s best i l l u s t r a t e d i n the s o c i o - c u l t u r a l t echniques of f a m i l y , peer group, and community. 25 Non- formal t r a n s m i s s i o n i s more e f f e c t i v e when the e d u c a t i o n a l f u n c t i o n i s psychomotor, concre te and s k i l l o r i e n t e d . . . a s best e x e m p l i f i e d i n the t e c h n o l o g i e s of the w o r k p l a c e , (p. 25) P o t e n t i a l B e n e f i t s from P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s Concepts of a l e a r n i n g s o c i e t y , l i f e l o n g e d u c a t i o n , and l i f e l o n g l e a r n i n g p r o v i d e d a framework f o r t h i s s t u d y . The p o t e n t i a l b e n e f i t s from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s underscore the importance of p r o v i d i n g r e l e v a n t l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r a g i n g i n d i v i d u a l s i n an a g i n g s o c i e t y . These p o t e n t i a l b e n e f i t s are reviewed from two p e r s p e c t i v e s : 1 . I n d i v i d u a l b e n e f i t s d e r i v e d from meeting m u l t i p l e p e r s o n a l "needs" throughout the l i f e course ( B i r r e n & Woodruff , 1973; H i e m s t r a , 1972; Londoner, 1985; McClusky, 1971; Merr iam & Lumsden, 1985; P e t e r s o n , 1983) . 2 . S o c i a l b e n e f i t s d e r i v e d from r e t r a i n i n g an a g i n g work f o r c e and from e a s i n g the f i n a n c i a l and s o c i a l burdens t h a t an a g i n g p o p u l a t i o n p l a c e s upon h e a l t h c a r e , s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , f a m i l y , and community support systems (Dychtwald & F l o w e r , 1989; Lowy & O'Connor, 1986; Moody, 1986). McClusky (1971) presented f i v e c a t e g o r i e s of i n d i v i d u a l needs t h a t c o u l d be met through p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s : (a) c o p i n g needs (b) e x p r e s s i v e needs (c) c o n t r i b u t i v e needs (d) i n f l u e n c e needs, and (e) transcendence needs. In another w i d e l y r e f e r e n c e d 26 a n a l y s i s , B i r r e n and Woodruff (1973) examined the importance of c o n t i n u e d l e a r n i n g f o r a l l e v i a t i o n , p r e v e n t i o n and enrichment i n l a t e r l i f e . More r e c e n t l y , the N a t i o n a l A d v i s o r y C o u n c i l on A g i n g (1989) a f f i r m e d the importance of l e a r n i n g t o s u r v i v e , l e a r n i n g t o cope, l e a r n i n g t o g i v e , and l e a r n i n g t o grow and enjoy i n l a t e r l i f e . Another set of w r i t i n g s s h i f t e d away from t h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l and focused on s o c i a l b e n e f i t s d e r i v e d from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Two important contemporary s o c i a l i s s u e s concern r e t r a i n i n g o l d e r workers and d e c r e a s i n g s k y r o c k e t i n g c o s t s of h e a l t h care s e r v i c e s . As the p o p u l a t i o n ages and technology advances, o l d e r workers are r e q u i r e d t o l e a r n new and complex s k i l l s . P r o d u c t i v e o l d e r workers d e s t r o y one myth of a g i n g : o l d e r workers are not worth the investment of r e t r a i n i n g . Dychtwald & Flower (1989) contended: In the f u t u r e o l d e r workers w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d not worn out but seasoned, not out of date but ab le t o l e a r n , not ready t o r e t i r e but open t o a more f l e x i b l e and p r o d u c t i v e work l i f e . " (p. 43) As s o c i e t i e s c o n t i n u e t o age, o l d e r workers become an important p a r t of the economic development of modern s o c i e t y . W e l l - d e v e l o p e d r e t r a i n i n g programs f o r o l d e r workers are an important p a r t of t h i s development p r o c e s s . Moody (1988) observed t h a t : In a p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l economy, human c a p i t a l f o r m u l a t i o n on a l i f e - s p a n b a s i s has become s t r a t e g i c a l l y i m p o r t a n t . . . . and t h a t g a i n s i n p r o d u c t i v i t y i n the f u t u r e w i l l depend on the r e t r a i n i n g of a d u l t s and o l d e r w o r k e r s , (p. 191) A second s o c i a l and economic i s s u e i n v o l v e s the s k y r o c k e t i n g cos t s of h e a l t h care and r e l a t e d s e r v i c e s . P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g 27 a c t i v i t i e s can provide one important strategy for decreasing demands on these services. Such contemporary endeavors as self-help and wellness groups have educative components with a potential for a c t i v e l y promoting interdependence and for decreasing the dependency of the older population on expensive medical and s o c i a l services. In a study of health and well-being, Thorne, G r i f f i n & Adlersberg (1986) revealed that older participants "viewed the stimulation of learning as c r i t i c a l to maintaining health and well-being at optimal l e v e l s " (p. 17). Although potential benefits from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s appear impressive, important questions remain to be answered. Would these benefits be experienced by a l l older adults? The answer to that question i s , probably not, especially i f learning a c t i v i t i e s are confined to more t r a d i t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s i n formal educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . A majority of older adults have no history of pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n formal education; a majority have no involvement i n any structured form of adult education. Consequently, i t does not appear reasonable that older adults would suddenly frequent t r a d i t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s located i n formal educational i n s t i t u t i o n s . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , i t appears l i k e l y that innovative learning a c t i v i t i e s , consistent with the individual's s o c i a l context and "history as learner" (Thornton, 1986, p. 63) could succeed i n challenging potentials and problems posed by aging. Some of these innovative opportunities are already a t t r a c t i n g older adult p a r t i c i p a t i o n : New Horizons programs, Elderhostel, wellness centres, self-help groups, and worker retraining programs. 28 Other important q u e s t i o n s r e q u i r e f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . C o u l d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s a s s i s t o l d e r a d u l t s t o become l e s s dependent upon s o c i a l w e l f a r e systems? C o u l d o l d e r a d u l t s l e a r n new c a r e e r s and r e e n t e r the economic s t r u c t u r e of s o c i e t y as c r e d i t s i n s t e a d of d e b i t s (Moody, 1986)? C o u l d the wisdom of a g e n e r a t i o n who has s u r v i v e d a d e p r e s s i o n , s e v e r a l wars , and major t e c h n o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l r e v o l u t i o n be harnessed t o address major e c o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l , and economic problems which t h r e a t e n s o c i e t y ( I l l i c h , 1970)? P o s i t i v e responses t o these q u e s t i o n s seem reasonable ; however, the p o t e n t i a l f o r p o s i t i v e answers appears dependent upon both the c o n s t r u c t i o n of more r e l e v a n t l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s and upon a more p o s i t i v e view of a g i n g . The o l d e r a d u l t i s , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , o f t e n c o n s i d e r e d a l i a b i l i t y r a t h e r than an asset i n a human c a p i t a l view of s o c i e t y . T h i s s e c t i o n reviewed p o t e n t i a l b e n e f i t s from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s from i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i a l p e r s p e c t i v e s . The f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n reviews c u r r e n t r e s e a r c h c o n c e r n i n g the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of o l d e r a d u l t s i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Research about P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e Long (1983) and Percy (1989) i d e n t i f i e d the v a r i e t y of i n c o n s i s t e n t t e r m i n o l o g y used by a d u l t educators c o n d u c t i n g 29 p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e s e a r c h . A l t h o u g h l i m i t e d sampl ing procedures and d e f i n i t i o n a l i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s between s t u d i e s must be acknowledged, a grea t d e a l of u s e f u l i n f o r m a t i o n has a l r e a d y been uncovered c o n c e r n i n g the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of o l d e r a d u l t s i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . T h i s s e c t i o n s y n t h e s i z e s s e l e c t e d s i g n i f i c a n t a d u l t e d u c a t i o n data c o n c e r n i n g o l d e r a d u l t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n and p r e s e n t s r e l e v a n t r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s c o n c e r n i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p a r t i c i p a t i o n and sociodemographic measures i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n . To d a t e , r e s e a r c h about the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of o l d e r a d u l t s i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s has focused on t r a d i t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y sponsored programs. These s t u d i e s i n d i c a t e d t h a t the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of o l d e r a d u l t s was v e r y l o w . In a landmark s t u d y , Johnstone & R i v e r a (1965) r e p o r t e d t h a t over o n e - h a l f of a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s were under f o r t y , and t h a t n e a r l y e i g h t y percent were under f i f t y . T h i s f i n d i n g was l a t e r suppor ted i n r e s e a r c h by C a r p , P e t e r s o n , & R o e l f s (1974) who r e p o r t e d t h a t l e a r n e r s tended t o be younger and t h a t i n t e r e s t i n and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s dropped s h a r p l y a f t e r the age of f i f t y - f i v e . In a recent Canadian s t u d y , Devereaux (1985) suggested t h a t the p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e of those 65 and over was v e r y low and conc luded t h a t " a d u l t l e a r n e r s tended t o be r e l a t i v e l y y o u n g " , and t h a t " f o r both men and women, e n r o l l m e n t d e c l i n e d markedly a f t e r the age of 45" (p. 6 ) . These Canadian s t a t i s t i c s c o r r o b o r a t e d e a r l i e r U . S . f i n d i n g s (Cross , 1981; Johnstone & R i v e r a , 1965; P e t e r s o n , 1983; Ventura & Worthy, 1982). 30 These studies, however, primarily focused on t r a d i t i o n a l learning a c t i v i t i e s . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , research by DeCrow (1975), Tough (1971, 1979), and Hiemstra (1976, 1985) provided a challenge to the relevance of narrow views of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . DeCrow (1975) surveyed a wide variety of providers of learning opportunities offered for older adults and summarized the broad range of programs offered through educational i n s t i t u t i o n s and community agencies. DeCrow (1975) noted that older adults were continually learning from d a i l y experience, through personal contacts, and exposure to the mass media as well as i n organized learning a c t i v i t i e s sponsored by numerous agencies (p. 1) . In another l i n e of research, Tough (1971, 1979) observed that adults engaged i n numerous s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning projects throughout t h e i r l i v e s . Hiemstra (1976), extended Tough's (1971) research by focusing on s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Hiemstra surveyed 214 older male Nebraskans and reported that, on average annually, t h i s group participated i n 3.3 d i v e r s i f i e d learning projects involving 325 hours of learning time. Theories of disengagement and decline no longer were adequate to explain the dynamics of p a r t i c i p a t i o n for an aging population. Selected studies suggesting relationships between p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n educational a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e and sociodemographic measures influencing p a r t i c i p a t i o n are reviewed i n sections below. 31 Age Educational p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s reported to decrease as people age (Graney & Hays, 1976; Harris, 1975; Heisel, 1980; J a r v i s , 1985). Peterson (1981) stated that age was a s i g n i f i c a n t variable i n determining the educational p a r t i c i p a t i o n of older adults. Graney & Hays (1976) and Harris (1975) found regression i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n past the age of s i x t y - f i v e and a s i g n i f i c a n t correlation between more advanced age and a decline i n interest i n further education. Heisel (1980); Heisel, Darkenwald, and Anderson (1981); Jacobowith and Shanan (1982) ; and Jarvis (1985) corroborated these findings and reported that the pa r t i c i p a t i o n of those 55 and over was s i g n i f i c a n t l y less than i n younger groups. The underrepresentation of older adults i n education has been corroborated by Devereaux (1985) i n Canada, Kingston & Drotter (1983) i n the United States, and Ryan (1985) i n England. Although a convincing picture of decreasing p a r t i c i p a t i o n with increasing age has recurred i n the l i t e r a t u r e , these cross-sectional studies have dealt with p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t r a d i t i o n a l educational enterprises. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , some recent studies (Borthwick, 1981; Ryan, 1985) have revealed an increase i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n by persons f i f t y - f i v e and over i n less t r a d i t i o n a l educational a c t i v i t i e s . Ryan (1985) remarked upon the increasing number of older-old (over 80) enrolled i n the Open University i n B r i t a i n . In the United States, Borthwick (1981) reported that between 1969 and 1975 pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n adult education increased 55.2% 32 f o r those 55 and o v e r . In a s tudy of n u r s i n g home r e s i d e n t s , Check and Wurzback (1984) d i s c l o s e d t h a t t h i s group of o l d e r a d u l t s (median age 83) d i d not a s s o c i a t e advanced age w i t h an i n a b i l i t y t o l e a r n and t h a t over t h r e e - f o u r t h s of t h i s group r e p o r t e d t h a t people were never too o l d t o l e a r n (p. 38) . Reports of the r a p i d growth of p a r t i c i p a t i o n by o l d e r a d u l t s i n n o n t r a d i t i o n a l e d u c a t i v e o p p o r t u n i t i e s such as New H o r i z o n s , E l d e r h o s t e l , and s e l f - h e l p groups c h a l l e n g e c o n s t r u c t s of a g i n g t h a t i m p l y disengagement from l e a r n i n g w i t h i n c r e a s i n g age (Morrow-Howell & Ozawa, 1987; O ' D o n n e l l & B e r k e l e y , 1980; Novak, 1987). Gender No c l e a r p i c t u r e emerges concern ing d i f f e r e n c e s i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e l a t e d t o gender. Ventura and Worthy (1982) r e p o r t e d t h a t the m a j o r i t y of o l d e r s tudents were female . T h i s i s supported i n r e s e a r c h by H e i s e l , Darkenwald & Anderson (1981), K i n g s t o n & D r o t t e r (1983), and Krout (1983). In c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o these f i n d i n g s , a h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n of o l d e r men p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n s t u d i e s by Hooper & March (1978) and Ryan (1985) . These s t u d i e s have o n l y begun t o d e l v e i n t o the r e l a t i o n s h i p between gender and p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h i s w i l l be a f e r t i l e area f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . E d u c a t i o n a l Background There are c o n s i s t e n t r e p o r t s i n the l i t e r a t u r e t h a t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n i n c r e a s e s w i t h h i g h e r l e v e l s of p r e v i o u s l y completed 33 education (Courtenay & Long, 1987; Covey, 1981; Graney, 1980; Heisel, Darkenwald, & Anderson, 1981; Hooper & March, 1978; Kingston & Drotter, 1983; Peterson, 1983). Devereaux (1985) reported that p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n adult education increased with the amount of schooling previously completed. Courtenay and Long (1987) concluded that l e v e l of education was the most important predictor of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n adult education. These studies have, however, reported on p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n more t r a d i t i o n a l learning a c t i v i t i e s . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , when measuring p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s at senior centres, Krout (1983) found that senior centre users had an average of 1.5 years less education than non-users. He concluded that senior centre use increased as l e v e l of completed education decreased. Further research i s necessary to v e r i f y the relationship between previous levels of education and p a r t i c i p a t i o n across a wide variety of formal, nonformal, informal and s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning a c t i v i t i e s . Socioeconomic Status Heisel (1980), Jarvis (1985), and Marcus (1978), related higher levels of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n adult education to higher levels of socioeconomic status. Marcus (1978) inferred that people of lower socioeconomic status did not participate i n t r a d i t i o n a l education. Decreasing p a r t i c i p a t i o n with decreasing socioeconomic status was also noted i n studies of se l f - d i r e c t e d learning reviewed by Cross (1981). She reported that "adults who were not involved i n learning projects were 34 l i k e l y t o be p o o r l y educated, p o o r l y p a i d , o l d e r r u r a l r e s i d e n t s " (Cross , 1981, p . 64) . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , however, Krout (1983) r e p o r t e d t h a t o l d e r persons of l e s s e r means were more l i k e l y t o be i n t e r e s t e d i n and use the s e r v i c e s and programs o f f e r e d by s e n i o r c e n t r e s . These c o n f l i c t i n g r e p o r t s encourage r e s e a r c h endeavors t o examine a broader spectrum of n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l and s e l f - d i r e c t e d modes of l e a r n i n g . Measures of W e l l - b e i n g None of the s t u d i e s reviewed f o r t h i s p r o j e c t c o n s i d e r e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and measures of w e l l - b e i n g . S e v e r a l s t u d i e s , however, made s p e c u l a t i o n s about t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p appear r e a s o n a b l e . In a summary of t h i r t y years of r e s e a r c h on w e l l - b e i n g , Larson (1978) c o n c l u d e d : The r e s e a r c h on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s o c i a l a c t i v i t y and w e l l - b e i n g , and the r e s e a r c h on an a r r a y of d i f f e r e n t measures of a c t i v i t i e s and on d i f f e r e n t p o p u l a t i o n s shows i n g e n e r a l t h a t these two v a r i a b l e s are p o s i t i v e l y r e l a t e d , (p.115) Palmore (1974, 1981) and Palmore & L u i k a r t (1972, 1974) r e p o r t e d on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n o r g a n i z e d a c t i v i t y and w e l l - b e i n g . Palmore and L u i k a r t (1974) contended t h a t " the second s t r o n g e s t v a r i a b l e r e l a t e d t o l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n was o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y " (p. 192) . These authors noted t h a t t h e r e was most l i k e l y a two way e f f e c t : people d e r i v e d s u b s t a n t i a l l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n such a c t i v i t i e s ; depressed persons w i t h low l i f e 35 s a t i s f a c t i o n withdrew from a c t i v i t i e s . Palmore (1981), rejecting a disengagement model of aging, observed that higher s o c i a l a c t i v i t y tended to be associated with higher morale and l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n . In a recent study of older adults, Thornton & C o l l i n s (1984, 1986) observed that p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e i s u r e a c t i v i t y and physical a c t i v i t y increased as self-reports of l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n increased. P a r t i c i p a t i o n functioned i n enhancing one's free-time and i n contributing to a healthy and productive l i f e s t y l e (Thornton & C o l l i n s , 1986, p. 6). In t h i s research there was a clear sense that remaining physically and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y active "helps one enjoy a healthy, vigorous, and s a t i s f y i n g l i f e and can reverse the effects of many l i f e s t yle habits that influence the health care needs of the e l d e r l y " (Thornton & C o l l i n s , 1986, p. 6). Although p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s was reported to increase with higher ratings of well-being, to date, no studies have been located that relate well-being to p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s . In t h i s current study, two components of well-being were measured and related to p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s : l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n and s e l f -reported health status. Social Context Three indicators of an individual's s o c i a l context receiving increasing attention i n contemporary gerontology l i t e r a t u r e are s o c i a l 36 s u p p o r t , s o c i a l network, and presence of a c o n f i d a n t . S o c i a l s u p p o r t , a c c o r d i n g t o Kahn (1979), r e f e r s t o : i n t e r p e r s o n a l t r a n s a c t i o n s t h a t i n c l u d e one or more of the f o l l o w i n g : the e x p r e s s i o n of p o s i t i v e a f f e c t of one person towards another ; the a f f i r m a t i o n or endorsement of another p e r s o n ' s b e h a v i o r , p e r c e p t i o n s , or expressed v i e w s ; the g i v i n g of symbol ic or m a t e r i a l a i d t o another , (p. 85) A l o n g s i m i l a r l i n e s , Chiraboga (1987) r e f e r r e d t o a more s t r u c t u r a l t e rm, s o c i a l network, t h a t i n c l u d e d the number of s o c i a l t i e s and frequency of c o n t a c t . In an attempt t o s y n t h e s i z e the importance of these i s s u e s i n l a t e r l i f e Chiraboga (1987) r e p o r t e d : Wi th the growing r e c o g n i t i o n of s o c i a l and p h y s i c a l s t r e s s o r s as d i s r u p t i v e f o r c e s i n the l i v e s of the e l d e r l y , g e r o n t o l o g i s t s have a l s o begun t o examine s o c i a l o thers as p o t e n t i a l mediators and b u f f e r s a g a i n s t the impact of s t r e s s o r s , (p. 635) Lowenthal and Haven (1968) i n i t i a t e d work on c o n f i d i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s and, A n t o n u c c i (1985) and Lowenthal and Robinson (1976) r e p o r t e d t h a t the presence of a c o n f i d a n t i n o l d age i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h lower l e v e l s of l o n e l i n e s s , b e t t e r adjustment t o widowhood, and h i g h e r l e v e l s of s e l f - e s t e e m and mental and p h y s i c a l h e a l t h . Based upon these r e p o r t s , i t seemed reasonable t o h y p o t h e s i z e t h a t dimensions of s o c i a l support would i n f l u e n c e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . P r i c e and Lyon (1982) c o n s i d e r e d the absence of a companion as a b a r r i e r t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . These r e s e a r c h e r s found t h a t h a v i n g no one t o go w i t h d e t e r r e d o l d e r a d u l t s from a t t e n d i n g e d u c a t i o n a l e v e n t s . A l t h o u g h i s s u e s of s o c i a l support and s o c i a l network are r e c e i v i n g i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n i n contemporary 37 g e r o n t o l o g i c a l r e s e a r c h , these i s s u e s have o n l y r e c e i v e d l i m i t e d a t t e n t i o n i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e . Changes i n P a r t i c i p a t i o n Research reviewed f o r t h i s c u r r e n t p r o j e c t d i d not uncover p u b l i c a t i o n s which addressed changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s across the l i f e c o u r s e . In order t o p r o v i d e some f o u n d a t i o n f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h , respondents i n t h i s s tudy were asked t o r e p o r t on changes i n t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e age f o r t y i n each of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . No consensus has been reached i n the l i t e r a t u r e on i s s u e s of c o n t i n u i t y or change i n a g i n g . Cumming & Henry (1961) suppor ted a disengagement view of a g i n g which e n v i s i o n e d a mutual s o c i a l and i n d i v i d u a l w i t h d r a w a l w i t h i n c r e a s i n g a g i n g . T h i s disengagement model e n v i s i o n e d the i n d i v i d u a l r e t r e a t i n g i n t o a s m a l l e r w o r l d w h i l e s o c i e t y withdrew from the a g i n g i n d i v i d u a l . In M i d d l e Age and A g i n g , Neugarten (1968) and c o n t r i b u t o r s e x p l o r e d p o t e n t i a l s , c o n t i n u i t i e s , and changes i n l a t e r l i f e . These authors c h a l l e n g e d the f a l s e dichotomy of a c t i v i t y versus disengagement i n l a t e r years and proposed t h a t p e r s o n a l i t y across the l i f e course " i s a p i v o t a l dimension . . . and t h a t , i n normal men and women, t h e r e i s no sharp d i s c o n t i n u i t y of p e r s o n a l i t y w i t h age" (Neugarten, H a v i g h u r s t , & T o b i n , 1968, p . 177) . Peppers (1976) found t h a t t h e r e was a c o n t i n u i t y of a c t i v i t y between pre and post r e t i r e m e n t y e a r s , and t h a t " i s o l a t e a c t i v i t y 38 appeared t o be a f u n c t i o n of e a r l i e r a c t i v i t y p a t t e r n s and not a f u n c t i o n of r e t i r e m e n t i t s e l f " (p .444) . A l o n g the same l i n e s , A t c h l e y (1977) c o n c l u d e d : At a l l phases of the l i f e c o u r s e , p r e d i s p o s i t i o n s c o n s t a n t l y e v o l v e from i n t e r a c t i o n s among p e r s o n a l p r e f e r e n c e s , b i o l o g i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l c a p a b i l i t i e s , s i t u a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s , and e x p e r i e n c e . Change i s thus an a d a p t i v e process i n v o l v i n g i n t e r a c t i o n among a l l of these e lements , (p. 27) Reasons f o r P a r t i c i p a t i o n Because of the v o l u n t a r y nature of a d u l t e d u c a t i o n , B o s h i e r (1985b) contended t h a t i t was important f o r a d u l t educators t o know what m o t i v a t e d people t o p a r t i c i p a t e . S e v e r a l s t u d i e s ( B o s h i e r , 1976, 1977; B o s h i e r & R i d d e l l , 1978; Houle , 1961; M o r s t a i n & Smart, 1974) have p r o v i d e d t y p o l o g i e s about the reasons why a d u l t s p a r t i c i p a t e i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n a c t i v i t i e s . One e a r l y t y p o l o g y , developed by Houle (1961), proposed t h r e e l e a r n e r o r i e n t a t i o n s t o e x p l a i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n : 1. Goal o r i e n t e d l e a r n e r s who used e d u c a t i o n as a means of a c c o m p l i s h i n g f a i r l y c l e a r - c u t o b j e c t i v e s . 2 . A c t i v i t y o r i e n t e d l e a r n e r s who p a r t i c i p a t e d because they found a meaning i n the c i rcumstances of the l e a r n i n g which o f t e n had no c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the content or announced purposes of the a c t i v i t y . 3. L e a r n i n g o r i e n t e d l e a r n e r s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n o r d e r t o g a i n knowledge f o r i t s own sake. 39 In an attempt to test and develop Houle's typology, Boshier (1977) developed a widely used model to describe reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n based upon responses to the Education P a r t i c i p a t i o n Scale. The s i x factors groups used to explain p a r t i c i p a t i o n included (Boshier, 1985b, p. 150): 1. Social contact - participants wanted to make or continue friendships, to be accepted by others, to improve relationships and t h e i r s o c i a l position. Participants had a need for group a c t i v i t i e s and congenial friendships. 2. Social stimulation - participants wanted to overcome the f r u s t r a t i o n of day-to-day l i v i n g , to escape i n t e l l e c t u a l narrowness, and to have a few hours away from other r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . 3. Professional advancement - participants wanted to improve t h e i r employment position and secure professional advancement. They participated for job related reasons. 4. Community service - participants enrolled for t h i s factor want to be more ef f e c t i v e as c i t i z e n s , to prepare for community service, and to improve t h e i r a b i l i t y to participate i n community work. 5. External expectations - participants were complying with the wishes of someone else. They were enrolled on the recommendation of some authority. 6. Cognitive interest - participants enrolled for the enjoyment of learning for i t s own sake. 40 In a further analysis of t h i s model, Boshier & Riddell (1978) argued that the category of professional advancement should be dropped as a motivating factor i n scales of older adult p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Using motivational categories s i m i l a r to Boshier's (1985b) s i x factor c l u s t e r s , other researchers have reported on the multiple and diverse motivational orientations of older adults: Fisher (1986) and Kingston (1982) described the motivational importance of cognitive i n t e r e s t ; Romaniuk & Romaniuk (1982) and Sprouse (1981) considered the importance of s o c i a l stimulation; Devereaux (1985) and Heisel, Darkenwald, and Anderson (1981), reported on the relevance of employment motivation i n many younger seniors. The results of an informal survey conducted at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia Summer Program for Retired Persons suggested the importance of six additional motivational categories used i n t h i s current study: personal development, physical f i t n e s s , health, relaxation, entertainment, and keeping one's mind a l i v e (Clough, 1988) . A consensus has been reached i n the l i t e r a t u r e which recognizes the importance of diverse motivational orientations across the l i f e span. Along the same l i n e s , Courtenay (1989) observed that: Most educational gerontology l i t e r a t u r e indicates a heterogeneous older population. Consequently more than one ultimate purpose and more than one c l i e n t e l e should be considered i n designing educational experiences for older people, (p. 532) 41 Recently, i n another l i n e of research, Thornton and C o l l i n s (1984) proposed that those who were aging successfully would report more pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n le i s u r e and physical a c t i v i t i e s and would also be able to give more reasons for t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . These researchers presented a checklist of 27 potential reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n le i s u r e and physical a c t i v i t i e s and found that as p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n le i s u r e and physical a c t i v i t i e s increased, the number of reasons for pa r t i c i p a t i o n also increased. Thornton & C o l l i n s (1984) recommended that further research be conducted concerning learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Barriers to P a r t i c i p a t i o n Barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n adult education are extensively reviewed i n the l i t e r a t u r e . Cross (1981) acknowledged the importance of t h i s area of research while Price & Lyon (1982) concluded that barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n were an important factor i n determining enrollment i n educational a c t i v i t i e s . Cross' (1981) categorization of barriers to pa r t i c i p a t i o n provides a useful typology for understanding various obstacles to p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n educational a c t i v i t i e s across the l i f e course. Selected studies of barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n for the older adult are reviewed using Cross's (1981) typology of s i t u a t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l and di s p o s i t i o n a l b a r r i e r s . Situational barriers are obstacles a r i s i n g from personal situations i n l i f e at a given time. Borthwick (1981), Fi s h t e i n & Feier 42 (1982), and Goodrow (1975) c i t e d transportation as a s i g n i f i c a n t s i t u a t i o n a l b a r r i e r for older adults. Health i s another important ba r r i e r i n l a t e r l i f e noted by Heisel (1980). Hearing (Kingston & Drotter, 1983) and v i s i o n (Goodrow, 1975) also presented obstacles to p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . Other s i t u a t i o n a l b a r r i e r s , with special relevance i n l a t e r l i f e , included income and f i n a n c i a l resources (Borthwick, 1983); home r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s (Goodrow, 1975); lack of time (Graney, 1980); and, location i n the community (Borthwick, 1983). I n s t i t u t i o n a l barriers are obstacles which involve a l l the practices and procedures of the sponsoring i n s t i t u t i o n that discourage p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Goodrow (1975) indicated that s t r i c t attendance, scheduling, and too much "red tape" were barriers for the older adult population. Kingston (1982) and Kingston and Drotter (1983) reported that poor parking was a deterrent for older learners, while other authors mentioned the cost of a program as a negative influence on p a r t i c i p a t i o n (Danes et A l , 1982, reported i n J a r v i s , 1985; Romaniuk, 1983). Inadequate information d i s t r i b u t i o n has also been recognized as an i n s t i t u t i o n a l b a r r i e r i n l a t e r l i f e (Graney & Hays, 1976; Heisel, 1980; Windley & Scheidt, 1983). Dispositional barriers are obstacles related to attitudes and self-perceptions about oneself as learner. Ventura & Worthy (1982) concluded that lack of interest was the major barr i e r to p a r t i c i p a t i o n for the older student. This was also reported to be a major b a r r i e r to older adult p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n several other studies (Graney, 1980; Krout, 43 1983; Windley & Scheidt, 1983). Goodrow (1975) and Borthwick (1981) remarked that many older adults f e l t that they were too old to learn. Older adults often feared educational settings (Peterson, 1981) or the competition involved i n educational pursuits (Fishtein & Feier, 1982) . Negative attitudes towards faculty and s t a f f were barriers c i t e d by Borthwick (1981) . Recent studies explored the effects of s o c i a l and economic patterns on p a r t i c i p a t i o n for older learners (Courtenay, 1989; Covey, 1981, Cross, 1981; Marcus, 1978, Radc l i f f e , 1982). In an analysis of s o c i a l forces, Covey (1981) observed that the terminal and youth orientation of schooling was perceived as a ba r r i e r by older adults. Cross (1981) reviewed the importance of the perception, held by many elders, that learning i s for the young. Along these same l i n e s , Courtenay (1989) concluded: The terminal perspective of learning i m p l i c i t l y doubts the cap a b i l i t y of older adults and defines the older students learning interests as primarily of a recreational nature, (p. 531) Considering the influence of socioeconomic status on pa r t i c i p a t i o n , Marcus (1978) and Radcliffe (1982) observed that persons of lower socioeconomic status were less l i k e l y to par t i c i p a t e i n t r a d i t i o n a l adult education endeavors. Radcliffe (1982) contended that educational offerings for older adults were often e l i t i s t and served "a c l i e n t e l e who are better able than others to a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r needs and inte r e s t s " (p. 315). 44 O r g a n i z a t i o n a l Choices Made by O l d e r A d u l t s When o l d e r a d u l t s choose t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n a l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y , they a l s o express pre ferences about the s p o n s o r s h i p and o r g a n i z a t i o n of these a c t i v i t i e s . Pre ferences about s p o n s o r s h i p , t o p i c or content area c h o i c e s , and p r e f e r e n c e s about p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a g e - i n t e g r a t e d or age-segregated a c t i v i t i e s are reviewed i n t h i s s e c t i o n . Sponsor ing Agency In t h i s s t u d y , sponsorsh ip r e f e r s t o the agency t h a t p l a n s , o r g a n i z e s , or implements a l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y . Recent s t u d i e s r e v e a l s p o n s o r s h i p t r e n d s and the importance of community sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s . H a r r i s (1981) compared responses t o the q u e s t i o n "Where d i d you take c o u r s e s ? " from 1974 and 1981 data and remarked on the sharp decrease i n o l d e r a d u l t s s t u d y i n g at churches (from 24% i n 1974 t o 5% i n 1981) or through correspondence programs (from 10% t o 1%) . Ventura and Worthy (1982) r e p o r t e d t h a t i n 1981 almost o n e - q u a r t e r of the a d u l t l e a r n e r s over the age of 65 p o p u l a t i o n e n r o l l e d i n courses through community or s e n i o r c e n t r e a c t i v i t i e s . In a secondary a n a l y s i s of data from the N a t i o n a l Center of E d u c a t i o n a l S t a t i s t i c s (1981) p u b l i c a t i o n , H e i s e l , Darkenwald, and 45 Anderson (1981) observed differences i n sponsorship of courses by the age of participant. These authors noted that: In general older adults prefer courses given i n community organizations to those given i n any other s i t e , including schools and colleges, and that t h i s preference tended to increase with age. (p. 237) Other studies revealed the d i v e r s i t y of sponsorship for learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . DeCrow (1975) noted that although older adults learned from a c t i v i t i e s of everyday l i f e , through interaction with family and friends, and through mass communications, many learning a c t i v i t i e s were being sponsored by non-school agencies: l i b r a r i e s , museums, churches, parks and recreation departments, business and numerous volunteer and community organizations. The need for diverse sponsorship of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e recurs throughout the l i t e r a t u r e . Recognizing t h i s , challenges us as educators to look beyond the walls of educational i n s t i t u t i o n s towards collaborative e f f o r t s involving older adults and community resources. Multiple educational needs and potentials i n l a t e r l i f e cannot be met by formal i n s t i t u t i o n s alone but can best be met by a wide variety of formal, nonformal, and informal educational programs and agencies (Colletta & Radcliffe, 1980; Cremin, 1976; Gelpi, 1979) . As Cross (1981) pointed out, no amount of formal education during youth can prepare adults, young or old, for the future they must face. Consequently, formal education, often equated with "schooling" (Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982) and concepts of courses and textbooks becomes only part of the t o t a l landscape of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r 46 l i f e . The broad spectrum of sponsorsh ip has n o t , as y e t , been adequate ly e x p l o r e d i n e d u c a t i o n a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n s t u d i e s . A l t h o u g h d i v e r s e sponsorsh ip i s necessary t o meet the v a r i e d needs of the e l d e r l y p o p u l a t i o n , t h i s d i v e r s i t y a l s o s i g n a l s problems f o r a t t r a c t i n g f i n a n c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s u p p o r t . Courtenay & Long (1987) observed one dichotomy t h a t a r i s e s from d i v e r s i f i e d s p o n s o r s h i p of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r the e l d e r l y . They r e p o r t e d : On the one hand, the c u r r e n t programs r e f l e c t the heterogeneous nature of the o l d e r a d u l t because the p r o v i d e r s and s u b j e c t matter are so v a r i e d . A t the same t i m e , o l d e r a d u l t s s u f f e r the absence of a u n i f i e d system t o advocate , c o o r d i n a t e , and a s s i s t t o fund e d u c a t i o n f o r the e l d e r l y , (p. 95) Two i s s u e s r e l a t e d t o p r e f e r e n c e s f o r s p o n s o r i n g agencies are rev iewed i n recent l i t e r a t u r e : the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p a r t i c i p a t i o n and f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h a sponsor and the importance of i n n o v a t i v e and e v o l v i n g sponsors . Pe terson (1981) r e p o r t e d t h a t f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h a sponsor , f o r example w i t h i t s r e p u t a t i o n and a c c e s s i b i l i t y , were impor tant m o t i v a t i n g f a c t o r s i n the d e c i s i o n s of o l d e r a d u l t s t o e n r o l l i n a program. A second i s s u e concerns the s i g n i f i c a n c e of i n n o v a t i v e s p o n s o r s h i p f o r l a t e r l i f e l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . In recent y e a r s , i n n o v a t i v e o p p o r t u n i t i e s p r o v i d e d by such o r g a n i z a t i o n s as New Hor izons (Novak, 1987), E l d e r h o s t e l (O 'Donnel l & B e r k e l e y , 1980) and s e l f - h e l p groups (Morrow-Howell & Ozawa, 1987) have a t t r a c t e d l a r g e numbers of o l d e r a d u l t p a r t i c i p a n t s . Both of these i s s u e s r e q u i r e f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . 47 Any discussion of sponsorship i s incomplete without some mention of s e l f - d i r e c t i o n . Self-directed a c t i v i t i e s are largely self-planned, but often involve the use of formal, nonformal, or informal resources. The importance of these s e l f - d i r e c t e d a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e i s noted i n the l i t e r a t u r e (Brockett, 1985, 1987; Hiemstra, 1972, 1985; Tough, 1971, 1979). Research into s e l f - d i r e c t i o n has sh i f t e d the focus of attention from the i n s t i t u t i o n or subject matter to the in d i v i d u a l as learner and has suggested the importance of e x i s t i n g learning networks i n an adult's l i f e (Brookfield, 1984). Successful learning a c t i v i t i e s for the older learner w i l l recognize and enhance these personal and so c i a l networks. Topic and Content Area Learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e vary even more i n content than i n sponsorship. Early studies by Johnstone & Rivera (1965) and Carp, Peterson, & Roelfs (1974) indicated that interest i n general education and vocational t r a i n i n g declined markedly with aging, while the study of r e l i g i o n increased with age. Recent studies provide a more contemporary picture concerning the extent and d i v e r s i t y of content choices i n l a t e r l i f e . Ventura & Worthy (1982, p.22) concluded that older persons participated i n a wide variety of courses that provided (a) a continued sense of meaning i n t h e i r l i v e s through such areas as r e l i g i o n , philosophy, and art courses, and (b) a sense of control or coping 48 through such programs as physical education, health care sciences, and business courses. Several studies have investigated the instrumental and expressive orientations of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e (Havighurst, 1976; Hiemstra 1982; Londoner, 1971, 1985). According to Havighurst (1976), "instrumental education i s education for a goal that l i e s outside and beyond the act of education. In t h i s form, education i s an instrument for changing the learner's s i t u a t i o n " (p.41). On the other hand, expressive education i s "viewed as an a c t i v i t y that has i t s g r a t i f i c a t i o n within the learning sit u a t i o n i t s e l f . The educational consumer participates i n the a c t i v i t y solely for the g r a t i f i c a t i o n i t provides at the moment" (Londoner, 1971, p.113). In r e a l i t y , many educational a c t i v i t i e s have both instrumental and expressive q u a l i t i e s and there i s s t i l l controversy about t h i s educational dichotomy (Londoner, 1985). There has been some consensus i n the l i t e r a t u r e about the importance of instrumental a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e (Londoner, 1971) . Recent work by Hiemstra (1982) has also demonstrated the significance of expressive choices and suggested that "interests vary across a wide variety of possible course areas and within both the expressive and instrumental domains" (p.152). Further research w i l l begin to answer questions which s t i l l surround the issue of instrumental and expressive orientations. 49 Courtenay & Long (1987) reviewed the l i t e r a t u r e on content preferences i n l a t e r l i f e and concluded: I t i s d i f f i c u l t to generalize about the older adult. True, many are interested i n college study, l i b e r a l arts courses p a r t i c u l a r l y ; but many are also interested i n vocational topics, business topics, health issues, l i t e r a c y , ad infinitum. Thus the generalization i s that the nature of the group w i l l dictate subject matter preference, (p. 90) In a secondary analysis of data from the National Center for Educational S t a t i s t i c s , Heisel, Darkenwald & Anderson (1981) provided a useful analysis of content selection by the age, gender, and educational attainment of older participants. There was a sharp decrease i n pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n professional, technical/vocational, managerial, safety, and high school and college credit courses after the age of 70. This analysis also indicated that gender appeared to be a key variable i n re l a t i o n to content choices: among women, 50% of t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n was accounted for by courses on hobbies and personal improvement. Among men, 50% of t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n was accounted for by professional courses. From a Canadian perspective, Devereaux (1985) reported that men of retirement age were most l i k e l y to participate i n personal development courses while women over 65 were most l i k e l y to participate i n hobby courses. Previous education also influenced content choices: participants i n safety and home and family l i v i n g courses had less than a high school education, while classes i n professional or managerial s k i l l s were primarily attended by those with university degrees (Heisel, Darkenwald, and Anderson, 1981, p. 233). 50 Age-Segregated and Age-Integrated Settings One issue receiving attention i n contemporary adult education research concerns the effectiveness of age-segregated and age-integrated programs i n l a t e r l i f e . Courtenay (1989) recently commented on the value of intergenerational programs for older adults: "programs i n which two generations learn together result i n each generation learning more about the other and e x i t i n g the experience with positive attitudes about each other" (p.529). Sprouse (1981), on the other hand, noted that older adults often preferred learning i n age-segregated a c t i v i t i e s and f e l t more secure i n these non-threatening situations. To date, research concerning age-segregated and age-integrated a c t i v i t i e s has not been conclusive and two c o n f l i c t i n g pictures have emerged. On one side of the issue, when analyzing responses of older adults auditing free university classes on a space available basis i n the Wisconsin area, Hooper & March (1978) reported that 91% (127) of respondents preferred classes with a mixture of younger and older students. Of these, 84 (66%) reported enjoying the stimulation of mixed generations while 25 (37%) revealed that they did not want to be stereotyped i n an "older only" group (p. 325). Along s i m i l a r l i n e s , i n an exploratory study of 225 older people, Covey (1981) concluded that older people preferred a c t i v i t i e s which encouraged interaction with younger students. Price & Bromert (1980) perceived that p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n age-integrated learning a c t i v i t i e s could expose learners to a variety 51 of new perspectives and that these new perspectives could become an important part of the decision making process for each group. On the other side of the issue, however, many older adults prefer p a r t i c i p a t i n g with members of t h e i r own age group (Peterson & Orgren, 1982) . Sprouse (1981) concluded that age-integrated courses were l i k e l y to a t t r a c t those elderly who are younger, better educated, and more affluent. Those older, less educated and less affluent were more attracted to community-based, age-segregated programs. Perhaps age-segregated a c t i v i t i e s provide a secure sense of fellowship to less educationally or economically p r i v i l e g e d older adults. Further research i s necessary to understand the age-segregated and age-integrated preferences of l a t e r l i f e learners. In a time of potential intergenerational c o n f l i c t , educational programs should maximize the contact between generations. Nonetheless, programs are needed that ameliorate the fears and in s e c u r i t i e s of poorer, less educated older adults. Perhaps the question i s not "Are age-segregated or age-integrated programs more effective?", but, "When are age-segregated more appropriate?", and, "When are age-integrated programs more appropriate?" Summary P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s i s essential i n a rapidly changing and aging society. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s 52 contributes to maintaining and establishing interdependent, positive l i f e s t y l e s ; to decreasing dependency on expensive health care and s o c i a l services; and to decreasing s o c i a l i n e q u a l i t i e s that subsequently influence p a r t i c i p a t i o n . A framework for understanding p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s has emerged i n the l i t e r a t u r e of l i f e l o n g education. This framework includes concepts of v e r t i c a l integration of learning throughout the l i f e span; horizontal integration of learning a c t i v i t i e s across informal, nonformal, and formal structures; and, legitimating new organizational structures and innovative programs. A typology developed by Coombs (1985) provides a useful t o o l for examining the structure of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . This typology examines the significance of three modes of education: formal, nonformal, and informal education. Reports by Decrow (1975), Hiemstra (1976), and Courtenay (1989) confirm the importance of alternatives to t r a d i t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - b a s e d education for l a t e r l i f e learners. Nonformal, informal and sel f - d i r e c t e d learning a c t i v i t i e s are important components of a diverse landscape of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . P a r t i c i p a t i o n research provides useful information about p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t r a d i t i o n a l adult education a c t i v i t i e s and about the relationship between t h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n and sociodemographic measures. Most studies reported that the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of older adults was low. The older adult participant was more l i k e l y to be younger, better educated, and of higher socioeconomic status. There was no consensus i n the l i t e r a t u r e about the relationship between gender and p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 53 The predominant motivations for p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n learning a c t i v i t i e s were reported to be learning and socially-oriented. The main barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n spanned Cross's typology of s i t u a t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l and d i s p o s i t i o n a l barriers. There was l i t t l e information i n the l i t e r a t u r e about changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n from middle to l a t e r l i f e . Research findings suggested preferences about the sponsorship and organization of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Preferred sponsors include a diverse number of agencies and organizations outside of formal i n s t i t u t i o n a l settings. Choices about topic or content area vary greatly among individuals. Preferences for age-integrated or age-segregated a c t i v i t i e s appear related to educational and economic status. Better educated older adults of higher socioeconomic status are more l i k e l y to participate i n age-integrated a c t i v i t i e s while less educated older adults of lower means appear to prefer to par t i c i p a t e i n age-segregated learning a c t i v i t i e s . This chapter summarized relevant concepts and research related to the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of older adults i n learning a c t i v i t i e s . The following chapter reviews the design of t h i s current study. 54 III. METHODOLOGY T h i s s tudy was developed t o survey a broader range of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s engaged i n by o l d e r a d u l t s then i s c u r r e n t l y d i s c u s s e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e . I t was des igned t o i d e n t i f y and c h a r a c t e r i z e these l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and t o e x p l o r e the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p a r t i c i p a t i o n and s e l e c t e d p e r s o n a l and sociodemographic measures i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Because of the l a r g e number of p e r s o n a l and sociodemographic v a r i a b l e s measured i n t h i s s t u d y , i t was necessary t o o b t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n from a l a r g e number of respondents . A f t e r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h a d u l t e d u c a t o r s , o l d e r a d u l t s , and s e n i o r cent re a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , a d e s c r i p t i v e s t u d y , u s i n g a s u r v e y - m a i l q u e s t i o n n a i r e (Appendix B ) , was chosen as the most a p p r o p r i a t e d e s i g n f o r t h i s s t u d y . A d e s c r i p t i v e s tudy was c o n s i d e r e d a p p r o p r i a t e because, a f t e r r e v i e w i n g the l i t e r a t u r e , i t became apparent t h a t t h e r e was l i m i t e d r e s e a r c h on p a r t i c i p a t i o n across a broad spectrum of f o r m a l , n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l , and s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . The q u e s t i o n n a i r e survey format a l l o w e d the r e s e a r c h e r t o o b t a i n a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of i n f o r m a t i o n from a l a r g e number of o l d e r a d u l t s , i n v a r i e d s e t t i n g s w i t h i n a reasonable p e r i o d of t i m e . S e v e r a l r e s e a r c h hypotheses were developed based upon the l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w . Then, a q u e s t i o n n a i r e , L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e , was c o m p i l e d , p i l o t t e s t e d , r e v i s e d , and d i s t r i b u t e d . F i n a l l y , 55 returned questionnaires were analyzed using the SPSS/PC+, Version 3.0 (SPSS, Inc., 1988), s t a t i s t i c a l package. Six aspects of the research design are discussed below: (a) development of research hypotheses, (b) design of the research instrument, (c) selection of operational measures, (d) respondents i n the study, (e) advantages and l i m i t a t i o n s of the design, and (f) data analysis Development of Research Hypotheses Eight research questions, presented i n Chapter I, provided a framework for exploring the l i t e r a t u r e concerning learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . The following research hypotheses were developed i n order to operationalize these questions: 1. Relationship between p a r t i c i p a t i o n and sociodemographic variables: l . a . Younger seniors participate i n a greater number of learning a c t i v i t i e s , l.b. Older adults with higher incomes have higher rates of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s . I.e. Older adults with more education participate i n a greater number of learning a c t i v i t i e s , l . d . There i s no s i g n i f i c a n t difference i n rates of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s due to gender. 56 I.e. Older adults who participate i n more learning a c t i v i t i e s report higher levels of l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n . l . f . Older adults who participate i n more learning a c t i v i t i e s report more positive health status. l . g . Older adults who l i v e with someone report greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s . 1. h. Older persons with a confidant report greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s , l . i . Older persons reporting belonging to community or professional organizations have greater p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s . 2. Changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n since age forty: 2. a. There are no s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n reports of changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n since age forty by age of respondent. 2. b. There are no s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n reports of changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n since age 40 by gender of respondent. 3. Organizational choices made by older adults: 3. a. The most important sponsors of learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e are nonformal and informal organizations and not formal education i n s t i t u t i o n s . 3.b. Older seniors choose to participate i n learning a c t i v i t i e s primarily i n the daytime. 5 7 3 . c . O l d e r s e n i o r s choose t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s alone r a t h e r than i n groups . 3 . d . Older s e n i o r s choose t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s w i t h members of t h e i r own age group. 4. As p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n c r e a s e s , so does the number of r e p o r t e d reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c r e a s e s . 5 . As p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s decreases , the number of r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c r e a s e s . 6. L e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s c l u s t e r i n t o meaningful f a c t o r s . Design of the Research Instrument In o r d e r t o e x p l o r e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a broad range of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , a c h e c k l i s t of 41 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e was deve loped from responses t o an i n f o r m a l survey conducted by t h i s r e s e a r c h e r at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ' s Summer Program f o r R e t i r e d Persons i n June, 1988 (Clough, 1988). T h i s a c t i v i t y l i s t was expanded, based upon the f i n d i n g s from s e v e r a l important a d u l t e d u c a t i o n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s t u d i e s (Carp, Pe terson & R o e l f , 1974; C r o s s , 1981: DeCrow, 1975; Devereaux, 1985; H e i s e l , Darkenwald, & Anderson, 1981; H i e m s t r a , 1976, 1985; Johnstone & R i v e r a , 1965; P e t e r s o n , 1983; Thornton & C o l l i n s , 1984, 1986; Ventura & Worthy, 1982). T h i r t y a d d i t i o n a l 58 a c t i v i t i e s were added t o the o r i g i n a l 41 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s t o complete a c h e c k l i s t composed of 71 a c t i v i t i e s . Subsequent ly , a q u e s t i o n n a i r e was prepared w i t h two p a r t s : 1. A c h e c k l i s t of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o l l o w e d by q u e s t i o n s about f requency of p a r t i c i p a t i o n , reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n , p a r t i c i p a t i o n e i t h e r a lone or i n groups , changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e age f o r t y , and whether the respondent f e l t t h a t l e a r n i n g was i n v o l v e d i n each of these l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 2) Twenty-one q u e s t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g sociodemographic v a r i a b l e s d e s c r i b i n g the respondent and thought t o i n f l u e n c e p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h i s q u e s t i o n n a i r e was p i l o t t e s t e d d u r i n g two focus group i n t e r v i e w s at two s e n i o r cent res i n the g r e a t e r Vancouver a r e a . The members of the p i l o t groups (n=8) noted t h a t the c h e c k l i s t was too complex t o answer on an a c t i v i t y by a c t i v i t y b a s i s . They recommended a l i s t of a c t i v i t i e s f o l l o w e d by a maximum of two q u e s t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g each a c t i v i t y : f requency of p a r t i c i p a t i o n and changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e the age of f o r t y . These p i l o t groups h e l p e d c o r r e c t a m b i g u i t i e s i n the q u e s t i o n n a i r e and c o n f i r m e d t h a t the proposed c h e c k l i s t r e f l e c t e d most s e n i o r s ' views c o n c e r n i n g l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . The q u e s t i o n n a i r e was r e v i s e d , sent back t o the p i l o t groups f o r a d d i t i o n a l comment, and f i n a l i z e d . 59 S e l e c t i o n of O p e r a t i o n a l Measures The f o l l o w i n g o p e r a t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s were developed t o p r o v i d e a s t a n d a r d i z e d way of measuring s e l e c t e d p e r s o n a l and demographic v a r i a b l e s suspected of i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n : 1. P e r c e i v e d H e a l t h S t a t u s . P e r c e i v e d h e a l t h s t a t u s was measured by an i n d i v i d u a l ' s response t o the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n : For your age do you c o n s i d e r your h e a l t h ? 1. Very poor 2. Poor 3. F a i r 4. Good 5. E x c e l l e n t 2. P e r c e i v e d L i f e S a t i s f a c t i o n . P e r c e i v e d l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n was measured by an i n d i v i d u a l ' s response t o the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n : How s a t i s f i e d are you w i t h your l i f e these days? 1. Very d i s s a t i s f i e d 2. D i s s a t i s f i e d 3. S a t i s f i e d 4. Very s a t i s f i e d 3. L i v i n g Arrangement. L i v i n g arrangement was measured by an i n d i v i d u a l ' s response t o the f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n : Wi th whom do you l i v e ? 1. Alone 2. With o thers 60 4. Presence of a Confidant. Presence of a confidant was measured by response to the following question: Is there a special person you trust or confide in? 1. No 2. Yes 5. Organizational A f f i l i a t i o n . Organizational a f f i l i a t i o n was measured by responses to the following question: Do you belong to a senior centre, community, church, or professional group? 1. No 2. Yes 6. Sponsorship. Sponsorship of learning a c t i v i t i e s was measured by responses to the following question: Please c i r c l e a l l the groups that plan of offer important learning a c t i v i t i e s for you these days. 1. Business or industry 2. Media: TV or radio 3. Senior Centres 4. Other community or government agencies 5. Yourself 6. Churches 7. Schools, colleges, u n i v e r s i t i e s 8. Other (Please write in) 7. Reasons for P a r t i c i p a t i o n . Reasons for p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s were measured by a respondent's choice of important reasons for engaging i n learning a c t i v i t i e s . The question used i n t h i s study was developed from Houle's (1961) and Boshier's (1977, 1985b) motivational categories and expanded from the results of an informal survey at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia (Clough, 1988). The question stated: Please c i r c l e a l l the important reasons why you take part i n learning a c t i v i t i e s these days. 1. Meeting or being with friends 61 2. G a i n i n g knowledge or s k i l l s 3 . For my job or work 4. Because someone recommended i t 5. For the community 6. To escape from boredom 7. For my h e a l t h 8. For p h y s i c a l f i t n e s s 9. For r e l a x a t i o n 10. For enter ta inment 11. For p e r s o n a l development 12. To keep my mind a l i v e 13. As a break from r o u t i n e 8. B a r r i e r s t o P a r t i c i p a t i o n . B a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n were measured by s e l f - r e p o r t s of f a c t o r s which were p e r c e i v e d as i n t e r f e r i n g w i t h p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . The q u e s t i o n , i n c l u d i n g b a r r i e r s suggested by C r o s s ' (1981, p.98) s i t u a t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l , and d i s p o s i t i o n a l c a t e g o r i e s , s t a t e d : P lease c i r c l e a l l the important reasons t h a t s top you from t a k i n g p a r t i n more l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s these d a y s . 1. Money 2. T r a n s p o r t a t i o n 3 . Seeing or h e a r i n g problems 4. I ' m too o l d 5. F a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s 6. Too busy 7. No one t o go w i t h 8. I ' d f e e l uncomfortable 9. L o c a t i o n of the a c t i v i t y 10. I ' m not i n t e r e s t e d 11. Time of day the a c t i v i t y i s o f f e r e d 12. H e a l t h problems 13. R e g i s t r a t i o n problems 14. Not enough i n f o r m a t i o n 15. I d o n ' t see any v a l u e f o r me 16. Other (Please w r i t e i n ) : 62 9. Changes i n P a r t i c i p a t i o n . Changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n were c a l c u l a t e d on both an a c t i v i t y and an i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s . For each a c t i v i t y , respondents were asked t o report i f the p a r t i c i p a t e d " l e s s " , "about the same", or "more" than when they were 40. A r a t e of change of p a r t i c i p a t i o n f o r each a c t i v i t y r e f l e c t e d the average report of change i n each a c t i v i t y across a l l respondents. For each respondent, a change index r e f l e c t e d an i n d i v i d u a l ' s average s e l f - r e p o r t of change i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e age f o r t y across a l l 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 10. Number of Learning A c t i v i t i e s . For each respondent t h i s v a r i a b l e t a l l i e d the t o t a l number of s e l f - r e p o r t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 11. P a r t i c i p a t i o n Rate. Each respondent reported how f r e q u e n t l y they engaged i n each of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s ( D a i l y = l ; Weekly=2; Monthly=3; Quarterly=4; Annually=5; Never=6). The p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e was an i n d i v i d u a l ' s average p a r t i c i p a t i o n across a l l a c t i v i t i e s . 12. T o t a l Number of Sponsoring Agencies. For each respondent, t h i s v a r i a b l e t a l l i e d of the t o t a l number of reported sponsoring agencies f o r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 13. T o t a l Number of Reasons f o r P a r t i c i p a t i o n . For each respondent, t h i s v a r i a b l e summed the number of reported reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 14. T o t a l Number of B a r r i e r s t o P a r t i c i p a t i o n . For each respondent, t h i s v a r i a b l e t a l l i e d the t o t a l number of repo r t e d b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 63 Respondents i n the Study-Questionnaires (n=1228) were dis t r i b u t e d to four groups of volunteer non-i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d adults over the age of 55: 1. P i l o t Group. A p i l o t test group consisting of two small groups (n=8) of adults 55 and over was contacted through working contacts at two senior centres i n the Vancouver area. 2. Senior Centres. 403 questionnaires were di s t r i b u t e d through senior centres i n the Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Okanagan areas of B r i t i s h Columbia. The response rate for t h i s group was 59% (n=238). 3. University Programs for Seniors. 95 questionnaires were di s t r i b u t e d through university older adult programs. The response rate was 64% (n=61) for t h i s group. 4. Senior Housing Projects. 730 questionnaires d i s t r i b u t e d through senior housing projects. The response rate for t h i s group was 5% (n=33). In t o t a l 332 questionnaires were returned. The ov e r a l l response rate was 27%. Advantages and Limitations of the Design Survey research i s concerned with gathering data, which, i f properly done, provides useful and important information for educators 64 (Wiersma, 1 9 8 6 ) . A survey q u e s t i o n n a i r e format u s i n g a m a i l e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e was chosen as the most a p p r o p r i a t e d e s i g n f o r t h i s s t u d y . Advantages of the Design 1. The q u e s t i o n n a i r e (Appendix B) p r o v i d e d a means f o r a c c u m u l a t i n g a l a r g e amount of data from a l a r g e p o p u l a t i o n i n a r e l a t i v e l y l i m i t e d amount of t ime and at a l i m i t e d c o s t . 2. An e x p l a n a t o r y cover l e t t e r t o the q u e s t i o n n a i r e (Appendix A) s e r v e d as an e f f e c t i v e i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the p r o j e c t f o r many s e n i o r s who were s k e p t i c a l about "ye t another s tudy on o l d g u y s . " 3. The q u e s t i o n n a i r e p r o v i d e d a s t a n d a r d i z e d way f o r c o l l e c t i n g data from a d i v e r s e group of s u b j e c t s . 4. The q u e s t i o n n a i r e format p r o v i d e d a focus f o r d i s c u s s i o n w i t h groups and i n d i v i d u a l s . Thus, the q u e s t i o n n a i r e s e r v e d t o focus f u r t h e r i n - d e p t h d i s c u s s i o n c a p t u r e d i n the f i e l d n o t e s . L i m i t a t i o n s of the Design D e s p i t e advantages, t h e r e were m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l i m i t a t i o n s of the d e s i g n which must be c o n s i d e r e d when i n t e r p r e t i n g the d a t a : 1. The p r i n t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e format assumed t h a t p o t e n t i a l respondents would be able t o read and answer i n w r i t i n g a l a r g e number of q u e s t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . L i t e r a c y was an important problem f o r respondents at two s e n i o r hous ing complexes. Here , a d m i n i s t r a t o r s i n d i c a t e d t h a t many r e s i d e n t s were not 65 a b l e t o read and had v e r y low l e v e l s of completed e d u c a t i o n . In order t o p r o v i d e a s s i s t a n c e f o r a d u l t s who c o u l d not read or complete the q u e s t i o n n a i r e the r e s e a r c h e r o f f e r e d t o a s s i s t a d u l t s i n the c o m p l e t i o n of the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Only two respondents , however, accepted t h i s a s s i s t a n c e . 2 . Response r a t e s t o a m a i l e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e are o f t e n p o o r . T h i s became e v i d e n t i n the r e t u r n s from s e n i o r hous ing complexes where r e t u r n r a t e s had never exceeded 4%, even on i s s u e s c r i t i c a l t o r e s i d e n t s ' l i v e s . In o r d e r t o reduce t h i s e f f e c t , the r e s e a r c h e r p r o v i d e d p r e p a i d e n v e l o p e s , and, where p o s s i b l e , e n l i s t e d s e n i o r a s s i s t a n t s t o remind p a r t i c i p a n t s t o complete and r e t u r n q u e s t i o n n a i r e s . A t hous ing complexes s e n i o r a s s i s t a n t s p l a c e d p o s t e r s i n l a u n d r y f a c i l i t i e s and e l e v a t o r s which emphasized the importance of the s t u d y . T h i s approach must, however, be r e e v a l u a t e d f o r f u t u r e r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t s c o n s i d e r i n g the v e r y low response r a t e from hous ing r e s i d e n t s . 3. The m a i l e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e format p r o v i d e d l i m i t e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r i n - d e p t h d i s c u s s i o n of the q u e s t i o n s w i t h respondents . In order t o present a more p e r s o n a l a n a l y s i s of l e a r n i n g from the o l d e r a d u l t p o i n t of v i e w , the researcher encouraged d i s c u s s i o n c e n t e r e d on the q u e s t i o n n a i r e . These d i s c u s s i o n s were t h e m a t i c a l l y a n a l y z e d and r e p o r t e d i n Chapter V . 4. The i n i t i a l sample of respondents was weighted h e a v i l y towards s e n i o r c e n t r e users and y i e l d e d d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e number of females . In o r d e r t o c o r r e c t f o r t h i s , two u n i v e r s i t y programs and two hous ing 66 complexes were added to the sample group. Also, two senior centres were contacted to provide additional male respondents. The imbalances i n the sample must be acknowledged i n any discussion of findings. Data Analysis Three hundred and thirty-two questionnaires were coded and analyzed using the SSPS/PC+ V.3.0 (SPSS Inc., 1988) s t a t i s t i c a l package at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. I n i t i a l l y , frequency tables were constructed for each of the major variables i n the study. Then, appropriate cross-tabulations and correlations were run to determine s i g n i f i c a n t relationships between measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s and selected personal and sociodemographic variables influencing p a r t i c i p a t i o n . These correlations provided an insight into relationships which were further investigated using means tests and p l o t t i n g techniques where appropriate. Significant correlations confirmed or rejected relationships but did not, however, determine causality. Further research i s required to determine causal relationships between sociodemographic variables and measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . A preliminary factor analysis of p a r t i c i p a t i o n was carried out to determine i f learning a c t i v i t i e s clustered into meaningful factor groupings. This factor analysis w i l l be refined i n subsequent analysis of the data. 67 IV. FINDINGS T h i s s tudy was des igned t o e x p l o r e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s d u r i n g l a t e r l i f e because of the importance of t h i s i s s u e f o r o l d e r a d u l t s and because of the c h a l l e n g e s a r a p i d l y a g i n g p o p u l a t i o n poses f o r a d u l t educators and community l e a d e r s . T h i s chapter p r e s e n t s f i n d i n g s from 332 q u e s t i o n n a i r e s completed by n o n - i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d v o l u n t e e r respondents over the age of 55. These f i n d i n g s are r e p o r t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s : - P o r t r a i t of respondents - L e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e - Most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e - I n d i v i d u a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s - Sociodemographic measures i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n - Changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e age 40 - O r g a n i z a t i o n a l cho ices made by o l d e r a d u l t s - Reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s - B a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s - F a c t o r a n a l y s i s of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s P o r t r a i t of Respondents Age and Gender Three hundred and t h i r t y - t w o v o l u n t e e r n o n - i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d a d u l t s over the age of 55 completed and r e t u r n e d by m a i l a q u e s t i o n n a i r e 68 about learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . These respondents were contacted through senior centres (n=238), through university programs for r e t i r e d persons (n=61), and through two senior housing projects (n=33) i n the City of Vancouver and Okanagan Valley of B r i t i s h Columbia. The mean age of respondents i n t h i s study was 70.0 years, spanning a range from 55 to 91 years. Seventy-four percent of respondents were females; 23% were male; 3% did not respond to t h i s question. These results are summarized i n Table 1. Work, Income and Education Over 83% of respondents were f u l l y r e t i r e d ; less than 1% were f u l l y employed. The median income for respondents income was $20,000.00 spanning a range from $1,200.00 to $110,000.00. Many respondents remarked that an income question was an invasion of t h e i r privacy; consequently, 37% of respondents did not answer t h i s question. The median l e v e l of completed education for t h i s group was "some vocational technical education" after high school. Completed educational levels ranged from some elementary (1.8%) to post graduate completed (6.9%). These results are summarized i n Table 2. 69 TABLE 1 P o r t r a i t of Respondents: Age & Gender VARIABLE & VALUE NUMBER PERCENTAGE AGE 55-60 years 20 6.0% 60-65 years 66 19.9 65-70 years 97 29.2 70-75 years 76 22.9 75-80 years 45 13.6 80-85 years 19 5.7 85-91 years 2 .6 No Response 7 2 .1 TOTAL 332 100.0% GENDER Female 245 73.8% Male 77 23.2 No Response _10 3.0 TOTAL 332 100.0% 70 TABLE 2 P o r t r a i t of Respondents: Work, Income & Education VARIABLES & VALUES NUMBER PERCENTAGE WORK SITUATION F u l l y R e t i r e d Ret/Work PtTime Work PtTime/pay Work F u l l Time No Response TOTAL INCOME under $10000 $10000-20000 $20000-30000 $30000-40000 $40000-50000 $50000 & over No Response TOTAL EDUCATION Some elementary Elementary completed Some High School H.S.Completed Some Voc/Tech Voc/Tech Completed Some U n i v e r s i t y Non-univ P r o f e s s i o n a l U n i v e r s i t y Completed Some PostGrad PostGrad Completed Other No Response TOTAL 278 83.8% 22 6.6 12 3.6 3 .9 17 5.1 332 100.0% 42 12.7% 63 9.0 46 13.9 19 5.7 19 5.7 20 6.0 123 37.0 332 100.0% 6 1.8% 14 4.0 38 11.4 49 14.8 35 10.6 33 9.9 50 15.1 6 1.8 32 9.6 31 9.3 23 6.9 3 .9 12 3.6 332 100.0% 71 Ratings of L i f e S atisfaction and Health Status Respondents generally reported positive levels of l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n and health status. The mean rating of l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n was " S a t i s f i e d " ; the mean self-report of health was "Good". Over 82% reported being at least " S a t i s f i e d " with t h e i r l i v e s and a majority (76%) reported being i n at least "Good" health. These results are summarized i n Table 3. Social Context Four measures related to an individual's s o c i a l context were reported i n t h i s study: marital status, l i v i n g arrangement, presence of a confidant, and belonging to a community or professional organization (Table 4) . Although over 40% of respondents were married; 34% were widowed; 23% were either single, separated or divorced; 3% did not respond to t h i s question. A majority of respondents (53.9%) reported l i v i n g alone; 46.1% reported l i v i n g with another i n various arrangements. A large majority (81.0%) reported having a confidant, and, over 85% reported having organizational a f f i l i a t i o n s . In comparison with recent Canadian s t a t i s t i c s ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1987, 1989a, 1989b), t h i s current sample of respondents was more l i k e l y to be female, less l i k e l y to be married and had somewhat higher incomes than the Canadian averages for those 55 and over. These differences must be considered when making generalizations from t h i s current sample of respondents. 72 TABLE 3 S e l f - R e p o r t s of L i f e S a t i s f a c t i o n and H e a l t h S ta tus VARIABLE & VALUES NUMBER PERCENTAGE LIFE SATISFACTION Very S a t i s f i e d S a t i s f i e d D i s s a t i s f i e d Very D i s s a t i s f i e d No Response TOTAL 107 167 27 19 12 332 32.3^ 50.3 8.1 5.7 3.6 100.0^ HEALTH STATUS E x c e l l e n t Good F a i r Poor Very Poor No Response TOTAL 92 159 61 11 2 7 332 27.7% 47.9 18.4 '3.3 .6 2 .1 100.0% 73 TABLE 4 Measures of S o c i a l Context VARIABLES & VALUES NUMBER PERCENTAGE MARITAL STATUS M a r r i e d Widowed D i v o r c e d S i n g l e Separated No Response TOTAL 134 113 39 31 5 10 332 40.4% 34.0 11.7 9.3 1.5 3.0 100.0% LIVES ALONE OR WITH OTHERS L i v e s Alone 179 L i v e s w i t h Others 153 TOTAL 332 53.9% 46.1 100.0% PRESENCE OF A CONFIDANT Has a C o n f i d a n t Has No C o n f i d a n t No Response TOTAL 269 46 17 332 81.0% 13.9 5.1 100.0% ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION Has A f f i l i a t i o n s 283 Has No A f f i l i a t i o n s 38 No Response 11 TOTAL 332 85.2% 11.4 3.3 100.0% 74 L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e Seventy-one l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were s t u d i e d from two p e r s p e c t i v e s : the number of p a r t i c i p a n t s i n each a c t i v i t y and the mean frequency of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n each a c t i v i t y . The g r e a t e s t percentage of respondents engaged i n the f o l l o w i n g t e n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (see Table 5) : T a l k i n g w i t h f a m i l y or f r i e n d s (100%) Reading newspapers or magazines (99%) Watching news (97%) L i s t e n i n g t o the r a d i o (97%) Watching o ther than e d u c a t i o n a l TV (97%) Reading books or p l a y s (96%) Walk ing (96%) W r i t i n g l e t t e r s (95%) T r a v e l l i n g f o r p l e a s u r e (94%) Watching PBS, Knowledge Network, e d u c a t i o n a l TV (94%) The s m a l l e s t number of p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p o r t e d (see Table 5 ) : Tak ing correspondence courses (3%) Running or j o g g i n g (5%) Be ing p a r t of a t h e a t r e or drama group (8%) R e p a i r i n g cars (13%) Woodworking (14%) A t t e n d i n g c o u n s e l l i n g or therapy (14%) U s i n g a computer (15%) B o w l i n g (17%) W r i t i n g books, s t o r i e s or p o e t r y (19%) B i c y c l i n g (19%) How o f t e n d i d these o l d e r a d u l t s p a r t i c i p a t e i n these a c t i v i t i e s ? Based on a range from a low of never (1 .00) , a n n u a l l y (2 .00) , q u a r t e r l y 75 (3 .00 ) , monthly (4 .00) , weekly (5 .00) , t o a h i g h of d a i l y (6 .00) , respondents r e p o r t e d t h a t they most f r e q u e n t l y engaged i n the f o l l o w i n g l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (see Table 5 ) : Watching news (5.78) Reading newspapers or magazines (5.77) T a l k i n g w i t h f r i e n d s or f a m i l y (5.63) L i s t e n i n g t o r a d i o (5.63) W a l k i n g (5.61) Watching o ther than e d u c a t i o n a l TV (5.47) Observ ing nature and l i f e (5.32) Reading books or p l a y s (5.24) Watching PBS or Knowledge Network or e d u c a t i o n a l TV (5.18) R e f l e c t i n g on l i f e events (5.15) The l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s respondents p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a s t f r e q u e n t l y were (see Table 5 ) : Tak ing correspondence courses (1.04) Running or j o g g i n g (1.19) Be ing p a r t of a t h e a t r e or drama group (1.24) R e p a i r i n g cars (1.32) A t t e n d i n g c o u n s e l l i n g or therapy (1.38) Woodworking (1.40) U s i n g a computer (1.50) W r i t i n g books or s t o r i e s (1.52) B i c y c l i n g (1.57) S i n g i n g or b e i n g p a r t of a c h o r a l group (1.68) There was a s i g n i f i c a n t and s t r o n g r e l a t i o n s h i p (r=.91, p=.001) between the two measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n reviewed i n t h i s s t u d y : percentage p a r t i c i p a t i o n and frequency of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n each a c t i v i t y . That i s , the a c t i v i t i e s most o l d e r a d u l t s engaged i n were a l s o those t h a t they p a r t i c i p a t e d i n most f r e q u e n t l y . 76 TABLE 5 P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n 71 L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s : Frequency of P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Percentage P a r t i c i p a t i o n MEAN % NUMBER FREQ. PART. PART. LEARNING ACTIVITY 5. 63 100 301 TALKING WITH FRIENDS FAMILY 5. 77 99 316 READING NEWSPAPERS OR MAGAZINES 5. 78 97 305 WATCHING NEWS 5. 63 97 298 LISTENING TO RADIO 5. 47 97 295 WATCHING OTHER TV 5 . 24 96 304 READING BOOKS OR PLAYS 5. 61 96 303 WALKING 3. 99 95 300 WRITING LETTERS 2. 77 94 298 TRAVELLING FOR PLEASURE 5. 18 94 297 WATCHING PBS KNOWL NETWORK EDUC TV 5. 32 93 291 OBSERVING NATURE AND LIFE 3 . 32 93 285 ATTENDING CONCERTS OR MUSICAL EVENTS 5. 15 93 258 REFLECTING ON LIFE EVENTS 2. 70 90 269 DISCUSSING WITH DOCTORS 4. 46 89 302 GOING TO COMMUNITY-SENIOR CENTRES 5. 06 89 299 COOKING OR BAKING 2. 84 89 288 VISITING MUSEUMS ART GALLERIES 3. 86 88 293 VISITING LIBRARIES 4. 37 87 284 LISTENING TO RECORDS TAPES 2. 98 86 285 ATTENDING PLAYS OR THEATRE 4. 12 85 281 LEARNING ABOUT HEALTH OR NUTRITION 4. 04 82 270 LEARNING TO MANAGE MONEY 3. 96 80 281 DOING OTHER VOLUNTEER WORK 4. 23 76 286 DIETING OR WATCHING WEIGHT 3. 08 75 281 ATTENDING LECTURES 3. 97 72 256 REDUCING STRESS LEVELS 4. .23 71 287 EXERCISING AEROBICS KEEP FIT 3. 74 69 294 GARDENING 3. .29 68 291 PLAYING CARDS CHESS CHECKERS 2. ,85 68 264 TAKING GENERAL INTEREST COURSES 3. .34 68 254 DISCUSS WITH GRANDCHILDREN 2. ,79 65 272 TAKING HOBBY COURSES 3. ,10 64 276 WORKING ON COMMITTEES 3. ,43 63 281 DOING CROSSWORD JIGSAW PUZZLES 2. ,94 59 268 REPAIRING AND HOME MAINTENANCE 3. ,18 57 289 DOING NEEDLECRAFT SEWING QUILTS 2. ,52 57 282 PHOTOGRAPHY 77 TABLE 5 - c o n t i n u e d MEAN % NUMBER FREQ. PART. PART. LEARNING ACTIVITY 2 .97 56 282 ATTENDING RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES 2 .81 56 266 WORKING ON COMMUNITY PROGRAMS 2 .72 55 275 SWIMMING 3 .35 54 239 DISCOVERING MY SPIRITUAL BEING 2 .28 49 274 DANCING 2 .36 39 279 WRITING AUTOBIOGRAPHY OR JOURNALS 2 .24 39 277 DOING DECORATIVE CRAFTS OR CERAMICS 2 .27 39 269 WORKING IN A CHURCH GROUP 1 .98 38 264 DISCUSSING WITH OTHER HEALTH WORKERS 1. .68 32 266 TAKING PART IN POLITICAL EVENTS 1 .82 30 247 TAKING PART IN A PROFESSIONAL GROUP 1 .52 28 271 HUNTING FISHING HIKING CAMPING 2 .24 27 273 CARING FOR A PET 1 .92 27 271 BEING IN A SELFHELP GROUP 1 .99 26 274 PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 1 .56 24 265 LEARNING A LANGUAGE 1 .97 23 266 TAI CHI YOGA OR MEDITATION 1 .70 22 276 DRAWING PAINTING SKETCHING 1 .59 22 267 ATTENDING LEGION ACTIVITIES 1 .53 21 280 PLAYING BINGO 1 .55 21 262 COLLECTING STAMPS COINS ETC 1 .81 21 243 LEARNING FOR A JOB 1 .63 20 265 GOLFING 1 .68 19 274 SINGING OR PART OF CHORAL GROUP 1 .57 19 270 BICYCLING 1 .52 19 266 WRITING BOOK STORIES POETRY 1 .55 17 269 BOWLING 1 .50 15 267 USING A COMPUTER 1 .38 14 264 ATTENDING COUNSELLING OR THERAPY 1 .40 14 259 WOODWORKING CARPENTRY CARVING 1 .32 13 259 REPAIRING CARS 1 .24 08 268 BEING PART OF A THEATRE GROUP 1 .19 05 263 RUNNING OR JOGGING 1 .04 03 267 TAKING CORRESPONDENCE COURSES 78 Most Important Learning A c t i v i t i e s i n Later L i f e Which learning a c t i v i t i e s are most important i n the l i v e s of older adults? This question has not yet been addressed i n the l i t e r a t u r e . Respondents i n t h i s study were asked to report the ten most important learning a c t i v i t i e s i n t h e i r l i v e s . Some respondents did not answer t h i s question, but 241 respondents nominated one or more a c t i v i t i e s for t h e i r personal "top ten". These responses were summed across a l l a c t i v i t i e s . Respondents revealed that the ten most important learning a c t i v i t i e s i n t h e i r l i v e s were: Reading books (48.1%) Watching PBS, Knowledge Network or educational TV (46.1%) Reading newspapers or magazines (45.6%) Travelling (42.3%) Talking with family or friends (41.9%) Attending community or senior centres (33.2%) Watching the news (29.0%) Observing nature and l i f e (27.8%) V i s i t i n g l i b r a r i e s (22.4%) Listening to the radio (20.7%) Table 6 l i s t s the most important learning a c t i v i t i e s for 241 respondents, ranging from the most frequently reported to the least frequently reported. Of the 71 l i s t e d learning a c t i v i t i e s , only two were not chosen as an important learning a c t i v i t y by at least one respondent: taking correspondence courses and bingo. 79 TABLE 6 Most Important L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER OF PERCENTAGE LEARNING ACTIVITIES RESPONSES RESPONSE n=241 READING BOOKS OR PLAYS 116 48.1 WATCHING PBS,KNOW NET,ED TV 111 46.1 READING NEWSPAPERS OR MAGAZINES 110 45.6 TRAVELLING 102 42.3 TALKING WITH FRIENDS FAMILY 101 41.9 ATTENDING COMM & SENIORS CENTRES 80 33.2 WATCHING NEWS 70 29.0 OBSERVING NATURE AND LIFE 67 27.8 VISITING LIBRARIES 54 22.4 LISTENING TO RADIO 50 20.7 ATTENDING CONCERTS/MUSICAL EVENTS 49 20.3 WALKING 44 18.3 ATTENDING LECTURES 44 18.3 DOING NEEDLECRAFT SEWING QUILTS 42 17.4 ATTENDING PLAYS OR THEATRE 42 17.4 DOING OTHER VOLUNTEER WORK 40 16.6 GARDENING 40 16.6 PLAYING CARDS CHESS CHECKERS 38 15.8 REFLECTING ON LIFE EVENTS 36 14.9 LEARNING ABOUT HEALTH OR NUTRITION 36 14.9 EXERCISING AEROBICS KEEP FIT 33 13.7 VISITING MUSEUMS ART GALLERIES 33 13.7 TAKING HOBBY COURSES 33 13.7 TAKING INTEREST COURSES 32 13.3 COOKING OR BAKING 31 12.9 WRITING LETTERS 31 12.9 LEARNING TO MANAGE MONEY 30 12.4 WORKING ON COMMITTEES 29 12.0 DOING CROSSWORD JIGSAW PUZZLES 28 11.6 DISCUSSING WITH GRANDCHILDREN 25 10.4 DANCING 23 9.5 DRAWING PAINTING SKETCHING 23 9.5 WATCHING OTHER TV 22 9.1 ATTENDING RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES 21 8.7 DOING DECORATIVE CRAFTS OR CERAMICS 20 8.3 PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 19 7.9 DIETING OR WATCHING WEIGHT 18 7.5 PHOTOGRAPHY 18 7.5 SWIMMING 17 7.1 80 Table 6 c o n t i n u e d MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER OF PERCENTAGE LEARNING ACTIVITIES RESPONSES RESPONSE n=241 WORKING ON COMMUNITY PROGRAMS 17 7.1 WORKING IN A CHURCH/RELIGIOUS GROUP 16 6.6 LISTENING TO RECORDS TAPES 15 6.2 REDUCING STRESS LEVELS 15 6.2 DISCOVERING MY SPIRITUAL BEING 14 5.8 DOING TAI CHI YOGA OR MEDITATION 13 5.4 WRITING AUTOBIOGRAPHY OR JOURNALS 12 5.0 LEARNING FOR A JOB 12 5.0 LEARNING A LANGUAGE 12 5.0 GOLFING 11 4.6 CARING FOR A PET 11 4.6 WRITING BOOK STORIES POETRY 11 4.6 REPAIRING AND HOME MAINTENANCE 10 4.1 SINGING OR PART OF CHORAL GROUP 10 4.1 TAKING PART IN A PROFESSIONAL GROUP 9 3.7 DISCUSSING WITH DOCTORS 8 3.3 BEING IN A SELFHELP GROUP 8 3.3 WOODWORKING CARPENTRY CARVING 8 3.3 BOWLING 7 2.9 USING A COMPUTER 7 2.9 TAKING PART IN POLITICAL EVENTS 6 2 .5 ATTENDING COUNSELLING OR THERAPY 6 2 .5 HUNTING FISHING HIKING CAMPING 5 2.1 COLLECTING STAMPS COINS ETC 5 2 .1 ATTENDING LEGION 4 1.7 BEING PART OF A THEATRE OR DRAMA GROUP 4 1.7 BICYCLING 3 1.2 DISCUSSING WITH OTHER HEALTH WORKERS 2 0.8 RUNNING OR JOGGING 1 0.4 REPAIRING CARS 1 0.4 81 I n d i v i d u a l P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s For t h i s s t u d y , a l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y was d e f i n e d as any exper ience d u r i n g the pas t year i n which a d u l t s over the age of 55 r e p o r t e d t h a t l e a r n i n g o c c u r r e d . Three measures of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were c a l c u l a t e d from responses t o the q u e s t i o n n a i r e : 1. The number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s engaged i n by each respondent . 2. The p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e f o r each respondent based upon the f requency of p a r t i c i p a t i o n across 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . This p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e ranged from a low of never ( 1 . 0 0 ) , a n n u a l l y ( 2 . 0 0 ) , q u a r t e r l y ( 3 . 0 0 ) , monthly ( 4 . 0 0 ) , weekly ( 5 . 0 0 ) , t o a h i g h of d a i l y (6.00) . 3. The number of hours per week t h a t each respondent engaged i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . These measures p r o v i d e d three ways of v i e w i n g an o l d e r a d u l t ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . On average, respondents r e p o r t e d t a k i n g p a r t i n 35 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s d u r i n g the past y e a r , spanning a range from 2 t o 64 a c t i v i t i e s . The mean r a t e of p a r t i c i p a t i o n across a l l a c t i v i t i e s r e v e a l e d t h a t these o l d e r a d u l t s p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a c t i v i t i e s between q u a r t e r l y and monthly ( 3 . 2 1 ) . On average respondents p a r t i c i p a t e d f o r 14 hours per week i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . These f i n d i n g s are summarized i n Table 7. 82 TABLE 7 Three Measures of P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s  i n L a t e r L i f e : MEASURE OF NO. MEAN STD.DEV. RANGE PARTICIPATION NUMBER OF LEARNING 328 34.65 10.98 2-64 • ' ACTIVITIES PARTICIPATION RATE 328 3.21 .79 1 .6 -5 .8 HOURS PER WEEK 269 14.32 12.93 0-72 83 Sociodemographic V a r i a b l e s I n f l u e n c i n g P a r t i c i p a t i o n Three measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n were a n a l y z e d f o r each respondent i n t h i s s t u d y : number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e and number of hours per week engaged i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . There were s i g n i f i c a n t but s m a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the number of a c t i v i t i e s a respondent p a r t i c i p a t e d i n and age, e d u c a t i o n , h e a l t h , and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n s (Table 8 ) . These r e l a t i o n s h i p s r e v e a l e d t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a more l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were younger , had h i g h e r l e v e l s of e d u c a t i o n , were i n b e t t e r s e l f - r e p o r t e d h e a l t h , and were more l i k e l y t o be long t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n than those r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n fewer l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Based on these f i n d i n g s , the hypotheses were accepted which proposed t h a t persons who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a g r e a t e r number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were younger , b e t t e r educated, h e a l t h i e r , and had more o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n s . There were s i g n i f i c a n t and moderate c o r r e l a t i o n s between the number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s a respondent engaged i n and both the number of r e p o r t e d sponsors and number of reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n (Table 8) . That i s , respondents r e p o r t i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a g r e a t e r number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s a l s o p r o v i d e d a g r e a t e r number of reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n these l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and used a l a r g e r number of sponsors t o support t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . The h y p o t h e s i s was accepted which proposed t h a t o l d e r 84 a d u l t s r e p o r t i n g g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n would a l s o r e p o r t more reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Because of i n s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n s , the hypotheses were r e j e c t e d which proposed t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a g r e a t e r number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s would r e p o r t g r e a t e r l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n , be more l i k e l y t o r e p o r t l i v i n g w i t h someone e l s e , and, have a c o n f i d a n t . There were s i g n i f i c a n t but s m a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e , gender, and income. T h i s r e v e a l e d t h a t as an i n d i v i d u a l ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e i n c r e a s e d , respondents were more l i k e l y t o be female , and c o u n t e r - i n t u i t i v e l y , t o have lower incomes. Based upon these f i n d i n g s the h y p o t h e s i s was r e j e c t e d which proposed t h a t t h e r e were no d i f f e r e n c e s i n r a t e s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n based on gender. That i s , women r e p o r t e d h i g h e r r a t e s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n than d i d men. A d d i t i o n a l l y , the h y p o t h e s i s was r e j e c t e d which proposed t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s w i t h h i g h e r r a t e of p a r t i c i p a t i o n would a l s o have h i g h e r incomes. In t h i s s t u d y , o l d e r a d u l t s w i t h g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e s were more l i k e l y t o r e p o r t lower incomes. I t must be n o t e d , however, t h a t 37% of respondents d i d not choose t o answer the income q u e s t i o n . There were no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the number of hours per week an i n d i v i d u a l engaged i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and any of the sociodemographic v a r i a b l e s measured i n t h i s s t u d y . 85 TABLE 8 C o r r e l a t i o n s between Measures of P a r t i c i p a t i o n and S e l e c t e d  Sociodemographic F a c t o r s PARTICIPATION MEASURE VARIABLE SIGNIFICANCE NUMBER OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AGE EDUCATION HEALTH ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIP NUMBER OF REASONS NUMBER OF SPONSORS .20** .26** .15* .17* .30** .43** PARTICIPATION RATE GENDER INCOME .21** .21* * I n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .01 l e v e l * * I n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .001 l e v e l 86 Changes i n Pa r t i c i p a t i o n Since Age Forty Respondents were asked to report any changes i n t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n each of 71 learning a c t i v i t i e s since age 40. Possible rates of change ranged from taking part more than when forty (3 .00) , through taking part about the same as when forty ( 2 .00 ) , to taking part less than when forty (1 .00 ) . The average reported rates of change i n pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n each of the 71 learning a c t i v i t i e s are presented i n Table 9. The a c t i v i t i e s that respondents reported taking part i n "more than when 40" were: Attending community and senior centres Watching PBS, Knowledge Network and educational TV Reflecting on l i f e events Learning about health and n u t r i t i o n Observing nature and l i f e Dieting and watching weight Reducing stress levels Doing volunteer work Watching news Discussing with grandchildren Walking Travelling for pleasure Reading newspapers or magazines Watching other than educational TV The a c t i v i t i e s respondents reported engaging i n "less that when 40" were: Learning for a job Hunting, f i s h i n g , hiking and camping Taking correspondence courses Taking part i n a professional group Dancing Caring for a pet Running and jogging B i c y c l i n g Bowling 87 A change index was c a l c u l a t e d f o r each respondent . The mean change index across a l l respondents was 2.10 demonst ra t ing t h a t , on average , respondents p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s at about the same frequency as when they were 40. On an a c t i v i t y by a c t i v i t y b a s i s , however, t h e r e was a r e s t r u c t u r i n g of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y c h o i c e s . There were a c t i v i t i e s t h a t respondents p a r t i c i p a t e d i n more than when they were f o r t y , about the same as when f o r t y , and l e s s than when f o r t y (see Table 9 ) . Respondents who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s "More than when 40" were more l i k e l y t o be i n b e t t e r h e a l t h (r=.23, p=.001) and t o have g r e a t e r c u r r e n t r a t e s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (r=.38. p=.001) . There was no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p , however, between an i n d i v i d u a l ' s change index and e i t h e r the age ( r = - . l l , p>.01) or gender of respondent (r=- .12, p>.01) . Based upon these r e s u l t s , the hypotheses were accepted which proposed t h a t t h e r e were no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e the age of f o r t y based on e i t h e r the age or gender of respondents . 88 TABLE 9 Changes i n P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s S ince Age F o r t y RATE OF NUMBER OF LEARNING ACTIVITY CHANGE RESPONSES 2. ,71 272 GOING TO COMMUNITY-SENIOR CENTRES 2. ,60 287 WATCHING PBS KNOW.NET ED TV 2. ,49 249 REFLECTING ON LIFE EVENTS 2. ,47 271 LEARNING ABOUT HEALTH OR NUTRITN 2. ,45 272 OBSERVING NATURE AND LIFE MORE 2. ,42 270 DIETING OR WATCHING WEIGHT 2. ,41 239 REDUCING STRESS LEVELS THAN 2. ,40 261 DOING OTHER VOLUNTEER WORK 2. ,39 293 WATCHING NEWS WHEN 2. .36 210 DISCUSS WITH GRANDCHILDREN 2. .34 294 WALKING 40 2. .34 291 TRAVELLING FOR PLEASURE 2. .31 295 READING BOOKS OR PLAYS 2. .30 304 READING NEWSPAPERS OR MAGAZINES 2, .30 293 WATCHING OTHER TV 2, .24 261 DISCUSSING WITH DOCTORS 2, .24 238 DOING CROSSWORD JIGSAW PUZZLES 2, .23 258 EXERCISING AEROBICS KEEP FIT 2, .22 283 VISITING LIBRARIES 2, .20 265 LEARNING TO MANAGE MONEY 2, .20 203 DISCOVERING MY SPIRITUAL BEING 2 .18 274 VISITING MUSEUMS ART GALLERIES SAME 2. .18 239 TAKING GENERAL INTEREST COURSES 2 .17 291 LISTENING TO RADIO 2 .16 289 TALKING WITH FRIENDS FAMILY AS 2 .14 232 WORKING ON COMMUNITY PROGRAMS 2. .13 254 TAKING HOBBY COURSES 2 .12 288 ATTENDING CONCERTS/MUSICAL EVENTS WHEN 2 .12 225 DISCUSSING WITH HEALTH WORKERS 2 .11 266 ATTENDING LECTURES 2 .10 268 LISTENING TO RECORDS TAPES 40 2 .10 209 BEING IN A SELFHELP GROUP 2 .07 254 DOING NEEDLECRAFT SEWING QUILTS 2 .07 227 DOING DECORATIVE CRAFTS/ CERAMICS 2 .05 243 WORKING ON COMMITTEES 89 Table 9 c o n t i n u e d RATE OF NUMBER OF LEARNING ACTIVITY CHANGE RESPONSES 2 . 03 266 PLAYING CARDS CHESS CHECKERS 2. 01 234 WRITING AUTOBIOGRAPHY OR JOURNALS 1. 99 216 DRAWING PAINTING SKETCHING 1. 98 274 ATTENDING PLAYS OR THEATRE 1. 98 217 PLAYING BINGO0 1. 97 239 PHOTOGRAPHY SAME 1. 97 201 TAI CHI YOGA OR MEDITATION 1. 96 190 ATTENDING LEGION ACTIVITIES 1. 95 190 USING A COMPUTER AS 1. 94 199 ATTENDING COUNSELLING OR THERAPY 1. 93 240 REPAIRING AND HOME MAINTENANCE 1. 92 273 GARDENING WHEN 1. 92 219 WORKING IN CHURCH/ RELIGIOUS GROUP 1. 92 218 TAKING PART IN POLITICAL EVENTS 1. 91 295 WRITING LETTERS 40 1. 91 247 ATTENDING RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES 1. 90 205 WRITING BOOK STORIES POETRY 1. 89 287 COOKING OR BAKING 1. 89 205 COLLECTING STAMPS COINS ETC 1. 88 218 SINGING OR PART OF CHORAL GROUP 1. 87 192 REPAIRING CARS 1. 85 216 LEARNING A LANGUAGE 1. 84 204 GOLFING 1. 84 198 BEING PART OF THEATRE/DRAMA GROUP 1. 84 189 WOODWORKING CARPENTRY CARVING 1. 81 243 SWIMMING 1. 81 222 PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 1. 76 215 BOWLING 1. 73 211 BICYCLING LESS 1. 72 196 RUNNING OR JOGGING 1. 69 219 CARING FOR A PET THAN 1. 68 246 DANCING 1. 68 195 TAKING PART IN PROFESSIONAL GROUP WHEN 1. 67 203 TAKING CORRESPONDENCE COURSES 1. 63 211 HUNTING FISHING HIKING CAMPING 40 1. 57 190 LEARNING FOR A JOB (a) The r a t e of change ranges from a p o s s i b l e h i g h of 3.00 i n d i c a t i n g t a k i n g p a r t "more than when 40" t o a low of 1.00 i n d i c a t i n g p a r t i c i p a t i n g " l e s s than when 40" . A score of 2.0 i n d i c a t e s p a r t i c i p a t i o n "about the same" as when 40 years of age" . 90 O r g a n i z a t i o n a l Choices Made by O l d e r A d u l t s The s p o n s o r s h i p and o r g a n i z a t i o n of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s has a p o t e n t i a l f o r i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Four o r g a n i z a t i o n a l c h o i c e s made by o l d e r a d u l t s were measured i n t h i s s t u d y : s p o n s o r i n g agency, p r e f e r r e d t ime of day f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n , p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s a lone or i n groups , and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n age-segregated or age-i n t e g r a t e d s e t t i n g s . Sponsor ing Agencies S e v e r a l authors noted the importance of community agencies and o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n p r o v i d i n g l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r o l d e r l e a r n e r s . C o n s i s t e n t w i t h these o b s e r v a t i o n s , respondents i n t h i s s tudy r e p o r t e d t h a t s e n i o r c e n t r e s were the most important sponsors of t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (Table 10) . The f i v e most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r these respondents were: S e n i o r cent res (70.0%) M e d i a , t e l e v i s i o n or r a d i o (62%) Onese l f (46%) Churches (29%) S c h o o l s , u n i v e r s i t i e s or c o l l e g e s (28%) Based upon these f i n d i n g s , the h y p o t h e s i s was accepted which s t a t e d t h a t the most important sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e are nonformal and i n f o r m a l and not f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . There were s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between s e v e r a l s p o n s o r s h i p c h o i c e s and sociodemographic v a r i a b l e s measured i n t h i s s tudy (Table 11) : 91 1. S e n i o r C e n t r e s . Respondents r e p o r t i n g t h a t s e n i o r c e n t r e s were important sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were more l i k e l y t o be female , o l d e r and l i v i n g a l o n e . They were a l s o more l i k e l y t o have lower incomes, t o be l e s s educated, and t o r e p o r t b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n than d i d respondents who d i d not r e p o r t the s e n i o r c e n t r e as an important sponsor . 2 . M e d i a : T e l e v i s i o n and R a d i o . Respondents who r e p o r t e d t h a t the media , t e l e v i s i o n and r a d i o were important sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were younger and had h i g h e r l e v e l s of completed e d u c a t i o n than o l d e r a d u l t s who d i d not r e p o r t the media t o be an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 3 . S e l f - d i r e c t i o n . Respondents who r e p o r t e d themselves as an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were younger , more educated, and r e p o r t e d b e i n g i n b e t t e r h e a l t h than o l d e r a d u l t s who d i d not r e p o r t t h a t s e l f as an important sponsor . 4. C h u r c h . Respondents who i n d i c a t e d t h a t church was an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s more o f t e n r e p o r t e d l i v i n g w i t h someone and b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n than those who d i d not r e p o r t church as an important sponsor . 5. S c h o o l s , U n i v e r s i t i e s and C o l l e g e s . Those who r e p o r t e d t h a t s c h o o l s , u n i v e r s i t i e s , and c o l l e g e s were important sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s had h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n l e v e l s , g r e a t e r incomes and b e t t e r r e p o r t e d h e a l t h than those who d i d not r e p o r t s c h o o l s , u n i v e r s i t i e s and c o l l e g e s were an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 92 6. S e l f - H e l p Groups. Respondents who r e p o r t e d t h a t s e l f - h e l p groups were an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were more l i k e l y t o l i v e w i t h someone e l s e than those who d i d not r e p o r t s e l f - h e l p groups as an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 7. B u s i n e s s . Respondents who i n d i c a t e d t h a t b u s i n e s s was an impor tant sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were more o f t e n male than those who d i d not i n d i c a t e t h a t b u s i n e s s was an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Only 7% of respondents , however, r e p o r t e d t h a t b u s i n e s s was an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Do o l d e r a d u l t s take p a r t i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s o n l y through one agency, o r , do they use v a r i e d agencies t o support l e a r n i n g i n t h e i r l a t e r years? No s t u d i e s were l o c a t e d t h a t addressed the number of sponsors f o r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Respondents i n t h i s s tudy were asked t o i n d i c a t e a l l the important sponsors f o r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n t h e i r l i v e s . For t h i s s tudy a response of " S e l f " was c o n s i d e r e d t o be a r e f l e c t i o n of s e l f - d i r e c t i o n and a s p o n s o r i n g agency f o r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . On average, respondents r e p o r t e d u s i n g t h r e e d i f f e r e n t s p o n s o r i n g agencies t o enhance t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Respondents who r e p o r t e d u s i n g more s p o n s o r i n g agencies were younger, b e t t e r educated, l i v e d w i t h some e l s e , had b e t t e r r e p o r t e d h e a l t h , took p a r t i n a g r e a t e r number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and were more l i k e l y t o b e l o n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n than those who r e p o r t e d u s i n g fewer s p o n s o r i n g a g e n c i e s . 93 TABLE 10 Sponsorship of L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e SPONSOR g. 0 S e n i o r Centres 70% M e d i a , TV & Radio 62% Onese l f 46% Churches 29% S c h o o l s , U n i v , C o l l e g e 28% Community Agencies 17% S e l f - Help Group 14% Other 11% B u s i n e s s S I n d u s t r y 7% PERCENTAGE RESPONSE (a) 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx X X (a) Percentages t o t a l l e d more than 100% s i n c e respondents were asked t o i n d i c a t e d ALL important sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n t h e i r l i v e s . 94 TABLE 11 C o r r e l a t i o n s between Sponsorship Choices and Sociodemographic Measures SPONSORSHIP VARIABLE SIGNIFICANCE SENIOR CENTRE AGE . 2 1 * * SEX - . 1 7 * INCOME - . 2 7 * * EDUCATION - . 3 2 * * LIVING ARRANGEMENT - . 1 5 * ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION .42** MEDIA/TV/RADIO AGE - . 1 5 * EDUCATION .15* SELF-DIRECTED AGE - . 2 2 * * EDUCATION .20** HEALTH .16* CHURCH LIVING ARRANGEMENT .16* ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION .17* SCHOOLS/UNIV/ INCOME .28** COLLEGES EDUCATION .30** HEALTH .15* SELF-HELP GROUP LIVING ARRANGEMENT .16* BUSINESS SEX .18* (a) * I n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .01 l e v e l . * * I n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .001 l e v e l . 95 TABLE 12 C o r r e l a t i o n s between Number of Sponsors and Sociodemographic  Measures VARIABLE SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL AGE - . 1 9 * * EDUCATION .24** LIVING ARRANGEMENT .17* HEALTH .16* NUMBER OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES . 3 1 * * ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION .16* (a) * i n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .01 l e v e l * * i n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .001 l e v e l 96 P r e f e r r e d Time of Day f o r P a r t i c i p a t i o n A m a j o r i t y of respondents i n t h i s study p a r t i c i p a t e d i n "out of home" l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s p r i m a r i l y i n the daytime (56%) w h i l e 35% r e p o r t e d t a k i n g p a r t i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s both d u r i n g the day and at ni g h t . There was a s i g n i f i c a n t but small r e l a t i o n s h i p between age and time of day of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (r= - . 2 0 , p=.001). That i s , those who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s mainly i n the daytime were o l d e r . Based upon t h i s f i n d i n g the hypothesis was accepted which s t a t e d t h a t o l d e r s e n i o r s choose to p a r t i c i p a t e i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s p r i m a r i l y i n the daytime. P a r t i c i p a t i o n Alone or i n Groups Of the 295 responding to t h i s question, n e a r l y 48% reported p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s " p r i m a r i l y i n a group", while only 14% i n d i c a t e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g " p r i m a r i l y alone". The remaining 38% reported t a k i n g p a r t i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s about e q u a l l y alone or with a group (Table 13) . There were s i g n i f i c a n t but small c o r r e l a t i o n s between p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s alone or i n groups and age (r= .18 , p=.01) , gender (r= - . 1 7 , p=.01) , education (r = - . 2 5 , p=.001), presence of a confidant (r= .17 , p=.01) , and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n s (r= . 2 9 , p=.001) . Thus, persons who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s p r i m a r i l y i n groups were o l d e r , more l i k e l y female, had l e s s previous education, and were more l i k e l y to have a conf i d a n t and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n s . Based upon these f i n d i n g s , the hypothesis was r e j e c t e d 97 which s t a t e d t h a t o l d e r s e n i o r s are more l i k e l y t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s a l o n e . P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n A g e - I n t e g r a t e d and Age-Segregated L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s S e v e r a l recent s t u d i e s i n v e s t i g a t e d whether o l d e r a d u l t s p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s p r i m a r i l y w i t h t h e i r own age group (age-segregated) or w i t h v a r i e d ages ( a g e - i n t e g r a t e d ) . N e a r l y 40% of respondents i n t h i s s tudy r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s t h a t were age-segregated ; 21.1% r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g e q u a l l y i n age-segregated and a g e - i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s ; 26.8% r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g p r i m a r i l y i n a g e - i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s ; 12.3% d i d not answer the q u e s t i o n (Table 13) . There was no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between age and i n t e g r a t i o n v e r s u s s e g r e g a t i o n p r e f e r e n c e s (r=- .14, p>.01) . Consequent ly , the h y p o t h e s i s was r e j e c t e d which s t a t e d t h a t the o l d e r s e n i o r s p r e f e r t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n p r i m a r i l y age-segregated a c t i v i t i e s . A l t h o u g h the g r e a t e s t percentage of respondents p r e f e r r e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n age-segregated a c t i v i t i e s (39.8%), age was not a s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r i n t h i s c h o i c e . There were, however, s i g n i f i c a n t but s m a l l c o r r e l a t i o n s between i n t e g r a t i o n versus s e g r e g a t i o n p r e f e r e n c e s and e d u c a t i o n (r=.23, p=.001), and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n s (r=- .15, p=.01) . Persons who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a g e - i n t e g r a t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s had completed more e d u c a t i o n and had l e s s o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n than those who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n age-segregated l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 98 TABLE 13 O r g a n i z a t i o n a l Choices Made by Older A d u l t s VARIABLE & VALUES NUMBER PERCENTAGE TIME OF DAY OF PARTICIPATION Mornings or A f t e r n o o n s Mornings Only A f t e r n o o n s Only M o r n i n g / A f t e r n o o n or Night N i g h t s Only No Response TOTAL 125 37.7% 42 12.7 20 6.0 115 34.6 9 2.7 21 6.3 332 100.0% PARTICIPATION ALONE OR IN GROUPS U s u a l l y i n a Group E q u a l l y Alone & Group U s u a l l y Alone No Response TOTAL 141 42.5% 112 33.7 42 12.7 37 11.1 332 100.0% AGE-SEGREGATED AND AGE INTEGRATED PREFERENCES U s u a l l y Age-Segregated E q u a l l y Age-Seg & A g e - I n t U s u a l l y A g e - I n t e g r a t e d No Response TOTAL 132 39.8% 70 21.1 89 26.8 41 12.3 332 100.0% 99 Reasons f o r P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s Because of the v o l u n t a r y nature of a d u l t e d u c a t i o n , B o s h i e r (1985) contended t h a t i t was important f o r educators t o know what m o t i v a t e d people t o p a r t i c i p a t e . The t h r e e most important reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e p o r t e d by respondents i n t h i s s tudy were: "To keep my mind a l i v e " , " G a i n i n g knowledge or s k i l l " , and " M e e t i n g or b e i n g w i t h f r i e n d s " . The t h r e e reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n l e a s t r e p o r t e d by t h i s group of a d u l t s were: " F o r job or work" , "Because someone e l s e recommended i t " , and "To escape from boredom" (Table 14 ) . There were s m a l l s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between s e v e r a l reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and sociodemographic v a r i a b l e s measured i n t h i s s tudy (Table 15 ) : 1. Respondents who r e p o r t e d t h a t meeting f r i e n d s was an important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n were more l i k e l y t o be female and t o r e p o r t b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n than those t h a t d i d not i n d i c a t e t h i s as a reason . 2 . Those who r e v e a l e d t h a t p e r s o n a l development as an important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were younger than those who d i d not r e p o r t t h i s as an important reason f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 3. Respondents who d i s c l o s e d t h a t community s e r v i c e was an important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n were more l i k e l y t o be i n b e t t e r h e a l t h than those who d i d not i n d i c a t e t h i s as an important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 100 4. Respondents who i n d i c a t e d t h a t they p a r t i c i p a t e d as a break from r o u t i n e tended t o have l e s s p o s i t i v e s e l f - r e p o r t s of l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n than those who d i d not i n d i c a t e t h i s was an important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 5 . Those who r e p o r t e d t h a t e s c a p i n g boredom was an important reason f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s tended t o l i v e a lone and t o r e p o r t poorer h e a l t h than those who d i d not i n d i c a t e t h i s as an important reason f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 6. Those who r e v e a l e d t h a t job or b u s i n e s s was an important reason f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s tended t o l i v e w i t h someone e l s e more than those who d i d not r e p o r t t h i s as an important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Because job or b u s i n e s s was an important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n f o r o n l y 7% of the respondents , the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p must be viewed w i t h c a u t i o n . Thornton & C o l l i n s (1986) reasoned t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s l e a d i n g s u c c e s s f u l l i v e s would p a r t i c i p a t e i n more l e i s u r e and p h y s i c a l a c t i v i t i e s and would a l s o be ab le t o g i v e more reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n these a c t i v i t i e s . Respondents i n t h i s c u r r e n t s t u d y , on average, r e p o r t e d some 5.70 reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , r a n g i n g from a low of " 1 " t o a h i g h of "13" reasons . O l d e r a d u l t s r e p o r t i n g g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n a l s o r e p o r t e d more reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n these a c t i v i t i e s . There was a moderate and s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p (r=.31, p=.001) between the number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s 101 and the number of reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n these a c t i v i t i e s . Based upon these r e s u l t s , the h y p o t h e s i s was accepted which proposed t h a t as p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n c r e a s e d the number or r e p o r t e d reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n a l s o i n c r e a s e d . There were s i g n i f i c a n t but s m a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the number of r e p o r t e d reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and both age (r=- .15, p=.001) and b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n (r=.18, p=.01) . As the number of r e p o r t e d reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c r e a s e d the age of respondents decreased and b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n i n c r e a s e d . 102 Table 14 Reasons f o r P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Learning A c t i v i t i e s REASON FOR PARTICIPATION PERCENTAGE (a) n=306 TO KEEP MY MIND ALIVE 88% GAINING KNOWLEDGE OR SKILL 76% MEETING OR BEING WITH FRIENDS 75% FOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT 58% FOR ENTERTAINMENT 55% FOR RELAXATION 49% FOR HEALTH 44% FOR PHYSICAL FITNESS 41% FOR THE COMMUNITY 25% AS A BREAK FROM ROUTINE 24% TO ESCAPE FROM BOREDOM 22% BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE RECOMMENDED IT 7% FOR JOB OR WORK 5% (a) Percentages t o t a l l e d more than 100.0% si n c e respondents were asked to i n d i c a t e ALL of the important reasons f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 103 TABLE 15 C o r r e l a t i o n between Reasons f o r P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Sociodemographic  Measures REASON VARIABLE SIGNIFICANCE MEETING FRIENDS PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY SERVICE BREAK FROM ROUTINE TO ESCAPE BOREDOM JOB/BUSINESS GENDER ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION AGE HEALTH LIFE SATISFACTION LIVES ALONE OR WITH OTHERS HEALTH LIVES ALONE OR WITH OTHERS ,22** ,26** ,15* .23** .19* .16* .19** .17* * I n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .01 l e v e l . * * I n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .001 l e v e l 104 B a r r i e r s t o P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s Cross (1981) r e p o r t e d t h a t s i t u a t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l and d i s p o s i t i o n a l b a r r i e r s o f t e n impeded p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s . A l o n g the same l i n e s , P r i c e & Lyon (1982) conc luded t h a t b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n were important f a c t o r s i n d e t e r m i n i n g e n r o l l m e n t i n e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s . Respondents i n t h i s s tudy were asked t o r e p o r t major b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . R e s u l t s r e v e a l e d t h a t the f i v e most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r s were " B e i n g too b u s y " , " T r a n s p o r t a t i o n " , "Money", " L o c a t i o n of the a c t i v i t y " and " H e a l t h p r o b l e m s " . The l e a s t r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n were " R e g i s t r a t i o n p r o c e d u r e s " , "Would f e e l u n c o m f o r t a b l e " , and " B e i n g too o l d " (Table 16) . S e v e r a l sociodemographic v a r i a b l e s measured i n t h i s s tudy had s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h s e l e c t e d b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n (Table 17) : 1. Too Busy. Persons i n d i c a t i n g t h a t b e i n g too busy was an important b a r r i e r t o f u r t h e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were younger , were more l i k e l y t o l i v e w i t h someone e l s e , had h i g h e r incomes and e d u c a t i o n l e v e l s , and r e p o r t e d b e i n g more s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e i r l i v e s and i n b e t t e r h e a l t h . 2 . T r a n s p o r t a t i o n . Respondents who r e p o r t e d t h a t t r a n s p o r t a t i o n was an important b a r r i e r t o f u r t h e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s had lower incomes and were more l i k e l y t o l i v e a l o n e . 105 3. Money. Those who r e v e a l e d t h a t money was an important b a r r i e r t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were more l i k e l y t o be female , t o l i v e a lone and t o have lower incomes. 4. L o c a t i o n of A c t i v i t y . Respondents who d i s c l o s e d t h a t the l o c a t i o n of an a c t i v i t y was a b a r r i e r t o t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n had h i g h e r completed l e v e l s of e d u c a t i o n . 5. H e a l t h . Respondents who r e p o r t e d t h a t h e a l t h was an important b a r r i e r t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s had lower e d u c a t i o n a l l e v e l s , poorer s e l f - r e p o r t e d h e a l t h s t a t u s and lower l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n . 6. No One t o Go W i t h . Those who d i s c l o s e d t h a t h a v i n g no one t o go w i t h was an important b a r r i e r t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were more l i k e l y t o be female , had lower incomes, were more l i k e l y t o l i v e a l o n e , l e s s l i k e l y t o have a c o n f i d a n t , and more l i k e l y t o s e l f -r e p o r t poorer h e a l t h and lower l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n . 7. Lack of I n t e r e s t . Those who r e p o r t e d t h a t l a c k of i n t e r e s t was a major b a r r i e r t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were more l i k e l y t o be males . 8. See ing and H e a r i n g . Those who r e v e a l e d t h a t s i g h t and h e a r i n g problems were important b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n were more l i k e l y t o s e l f - r e p o r t b e i n g i n poorer h e a l t h . 9. No V a l u e . Respondents who r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e r e was no v a l u e i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n were l e s s l i k e l y t o r e p o r t b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . 106 10. F a m i l y R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Those who r e p o r t e d t h a t f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s were an important b a r r i e r t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were more l i k e l y t o l i v e w i t h someone e l s e . 11 . Too O l d . Those who r e p o r t e d t h a t b e i n g too o l d was an important b a r r i e r t o t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n were, i n f a c t , o l d e r . I t seemed reasonable t o suggest t h a t persons w i t h low l e v e l s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s would a l s o r e p o r t more b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n than would o l d e r a d u l t s w i t h h i g h e r l e v e l s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The respondents i n t h i s s tudy r e p o r t e d , an average of 2.32 c u r r e n t b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n , r a n g i n g from a low of " 1 " t o a h i g h of "10" b a r r i e r s . There was, however, no s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n between number of r e p o r t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and the t o t a l r e p o r t e d number of b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Based upon these f i n d i n g s the h y p o t h e s i s was r e j e c t e d which s t a t e d t h a t as p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s decreased the r e p o r t e d number of b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c r e a s e d . There were s e v e r a l s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between r e p o r t e d number of b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n and sociodemographic v a r i a b l e s . Persons r e p o r t i n g a g r e a t e r number of b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n had lower income (r=- .25, p=.001), were more l i k e l y t o l i v e a lone (r=- .16, p=.01) , and s e l f - r e p o r t poorer h e a l t h s t a t u s (r=-.17 , p=.01) and lower l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n ( - .17 , p=.01) . 107 Table 16 B a r r i e r s t o P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s BARRIER PERCENTAGES (a) n=290 TOO BUSY 40% TRANSPORTATION 26% MONEY 23% LOCATION OF THE ACTIVITY 22% HEALTH PROBLEMS 17% NO ONE TO GO WITH 15% TIME ACTIVITY OFFERED 14% OTHER REASONS 13% LACK OF INTEREST 12% SEEING & HEARING PROBLEMS 11% NO VALUE FOR ME 10% FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES 9% TOO OLD 8% NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION 4% WOULD FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE 4% REGISTRATION PROCEDURES 2% (a) Percentages add up t o more than 100.0% Respondents were asked t o i n d i c a t e a l l impor tant b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r l i v e s . 108 TABLE 17 C o r r e l a t i o n s between B a r r i e r s t o P a r t i c i p a t i o n and  Sociodemographic Measures BARRIER VARIABLE SIGNIFICANCE TOO BUSY AGE INCOME EDUCATION LIVING ARRANGEMENTS HEALTH LIFE SATISFACTION - . 2 3 * * .24* .16* . 22** .24** . 25* * TRANSPORTATION INCOME LIVING ARRANGEMENTS - . 2 7 * * - . 2 0 * * MONEY GENDER INCOME LIVING ARRANGEMENTS - . 2 0 * * - . 2 6 * * - . 1 6 * LOCATION EDUCATION .19* HEALTH EDUCATION HEALTH STATUS LIFE SATISFACTION - . 1 6 * - . 5 5 * * - . 1 6 * NO ONE TO GO WITH GENDER INCOME LIVING ARRANGEMENTS HEALTH STATUS LIFE SATISFACTION HAVING CONFIDANT - . 1 9 * - . 2 1 * - . 2 4 * - . 1 7 * - . 2 6 * * - . 1 9 * LACK OF INTEREST GENDER .17* SEEING AND HEARING MARITAL STATUS HEALTH .16* - . 1 6 * NO VALUE ORGANIZATION AFFILIATION - . 1 7 * FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES LIVING ARRANGEMENTS .17* FEELING TOO OLD AGE .28** * I n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .01 l e v e l . * * I n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n c e at the .001 l e v e l . 109 F a c t o r A n a l y s i s of 71 L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s An i n i t i a l f a c t o r a n a l y s i s w i t h O b l i m i n R o t a t i o n was performed t o determine i f t h e r e were f a c t o r s which u n d e r l a y the l a r g e number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s measured i n t h i s s tudy and which h e l p e d e x p l a i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n . A c c o r d i n g t o Borg & G a l l (1983) : F a c t o r a n a l y s i s i s h e l p f u l t o the r e s e a r c h e r because i t p r o v i d e s an e m p i r i c a l b a s i s f o r r e d u c i n g the many v a r i a b l e s t o a few f a c t o r s . The f a c t o r s then become manageable data f o r a n a l y s i s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , (p.613) Respondents i n t h i s s tudy d i d not always answer each q u e s t i o n i n the s tudy so a p a i r w i s e i n c l u s i o n of a l l e l i g i b l e s u b j e c t s was employed i n c a l c u l a t i n g the f a c t o r s o l u t i o n . F a c t o r s were e x t r a c t e d and r o t a t e d f o r a l l v a r i a b l e s w i t h e i g e n v a l u e s g r e a t e r than 2.0 i n o r d e r t o reduce from 24 the number of monopole or n o n - i n t e r p r e t a b l e f a c t o r s . The l a s t two f a c t o r g r o u p i n g s , c o n t a i n i n g o n l y two u n r e l a t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , were not r e t a i n e d f o r a n a l y s i s . T h i r t e e n f a c t o r s were r e t a i n e d f o r f u r t h e r examinat ion and names f o r f a c t o r group were chosen t o d e s c r i b e the common themes among v a r i a b l e s u n d e r l y i n g each c l u s t e r (Table 19) . The names f o r a l l t h i r t e e n f a c t o r groups r e q u i r e f u r t h e r a n a l y s i s and are a f i r s t approx imat ion of the substance of these g r o u p s . These t h i r t e e n f a c t o r s accounted f o r 47.8% of the v a r i a n c e i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h i s f a c t o r a n a l y s i s represents a p r e l i m i n a r y review of the data and w i l l be f u r t h e r developed i n subsequent a n a l y s i s . A d i s c u s s i o n of f a c t o r s i s developed i n Chapter V I . 110 Table 18 F a c t o r A n a l y s i s of 71 Learning A c t i v i t i e s CLUSTER NAME ACTIVITY LOADING 1. Volunteer Working on committees .78 Involvement Working on community programs .71 (10.1 pet of v a r ) * Doing other v o l u n t e e r work .63 A t t e n d i n g l e c t u r e s .44 Taking part i n p o l i t i c a l events .32 2 . R e c r e a t i o n P l a y i n g bingo .61 (5.1 pet of var) Bowling .53 Watching Other TV .52 Attending l e g i o n a c t i v i t i e s .48 P l a y i n g cards, chess,checkers .48 Going to community centres .41 Doing Crosswords,jigsaw puzzles .38 3 . Home L i f e Woodworking,Carpentry .77 (4.8 pet of var) Re p a i r i n g cars .76 R e p a i r i n g & Home Maintenance .44 Doing needlecraft,sewing - . 3 9 Cooking & Baking - . 6 1 4. S e l f Development L i s t e n i n g to the ra d i o .44 (3.8 pet of var) V i s i t i n g museums & G a l l e r i e s .42 A t t e n d i n g p l a y s & the a t r e s .35 G o l f i n g .31 Attending c o u n s e l l i n g - . 3 6 D i s c u s s i n g w i t h doctors - . 3 7 D i s c u s s i n g w i t h h e a l t h workers - . 40 Being i n a s e l f help group - . 5 3 5 . S p i r i t u a l P l a y i n g musical instrument - . 4 5 Enrichment Si n g i n g p a r t of c h o r a l group - . 5 6 (3.6 pet of var) Di s c o v e r i n g s p i r i t u a l being - . 6 2 D i s c o v e r i n g s p i r i t u a l being - . 6 2 Attending r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t i e s - . 8 1 Working i n church group - . 8 2 6. Wellness Reducing s t r e s s l e v e l s .66 (3.0 pet of var) Learn about h e a l t h / n u t r i t i o n .66 D i e t i n g & watching weight .58 Exercise,aerobics,keep f i t .52 Learning t o manage money .32 111 Table 18 continued CLUSTER NAME ACTIVITY LOADING 7. Language Arts Writing books,plays poetry .68 (2.9 pet of var) Learning a language .56 Using a computer .48 Writing autobiography/journal .43 Running & jogging .41 8. Crafts Tai c h i , yoga, meditation -.40 ((2.8 pet var) Doing decorative crafts -.43 Taking interest courses -.57 Drawing,painting sketching -.67 Taking hobby courses -.71 9. Leisure Attending musical events .42 Attending counselling/therapy .41 (2.6 pet of var) Attending plays & theatre .41 Watching the news -.32 Talking with family & friends -.48 Discussing with grandchildren -.49 10. Expressive Being part of a theatre group .47 Taking part professional group .38 (2.4 pet var) Photography -.31 Listening to records & tapes -.31 Travelling for pleasure -.38 Taking correspondence courses -.44 11. Outdoors/ Bi c y c l i n g -.31 Nature Caring for a pet -.33 (2.3 pet of var) Gardening -.38 Hunting,fishing camping -.67 12. Hobbies Doing crossword/jigsaw puzzle .44 (2.2 pet of var) Doing needlecraft .37 Doing decorative crafts .32 Playing a musical instrument -.35 Dancing -.58 13. Reflection/ Reading newspapers & magazines .71 Reading Reflecting on l i f e events .69 (2.1 pet of var) Observing nature & l i f e .66 reading books & plays .49 V i s i t i n g l i b r a r i e s .42 * pet of var = percentage of variance 112 CHAPTER V: ANALYSIS OF FIELD NOTES R e s u l t s from q u e s t i o n n a i r e data p r o v i d e d i n f o r m a t i o n f o r a q u a n t i t a t i v e l e v e l of a n a l y s i s . Important i n s i g h t s were a l s o c o l l e c t e d from d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h o l d e r a d u l t s , community c e n t r e a d m i n i s t r a t o r s and h o u s i n g r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s u s i n g the q u e s t i o n n a i r e t o guide d i s c u s s i o n . These i n s i g h t s have been t h e m a t i c a l l y summarized i n the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s : Gender Issues O l d e r a d u l t s , s e n i o r c e n t r e a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , and hous ing r e p r e s e n t a t i v e expressed concern about how d i f f i c u l t i t was t o f o s t e r male p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s . They d i s c l o s e d t h a t females were w i l l i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s but t h a t e f f o r t s t o encourage male p a r t i c i p a t i o n had not succeeded beyond " i n c r e a s e d membership i n snooker or c r i b b a g e . " One hous ing a d m i n i s t r a t o r commented t h a t " the men i n the b u i l d i n g j u s t s i t i n the lobby and watch the p a i n t d r y . " Program a d m i n i s t r a t o r s expressed i n t e r e s t i n d i s c o v e r i n g e f f e c t i v e methods f o r i n c r e a s i n g male p a r t i c i p a t i o n . These a d m i n i s t r a t o r s a l s o r e c o g n i z e d the v a l u e of c o l l a b o r a t i n g w i t h o t h e r f a c i l i t i e s t o develop new programs r e l e v a n t t o o l d e r males but had n o t , as y e t , been i n v o l v e d i n c o l l a b o r a t i v e e f f o r t s . 113 W h i l e n o n - p a r t i c i p a t i o n was d i s c u s s e d as a male i s s u e , widowhood, f i n a n c i a l i n s e c u r i t y , and f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t y were d i s c u s s e d as impor tant i s s u e s a f f e c t i n g the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of o l d e r women. S e v e r a l women d i s c l o s e d how d i f f i c u l t i t was t o make an i n i t i a l e f f o r t t o i n i t i a t e change a f t e r widowhood. One women commented, " A f t e r my husband d i e d I was s c a r e d t o go t o the c e n t r e . I f my ne ighbor h a d n ' t come w i t h me, I would never have come. Now, I come t o the c e n t r e t h r e e or f o u r t imes a week t o be w i t h p e o p l e , t o l e a r n about new t h i n g s and t o h e l p o u t . " Other o l d e r women commented t h a t t a k i n g p a r t i n s e n i o r c e n t r e a c t i v i t i e s a s s i s t e d them i n r e s t r u c t u r i n g t h e i r l i f e s t y l e s f o l l o w i n g the death of a spouse. S e v e r a l women expressed concern about t h e i r c a p a b i l i t i e s i n h a n d l i n g f i n a n c i a l matters a f t e r widowhood. They commented t h a t they were never g i v e n any f i n a n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s d u r i n g t h e i r m a r r i a g e s . A f t e r b e i n g widowed they r e a l i z e d the need t o develop f i n a n c i a l competence. One women d i s c l o s e d t h a t , a l t h o u g h she was i n t e r e s t e d i n l e a r n i n g more about h a n d l i n g her f i n a n c e s , she f e a r e d " f e e l i n g s t u p i d " i f men were e i t h e r t eachers or p a r t i c i p a n t s i n f i n a n c i a l management programs. Another female i s s u e r e v o l v e d around r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r o t h e r s , e s p e c i a l l y r e t i r e d spouses. S e v e r a l women commented t h a t t h e i r spouses d i d not want them t o go out t o l e a r n new t h i n g s . One of these women remarked t h a t she was expected " t o have l u n c h ready at noon, d i n n e r ready at s i x , and t o be around f o r the r e s t of the d a y . " Another women 114 commented, " I w i s h I c o u l d spend more t ime at the c e n t r e . I always l o v e d t o l e a r n , but now I have t o make excuses so I can get away from home." R e l a t i o n s h i p between H e a l t h and P a r t i c i p a t i o n Two i s s u e s s u r f a c e d c o n c e r n i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between h e a l t h and p a r t i c i p a t i o n : the s i g n i f i c a n c e of h e a l t h as an important b a r r i e r t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n and the s u c c e s s f u l a d a p t a t i o n s many o l d e r a d u l t s make t o surmount h e a l t h b a r r i e r s . Many s e n i o r s d i s c u s s e d s i g n i f i c a n t h e a l t h problems which a f f e c t e d b o t h the l e v e l and type of t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . One women, n e a r l y b l i n d from d i a b e t e s , c o u l d no l o n g e r read and was f r u s t r a t e d how many l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s r e q u i r e d adequate v i s i o n . Others commented on the c r i p p l i n g e f f e c t s of a r t h r i t i s i n t h e i r l i v e s or on the d e v a s t a t i n g d e t e r i o r a t i o n they w i t n e s s e d from A l z h e i m e r ' s D i s e a s e . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , numerous s e n i o r s r e v e a l e d a t e n a c i o u s s p i r i t which kept them g o i n g , d e s p i t e p h y s i c a l d e c l i n e . S e v e r a l respondents were handicapped by p h y s i c a l c o n s t r a i n t s but showed a remarkable d e s i r e t o surmount these b a r r i e r s . Some of these s e n i o r s moved from f a m i l y homes i n t o more p h y s i c a l l y s u p p o r t i v e environments . A f t e r t h i s move, they were ab le t o walk t o community a c t i v i t i e s and were no l o n g e r i s o l a t e d from s o c i a l s u p p o r t s . They remarked on the s i g n i f i c a n c e of s u p p o r t i v e environments i n t h e i r attempts t o c r e a t e independent 115 l i f e s t y l e s . S e v e r a l o l d e r s e n i o r s commented on the importance of a c c e s s i b l e p u b l i c t r a n s p o r t a t i o n f o r a t t e n d i n g l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and o t h e r community e v e n t s . N e c e s s i t y f o r Keeping Your Mind A l i v e One o l d e r man remarked, " I j u s t have t o keep g o i n g , or e l s e , t h a t ' s when I ' l l d i e , i n my h e a d . " Many o l d e r a d u l t s commented on the importance of keeping t h e i r minds a l i v e . They expressed the "use i t or l o o s e i t " sentiment about t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and o f t e n remarked t h a t the i n i t i a l commitment t o become i n v o l v e d was the most d i f f i c u l t s tep towards p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n any a c t i v i t y . S e n i o r s expressed an i n t e r e s t i n keeping abreast of w o r l d events and i n l e a r n i n g new t h i n g s they had never t r i e d b e f o r e . "Sometimes," one women s a i d , " I need something new and e x c i t i n g t o get me g o i n g . " Respondents a l s o suggested the need f o r a c t i v i t i e s t o " h e l p keep our memories s h a r p . " Importance of the S e n i o r Centre Many respondents emphasized the importance of the s e n i o r c e n t r e i n t h e i r l i v e s . The cent re was not o n l y a p l a c e f o r s o c i a l c o n t a c t , but a l s o a p l a c e where they f e l t comfor tab le and where they c o u l d m a i n t a i n a sense of purpose i n t h e i r l i v e s . One group of s e n i o r board members remarked how much they were l e a r n i n g because of t h e i r l e a d e r s h i p r o l e s 116 i n the c e n t r e . Others r e l a t e d t h a t the s e n i o r c e n t r e was a h e a l t h and f i t n e s s resource c e n t r e , a p l a c e f o r s o c i a l c o n t a c t , and a focus f o r v o l u n t e e r a c t i v i t i e s . Sen ior as Teacher The importance of the o l d e r a d u l t as teacher became apparent throughout t h i s s t u d y . T h i s t e a c h i n g r o l e was important f o r the o l d e r t eacher and a l s o f o r o l d e r a d u l t l e a r n e r s . As t e a c h e r s , o l d e r a d u l t s were e n t h u s i a s t i c about t h e i r sub jec t areas and were themselves l e a r n e r s a t t e m p t i n g t o keep ahead of t h e i r s e n i o r s t u d e n t s . One teacher remarked t h a t her advanced c a l l i g r a p h y s tudents were always c h a l l e n g i n g her c r e a t i v i t y and o f t e n taught her new t e c h n i q u e s . She a l s o d i s c l o s e d how important t h i s t e a c h i n g r o l e was i n her l i f e . S e v e r a l o l d e r l e a r n e r s remarked t h a t they r e s p e c t e d both the knowledge and human q u a l i t i e s of t h e i r t e a c h e r s . One o l d e r l e a r n e r , appear ing q u i t e nervous at the b e g i n n i n g of a computer program, remarked t h a t h a v i n g an o l d e r teacher h e l p e d t o put her at ease. 117 V o l u n t e e r Roles i n L a t e r L i f e Many respondents were i n v o l v e d i n v a r i e d v o l u n t e e r r o l e s through s e n i o r c e n t r e s and community o r g a n i z a t i o n s . They expressed the importance of these r o l e s which gave them a sense of purpose and commitment. V o l u n t e e r r o l e s o f t e n p r o v i d e d s t r u c t u r e and meaning f o r many s e n i o r s . One s e n i o r remarked t h a t h i s v o l u n t e e r involvement gave him "an important job t o do every Tuesday and Thursday from t e n u n t i l n o o n . " He a l s o d i s c l o s e d t h a t h i s w i f e was very p l e a s e d t o get him out of the house at these t i m e s . Some s e n i o r s commented t h a t they began as v o l u n t e e r s i n t h e i r l o c a l s e n i o r cent res and l a t e r extended t h e i r involvement t o i n c l u d e outreach programs i n the community. Others commented t h a t they were p a r t of a v o l u n t e e r s o c i a l network, a network which r e p l a c e d p r e - r e t i r e m e n t work networks . L e a d e r s h i p Issues S e v e r a l s t a f f member commented on the importance of s e n i o r l e a d e r s h i p i n t h e i r c e n t r e s . They emphasized the n e c e s s i t y of s e n i o r involvement at every l e v e l of program o r g a n i z a t i o n . These a d m i n i s t r a t o r s n o t e d , however, t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s o f t e n needed t o develop e f f e c t i v e l e a d e r s h i p s k i l l s t o be s u c c e s s f u l i n l e a d e r s h i p r o l e s . A few programs had been developed at some cent res t o a s s i s t s e n i o r s i n d e v e l o p i n g l e a d e r s h i p r o l e s but no r e g u l a r t r a i n i n g programs appeared t o 118 be i n p l a c e . One a d m i n i s t r a t o r r e p o r t e d t h a t the s e n i o r board at her c e n t r e had become a much more cohes ive and e f f e c t i v e body a f t e r p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n l e a d e r s h i p t r a i n i n g s e s s i o n s . She a l s o commented t h a t many women, w i t h no h i s t o r y of community or job r o l e s , needed encouragement and t r a i n i n g t o be e f f e c t i v e l e a d e r s i n l o c a l c e n t r e s . Need f o r I n n o v a t i v e Programming O l d e r a d u l t s expressed t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n l e a r n i n g new t h i n g s and at g e t t i n g i n v o l v e d i n more than j u s t t r a d i t i o n a l programs. One o l d e r women commented t h a t "we are capable of more than j u s t s i t t i n g and w a t c h i n g s l i d e s . " In an a r t i c u l a t e l e t t e r r e t u r n e d w i t h a completed q u e s t i o n n a i r e , one women expressed her annoyance at how s e n i o r s were o f t e n " l e c t u r e d a t " . She s t a t e d : W h i l e the q u a l i t y and content of l e c t u r e s was h i g h , i t i s the f a c t of b e i n g l e c t u r e d a t , of b e i n g rendered a p a s s i v e consumer w i t h h a r d l y a moments t ime f o r a b r i e f q u e s t i o n , t h a t I o b j e c t t o . . . . I n o ther words, f i n d the r e l e v a n c e of courses i n the v a r i e d l i v e s of s e n i o r s themselves , and g i v e maximum o p p o r t u n i t y f o r b u i l d i n g i n t e r a c t i o n , networks , and even f r i e n d s h i p s . A s e n i o r l e a d e r at a hous ing complex commented on the importance of d i s c o v e r i n g new and i n n o v a t i v e ways t o market l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s . He expressed an i n t e r e s t i n r e c e i v i n g guidance from a d u l t educators o n l y i f i t was " i n a language I c o u l d unders tand and u s e f u l f o r complex r e s i d e n t s . " 119 Encouraging and A t t r a c t i n g N o n - P a r t i c i p a n t s Both s e n i o r s and program a d m i n i s t r a t o r s expressed concern and u n c e r t a i n t y about a t t r a c t i n g n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t o t h e i r programs. S e v e r a l s e n i o r c e n t r e s had committees o r g a n i z e d t o welcome new members and t o f i n d out i f t h e r e were members i n the community who were unable t o a t t e n d programs because of f i n a n c e s . One c e n t r e i n Vancouver r e c e n t l y h i r e d a c o o r d i n a t o r t o f a c i l i t a t e i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h s e n i o r s who c o u l d not get t o the c e n t r e . Other cent res i n v o l v e d v o l u n t e e r s i n out reach programs t h a t v i s i t e d the s i c k or p r o v i d e d s e r v i c e s aimed at g i v i n g p r i m a r y c a r e g i v e r s r e s p i t e . S e n i o r s showed an a c t i v e concern f o r a s s i s t i n g o t h e r s e n i o r s i n the community who d i d not a t t e n d t h e i r cent re but a l s o expressed u n c e r t a i n t y about how t h i s c o u l d most e f f e c t i v e l y be accompl i shed . Need f o r Educators t o Move i n t o the Community Respondents expressed the need f o r educators t o move out of the " t h e i r i v o r y towers" and i n t o the community. They o f t e n commented t h a t they f e l t abandoned by educators who never showed up 'unless they had some q u e s t i o n n a i r e i n t h e i r hands. One comment, from the p r e s i d e n t of a l a r g e s e n i o r c e n t r e c a p t u r e d t h i s i s s u e . He commented: You educators s h o u l d n ' t take f o r e v e r b r i n g i n g your ideas t o the community, because f o r some of u s , t h e r e i s n ' t a l o t of t ime l e f t . I f you (educators) d o n ' t get moving, w e ' l l j u s t go on l e a r n i n g w i t h o u t y o u . 120 D i s c u s s i o n s w i t h o l d e r a d u l t s and program a d m i n i s t r a t o r s added an important d imension t o the q u a n t i t a t i v e f i n d i n g s p r e s e n t e d i n Chapter I V . These i n t e r v i e w s a s s i s t e d i n d e v e l o p i n g a f i r m e r f o u n d a t i o n on which t o base d i s c u s s i o n s and recommendations f o r r e s e a r c h and p r a c t i c e p r e s e n t e d i n Chapter VI and V I I . 121 CHAPTER V I : DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS Major f i n d i n g s , developed from an a n a l y s i s of 332 q u e s t i o n n a i r e s and a s y n t h e s i s of i n t e r v i e w s w i t h o l d e r a d u l t s , are rev iewed i n t h i s c h a p t e r . The f i n d i n g s are d i s c u s s e d i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the l i t e r a t u r e and w i t h the s i x r e s e a r c h hypotheses p r e s e n t e d i n Chapter I I I . Sampling procedures used i n t h i s s tudy must be c o n s i d e r e d when making broad g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s from the d a t a . A m a j o r i t y of respondents i n t h i s s tudy were members of s e n i o r c e n t r e s . F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s r e q u i r e d t o unders tand p a r t i c i p a t i o n by o l d e r a d u l t s who do not a t t e n d s e n i o r c e n t r e s or a c t i v i t i e s sponsored by e d u c a t i o n a l a g e n c i e s . Measures of P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s A " l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y " was d e f i n e d as any exper ience d u r i n g the pas t year i n which a d u l t s over the age of 55 r e p o r t e d t h a t l e a r n i n g o c c u r r e d . Each respondent ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n was v iewed from t h r e e p e r s p e c t i v e s : the number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s an i n d i v i d u a l engaged i n , a r a t e of p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e p r e s e n t i n g the average frequency of p a r t i c i p a t i o n across a l l l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , and the number of hours per week engaged i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . T h i s c u r r e n t s tudy e x p l o r e d a wider range of f o r m a l , n o n - f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l , and s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s than c u r r e n t l y presented i n the l i t e r a t u r e ; t h i s s tudy broadened narrow d e f i n i t i o n s of 122 e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y t o " i n c l u d e any l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t y p r o v i d e d f o r o r by the o l d e r a d u l t " (Courtenay & Long, 1987, p . 8 3 ) . The f i n d i n g s from t h i s s tudy d i d not c o r r o b o r a t e e a r l i e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n s t u d i e s , focused on t r a d i t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s , which conc luded t h a t the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of o l d e r a d u l t s i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s was low (Cross , 1981; Johnstone & R i v e r a , 1965; P e t e r s o n , 1983; Ventura & Worthy, 1982). Devereaux (1985), f o r example, had r e p o r t e d t h a t a p p r o x i m a t e l y 4% of those 65 and over take p a r t i n e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s and conc luded t h a t " a d u l t l e a r n e r s tended t o be r e l a t i v e l y young" (p. 6). On average , o l d e r a d u l t s i n t h i s s tudy p a r t i c i p a t e d i n 35 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r an average of 14 hours per week over the past year (Table 7) . F i n d i n g s from t h i s c u r r e n t study c h a l l e n g e the re levance of low r e p o r t e d r a t e s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n f o r o l d e r a d u l t s . Both the number and the d i v e r s i t y of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s r e p o r t e d by o l d e r a d u l t s i n t h i s s tudy underscore the re levance of e x p l o r i n g a wider range of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n f u t u r e p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e s e a r c h . Formal e d u c a t i o n a l p u r s u i t s form o n l y one p a r t of a complex web of predominant ly n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l and s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s engaged i n by o l d e r a d u l t s . Most Important L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e In t h i s s e c t i o n the term " t o p t e n " r e f e r s t o the t e n most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d , important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s by o l d e r a d u l t s : r e a d i n g books or p l a y s ; watching P u b l i c B r o a d c a s t i n g System, Knowledge 123 Network, or o t h e r e d u c a t i o n a l TV; r e a d i n g newspapers or magazines; t r a v e l l i n g ; t a l k i n g w i t h f a m i l y and f r i e n d s ; a t t e n d i n g s e n i o r c e n t r e s ; w a t c h i n g news; o b s e r v i n g nature and l i f e ; v i s i t i n g l i b r a r i e s ; and l i s t e n i n g t o the r a d i o (Table 6 ) . The top t e n most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (a) demonstrated the h e t e r o g e n e i t y of the o l d e r p o p u l a t i o n ; (b) r e f l e c t e d the s i g n i f i c a n c e of s p o n s o r i n g agencies o ther than e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s ; (c) i l l u s t r a t e d the importance of nonformal and i n f o r m a l modes of e d u c a t i o n ; and (d) suggested the re levance of d e v e l o p i n g i n n o v a t i v e l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r l a t e r l i f e l e a r n e r s . The h e t e r o g e n e i t y of the o l d e r a d u l t p o p u l a t i o n was r e f l e c t e d i n r e p o r t s of most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Only two of the 71 l i s t e d a c t i v i t i e s , t a k i n g correspondence courses and b o w l i n g , were not named as a top t e n by at l e a s t one respondent (Table 6 ) . T h i s v a l i d a t e s recent work by Courtenay (1989) who concluded t h a t " t h e r e i s no s i n g l e , g e n e r i c u l t i m a t e purpose of e d u c a t i o n f o r o l d e r a d u l t s " (p. 531) . A wide v a r i e t y of p e r s o n a l i t i e s , i n t e r e s t s and s o c i a l c o n t e x t s must be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o program p l a n n i n g e f f o r t s t o meet the d i v e r s e needs of o l d e r l e a r n e r s . Tak ing correspondence courses was not named as an important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y by any respondents i n t h i s s t u d y . T h i s f i n d i n g c a l l s i n t o q u e s t i o n the development of d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n f o r o l d e r l e a r n e r s i n N o r t h A m e r i c a . In B r i t a i n , o l d e r l e a r n e r s are b e i n g a d m i t t e d i n i n c r e a s i n g numbers t o the Open U n i v e r s i t y , a correspondence program; i n 124 Japan, t h e r e i s growing support from o l d e r l e a r n e r s f o r correspondence programs broadcast over r a d i o networks . As N o r t h American e d u c a t o r s , we must reexamine our unders t andi ng of and commitment t o d i s t a n c e e d u c a t i o n f o r the o l d e r l e a r n e r . The top t e n most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s c o n f i r m e d the r e l e v a n c e of s p o n s o r i n g agencies o u t s i d e the f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n a l s e c t o r . Media s p o n s o r s h i p was a common denominator f o r t h r e e of the top t e n important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e : watch ing P u b l i c B r o a d c a s t i n g System, Knowledge Network, or o t h e r e d u c a t i o n a l TV; w a t c h i n g the news; and, l i s t e n i n g t o the r a d i o . Davis & M i l l e r (1983) and G l a s s & Smith (1985) r e c o g n i z e d the i n f l u e n c e and e d u c a t i v e p o t e n t i a l of media i n l a t e r l i f e . G l a s s & Smith (1985) c a l l e d t e l e v i s i o n an " e d u c a t i o n a l and outreach p o t e n t i a l " (p. 257) but c a u t i o n e d : Educators may see a p o t e n t i a l i n t e l e v i s i o n t o meet the e d u c a t i o n a l and s e r v i c e needs of growing numbers of o l d e r p e o p l e , or a t e c h n o l o g i c a l nightmare t h a t c o u l d invade p r i v a c y as w e l l as encourage a p a s s i v e v i c a r i o u s e x i s t e n c e removed from the warmth of r e a l human c o n t a c t , (p. 257) A f t e r i d e n t i f y i n g o l d e r a d u l t s as heavy consumers of i n f o r m a t i o n d e l i v e r e d by t e l e v i s i o n , Davis & M i l l e r (1983) observed: The major p r e f e r e n c e of the o l d e r v iewer i s f o r news and p u b l i c a f f a i r s programming. T h i s i m p l i e s a u t i l i t y v a l u e f o r t e l e v i s i o n f o r t h i s audience as an i n f o r m a t i o n system, a l i n k t o the common p o o l of knowledge, and as a "window t o the w o r l d . " (p. 217) In c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o these f i n d i n g s which i l l u s t r a t e the e d u c a t i v e v a l u e of media programming, the Canadian B r o a d c a s t i n g C o r p o r a t i o n has 125 r e c e n t l y l i m i t e d support f o r a programming e f f o r t d i r e c t e d towards o l d e r a d u l t s , The Best Y e a r s . T h i s d e c i s i o n i s not c o n s i s t e n t w i t h e i t h e r demographic s h i f t s or w i t h the e d u c a t i v e p o t e n t i a l of t e l e v i s i o n across the l i f e c o u r s e . I n f o r m a l l e a r n i n g networks were the focus of another t h r e e of the t o p t e n most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s : t a l k i n g w i t h f a m i l y and f r i e n d s , a t t e n d i n g s e n i o r c e n t r e s , and t r a v e l l i n g . The importance of these i n f o r m a l networks has r e c e n t l y been reviewed by B r o o k f i e l d (1984) and Coombs (1985). T h i s suggests the re levance of r e s e a r c h t o enhance our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of s u p p o r t i v e networks i n l a t e r l i f e . B r o o k f i e l d (1986) c o n s i d e r e d the f u n c t i o n s of i n f o r m a l l e a r n i n g networks and r e p o r t e d : Major f u n c t i o n s of the network i d e n t i f i e d by p a r t i c i p a n t s i n c l u d e d the exchange of i n f o r m a t i o n , the development of problem s o l v i n g techniques i n concer t w i t h o t h e r s , a t t i t u d i n a l changes among members, the f o s t e r i n g of peer group s u p p o r t , the development of i n t e r p e r s o n a l communication s k i l l s , and the use of c o n n e c t i o n a l t h i n k i n g i n which a d u l t s became adept at making q u i c k connec t ions between d i v e r s e r e s o u r c e s , bodies of knowledge, or problem s o l v i n g t e c h n i q u e s , (p. 151) Three of the top t e n , important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s r e v o l v e d around r e a d i n g : r e a d i n g books or p l a y s ; r e a d i n g newspapers or magazines; and, v i s i t i n g l i b r a r i e s . T h i s suggests not o n l y the v a l u e of enhancing the range of a v a i l a b l e l a r g e p r i n t and t a l k i n g books, but a l s o the v a l u e of f i n a n c i a l commitments f o r the development and implementat ion of l i t e r a c y programs f o r l a t e r l i f e l e a r n e r s . F u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i s a l s o 126 r e q u i r e d t o e v a l u a t e the s i g n i f i c a n c e and p o t e n t i a l s of the l i b r a r y as an important sponsor of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s . One important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y r e v o l v e d around a c t i v i t i e s sponsored by the s e n i o r c e n t r e . Over 70% of respondents r e p o r t e d t h a t s e n i o r c e n t r e s were an important sponsor of t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . D e v e l o p i n g the r o l e of a d u l t educator as a l e a r n i n g c o n s u l t a n t i n s e n i o r c e n t r e s c o u l d prove t o be a b e n e f i c i a l s y m b i o t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p f o r both educators and s e n i o r c e n t r e s . R a l s t o n (1981) remarked t h a t the e d u c a t i o n a l component i n most s e n i o r cent res s h o u l d be s t rengthened and remarked t h a t "most s e n i o r cent res were not p r o v i d i n g adequate ly i n the ' p e r s o n a l deve lopment ' , 'problems w i t h a g i n g ' , and 'home and f a m i l y ' a r e a s " (p. 242) . The v a l u e of expanding i n n o v a t i v e programming f o r o l d e r a d u l t s i s r e f l e c t e d by another important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y i n l a t e r l i f e : o b s e r v i n g nature and l i f e . T h i s , a c t i v i t y a l o n g w i t h another f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y , r e f l e c t i n g on l i f e e v e n t s , suggests the s i g n i f i c a n c e of reminiscence and l i f e review i n l a t e r l i f e ( B u t l e r , 1963, 1980; E b e r s o l e , 1978; L e w i s , 1971, Merr iam, 1985). B i r r e n & Hedlund (1986) commented t h a t such a c t i v i t i e s as gu ided autobiography c o u l d become a p o s i t i v e f o r c e i n l a t e r l i f e . Baum (1980) r e p o r t e d on the t h e r a p e u t i c v a l u e of o r a l h i s t o r y and commented: O r a l h i s t o r y p r o v i d e s a way of making concre te one ' s exper iences and wisdom and of c r e a t i n g from them a h e r i t a g e t o hand down t o one ' s f a m i l y and communal h e i r s , (p. 49) 127 F u r t h e r e f f o r t s must be d i r e c t e d towards d e s i g n i n g and e v a l u a t i n g i n n o v a t i v e l e a r n i n g a l t e r n a t i v e s t h a t expand development p o t e n t i a l s of l a t e r l i f e . T h i s was supported by s e n i o r s who remarked t h a t they en joyed t r y i n g something new and u s i n g new approaches t p t h e i r hobbies and c r a f t s . Sociodemographic Measures I n f l u e n c i n g P a r t i c i p a t i o n T h i s s tudy suggested a p o r t r a i t of the o l d e r a d u l t as l e a r n e r across a wide v a r i e t y of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (Table 8 ) . O l d e r a d u l t s r e p o r t i n g the g r e a t e s t p a r t i c i p a t i o n were more l i k e l y t o be younger s e n i o r s , female , more educated, and t o r e p o r t lower incomes and b e t t e r s e l f - r e p o r t e d h e a l t h . They were a l s o more l i k e l y t o b e l o n g t o community or p r o f e s s i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s and t o r e p o r t more reason f o r and sponsors of t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . There have been c o n s i s t e n t r e p o r t s i n the l i t e r a t u r e about the r e l a t i o n s h i p between g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and younger age, more e d u c a t i o n and g r e a t e r income. In t h i s s t u d y , however, r e l a t i o n s h i p s between p a r t i c i p a t i o n and age, e d u c a t i o n , and income were much s m a l l e r than a n t i c i p a t e d . C a u t i o n must be e x e r c i s e d i n g e n e r a l i z i n g from p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e s e a r c h focused on t r a d i t i o n a l a d u l t e d u c a t i o n a c t i v i t i e s t o broader d i s c u s s i o n s of l e a r n i n g i n l a t e r l i f e . F i n d i n g s from t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy are d i s c u s s e d i n the f o l l o w i n g s e c t i o n s . 128 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Age In t h i s c u r r e n t s t u d y , p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a g r e a t e r number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s was s i g n i f i c a n t l y c o r r e l a t e d t o younger age of p a r t i c i p a n t s . The h y p o t h e s i s was accepted which proposed t h a t younger s e n i o r s p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a g r e a t e r number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s than d i d more aged s e n i o r s . T h i s h y p o t h e s i s was, however, accepted on the b a s i s of o n l y a s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n between the number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s an o l d e r a d u l t engaged i n and age (r=- .20, p=.001). There were no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between age and the two other measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n c a l c u l a t e d i n t h i s s t u d y : p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e and number of hours per week engaged i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Regress ion s t a t i s t i c s demonstrated t h a t p a r t i c i p a t i o n decreased at a r a t e of 2.84 a c t i v i t i e s per decade of advancing age. T h i s decrease does not seem s u b s t a n t i a l when c o n s i d e r i n g the average number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s an o l d e r a d u l t engaged i n each year (35). A r e l a t i o n s h i p between i n c r e a s i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n and d e c l i n i n g age has , however, been c o n s i s t e n t l y supported i n the l i t e r a t u r e (Graney & Hays, 1976; H a r r i s & A s s o c i a t e s , 1975; H e i s e l , 1980; H e i s e l , Darkenwald & Anderson , 1981). Pe terson (1983) s t a t e d t h a t age was a s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r i n d e t e r m i n i n g the e d u c a t i o n a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the o l d e r a d u l t . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , the s m a l l s i z e of the s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n r e p o r t e d i n t h i s s tudy c h a l l e n g e s the re levance of these r e p o r t s across a broad spectrum of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Recent s t u d i e s have suggested the importance of v a r i e d and i n n o v a t i v e l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r the o l d e r 129 a d u l t . I n n o v a t i v e l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s such as E l d e r h o s t e l , s e l f - h e l p groups , and New H o r i z o n s are a l r e a d y a t t r a c t i n g i n c r e a s i n g numbers of s e n i o r p a r t i c i p a n t s (Morrow-Howell & Ozawa, 1987; Novak, 1987; O ' D o n n e l l & B e r k e l e y , 1980). T h i s n o n t r a d i t i o n a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n must be e v a l u a t e d b e f o r e any d e f i n i t i v e statements can be made about the r e l a t i v e importance of the s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between d e c r e a s i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n and i n c r e a s i n g age. P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Gender There was a s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n between p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e and gender (r=- .20, p=.001) : men p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s l e s s f r e q u e n t l y than d i d women. Based upon t h i s f i n d i n g , the h y p o t h e s i s was r e j e c t e d which s t a t e d t h a t t h e r e were no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the gender of respondent . T h i s f i n d i n g supports works by Hooper & March (1978), and Ventura & Worthy (1982). Means t e s t i n g i n d i c a t e d t h a t across a l l a c t i v i t i e s , on average , men p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s almost q u a r t e r l y (2 .91) ; women p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s between q u a r t e r l y and monthly (3 .30 ) . D i s c u s s i o n s w i t h s e n i o r cent re a d m i n i s t r a t o r s c o r r o b o r a t e d t h i s f i n d i n g . They r e p o r t e d how d i f f i c u l t i t was t o get men t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s ; they a l s o asked f o r support from a d u l t educators i n d e s i g n i n g programs r e l e v a n t f o r men. A l t h o u g h , d e m o g r a p h i c a l l y , a g i n g i s r e f e r r e d t o as a women's problem, r e s e a r c h and program e f f o r t s 130 must c o n c e n t r a t e on gender d i f f e r e n c e s i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n across the l i f e c o u r s e . P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Income There was a s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t ( r=- .21 , p=.01) n e g a t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n between income and p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e : as the p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e i n c r e a s e d income decreased . Thus, the h y p o t h e s i s was r e j e c t e d which proposed t h a t persons w i t h h i g h e r incomes p a r t i c i p a t e d more f r e q u e n t l y i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . T h i s r e s u l t can be accounted f o r by the f a c t t h a t a m a j o r i t y of the respondents were s e n i o r c e n t r e members. As noted i n the l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w , Krout (1983) demonstrated t h a t as s e n i o r c e n t r e use i n c r e a s e d , the income of p a r t i c i p a n t s decreased . The c u r r e n t s tudy a l s o r e v e a l e d t h a t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n s p e c i f i c a c t i v i t i e s i n c r e a s e d as income decreased . As income decreased there were moderate and s i g n i f i c a n t i n c r e a s e s i n a t t e n d i n g s e n i o r c e n t r e s . As income decreased t h e r e were s i g n i f i c a n t but s m a l l i n c r e a s e s i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the f o l l o w i n g l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s : A t t e n d i n g hobby courses Doing d e c o r a t i v e c r a f t s and ceramics Doing n e e d l e c r a f t , sewing, and q u i l t i n g P l a y i n g bingo A t t e n d i n g s e l f - h e l p groups Watching the news T h i s i n c r e a s e i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n r a t e w i t h d e c r e a s i n g income i s not c o r r o b o r a t e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e . C u r r e n t l i t e r a t u r e supports the h y p o t h e s i s t h a t i n c r e a s e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s i s 131 r e l a t e d t o h i g h e r income. H e i s e l (1980), J a r v i s (1985), and Marcus (1978) r e l a t e d h i g h e r l e v e l s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n t o h i g h e r l e v e l s of socioeconomic s t a t u s . Cross (1981) conc luded t h a t " a d u l t s who were not i n v o l v e d i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were l i k e l y t o be p o o r l y educated , p o o r l y p a i d , o l d e r r u r a l r e s i d e n t s " ( p . 6 4 ) . The c o u n t e r - i n t u i t i v e f i n d i n g i n t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy r a i s e s some q u e s t i o n s . Does income become a l e s s important f a c t o r i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n when c o n s i d e r i n g a wide v a r i e t y of nonformal and i n f o r m a l l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s ? Has the p r e v i o u s l y r e p o r t e d s i g n i f i c a n c e of income as an i n t e r v e n i n g v a r i a b l e been important o n l y when c o n s i d e r i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n more t r a d i t i o n a l e n t e r p r i s e s ? Do o l d e r a d u l t s of lower income have t h e i r own r e p e r t o i r e of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s t h a t have been i g n o r e d i n the measurement of t r a d i t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - b a s e d a c t i v i t i e s ? F i n d i n g s from t h i s s tudy suggest a p o s i t i v e response t o these q u e s t i o n s . The re levance of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p must be reexamined as 37% of respondents d i d not answer the income q u e s t i o n . P a r t i c i p a t i o n and E d u c a t i o n There was a s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n between the number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s an i n d i v i d u a l engaged i n and e d u c a t i o n (r=.26, p=.001) which r e v e a l e d t h a t as completed l e v e l s of e d u c a t i o n i n c r e a s e d so d i d p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h i s f i n d i n g supported the h y p o t h e s i s which proposed t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s who p a r t i c i p a t e i n a g r e a t e r number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s have more p r e v i o u s e d u c a t i o n than those who 132 participate i n fewer a c t i v i t i e s . There i s considerable support for t h i s finding i n the l i t e r a t u r e (Courtenay & Long, 1987; Covey, 1981; Graney, 1980; Heisel, Darkenwald, & Anderson, 1981; Hooper & March, 1978; Kingston & Drotter, 1983; Peterson, 1983) . Courtenay & Long (1987) concluded that previously completed l e v e l of education was the most important predictor of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n learning a c t i v i t i e s . The strength of the relationship between education and pa r t i c i p a t i o n was, however, much smaller than anticipated. Across a l l 71 learning a c t i v i t i e s reported i n t h i s study, regression s t a t i s t i c s revealed that for every increase i n educational l e v e l there was an increase i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n of only 1.18 learning a c t i v i t i e s . Older adults with more completed education were more l i k e l y to engage i n learning a c t i v i t i e s sponsored by schools, colleges, and u n i v e r s i t i e s ; media; and themselves. Older adults with less completed education were more l i k e l y to participate i n a c t i v i t i e s sponsored by senior centres. Several questions are suggested about the relationship between previous education and current p a r t i c i p a t i o n . F i r s t , are older adults with more previous education more prepared to search out a wider variety of learning opportunities i n varied settings? There was support for t h i s i n the current study. There was a small but s i g n i f i c a n t relationship between previous completed education and t o t a l number of sponsoring agencies for learning a c t i v i t i e s (r=.25, p=.001). Secondly, do current learning opportunities offered for older adults serve to perpetuate s o c i a l i n e q u a l i t i e s developed i n the formal education system? 133 R a d c l i f f e (1982), i n r e p o r t i n g on the c u r r e n t p r o v i s i o n of e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s f o r the e l d e r l y , suggested: I t (the growing p r o v i s i o n of e d u c a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s f o r the e l d e r l y ) has a c e r t a i n e l i t i s t q u a l i t y , i n s e r v i n g a c l i e n t e l e who are b e t t e r ab le than o thers t o a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r needs and i n t e r e s t s , (p. 315) P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Measures of W e l l - B e i n q Two aspects of w e l l - b e i n g were measured i n t h i s c u r r e n t s t u d y : l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n and h e a l t h s t a t u s . There was no support f o r the h y p o t h e s i s which proposed t h a t persons who r e p o r t e d g r e a t e r l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n would a l s o r e p o r t g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . T h i s h y p o t h e s i s was based upon work of Larson (1978). The measure of l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n used i n t h i s s tudy might be q u e s t i o n e d . Respondents were asked t o complete o n l y one v e r y g e n e r a l q u e s t i o n c o n c e r n i n g l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n . The c o r r e l a t i o n between l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n and the number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s an o l d e r a d u l t engaged i n was not s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t (r=.14, p>.01) . The s i n g l e g e n e r a l q u e s t i o n used i n t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy may have been an inadequate measure of a complex concept , l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n . A more d e t a i l e d s c a l e of w e l l - b e i n g , such as one developed by Reker & Wong (1984) might prove a more s a t i s f a c t o r y measure f o r f u t u r e work. T h i s s c a l e poses s e v e r a l q u e s t i o n s r e l a t e d t o both p h y s i c a l and mental components of w e l l - b e i n g . There was a s i g n i f i c a n t but s m a l l r e l a t i o n s h i p (r=.17, p=.01) between r e p o r t e d h e a l t h s t a t u s and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 134 As p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n c r e a s e d so d i d p o s i t i v e s e l f -r e p o r t s of h e a l t h s t a t u s . Means t e s t s r e v e a l e d s e n i o r s who r e p o r t e d " V e r y p o o r " h e a l t h p a r t i c i p a t e d i n many fewer l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (22) than those who r e p o r t e d " E x c e l l e n t " h e a l t h (36) . Those who r e p o r t e d " P o o r " h e a l t h , however, p a r t i c i p a t e d i n almost as many l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (32) as those' who r e p o r t e d " E x c e l l e n t " h e a l t h (36) . The s m a l l s i z e of the c o r r e l a t i o n between h e a l t h and p a r t i c i p a t i o n opens up some important areas f o r f u r t h e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Do o l d e r a d u l t s r e s t r u c t u r e t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y p r o f i l e by s u b s t i t u t i n g more a p p r o p r i a t e l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r ones they are no l o n g e r ab le t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n ? There i s some support f o r t h i s i n f i n d i n g s from t h i s s t u d y . On an a c t i v i t y by a c t i v i t y b a s i s , t h e r e were s i g n i f i c a n t but s m a l l c o r r e l a t i o n s between d e c l i n i n g h e a l t h and i n c r e a s e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n two l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s : d i s c u s s i o n w i t h d o c t o r s and b e i n g i n a s e l f -h e l p group. A second i s s u e r e v o l v e s around the a b i l i t y of many s e n i o r s t o c o n t i n u e p a r t i c i p a t i o n d e s p i t e c h r o n i c h e a l t h problems. S e v e r a l s e n i o r s i n t e r v i e w e d i n t h i s s tudy were i n poor h e a l t h but r e v e a l e d a t e n a c i t y and zes t f o r l i f e . These o l d e r a d u l t s developed i n n o v a t i v e c o p i n g s t r a t e g i e s which a l l o w e d them t o c o n t i n u e v a r i e d forms of p a r t i c i p a t i o n d e s p i t e c h r o n i c h e a l t h problems. They moved t o more s u p p o r t i v e environments , became i n v o l v e d i n new a c t i v i t i e s which were more s u i t e d t o t h e i r changing s i t u a t i o n s , and became i n v o l v e d i n s e l f - h e l p groups which h e l p e d them t o cope w i t h h e a l t h - r e l a t e d problems. 135 P a r t i c i p a t i o n and S o c i a l Context Four measures of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s s o c i a l context were r e p o r t e d i n t h i s s t u d y : m a r i t a l s t a t u s , l i v i n g arrangement, presence of a c o n f i d a n t , and b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . M a r i t a l s t a t u s was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d t o any measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . There was no support f o r the h y p o t h e s i s which proposed t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s who l i v e d w i t h someone or r e p o r t e d h a v i n g a c o n f i d a n t would r e p o r t g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . A great m a j o r i t y of respondents i n t h i s s t u d y , however, r e p o r t e d h a v i n g a c o n f i d a n t (81%). There was, on the o t h e r hand, s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t support f o r a c c e p t i n g the h y p o t h e s i s which proposed t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s who r e p o r t e d g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n were a l s o more l i k e l y t o r e p o r t b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n (r=.16, p=.01) . Recent works concern ing s o c i a l networks and the presence of a c o n f i d a n t ( A n t o n u c c i , 1985; C h i r a b o g a , 1987) have i n d i c a t e d the importance of s o c i a l supports i n l a t e r l i f e . Chiraboga (1987) r e p o r t e d : W i t h the growing r e c o g n i t i o n of s o c i a l and p h y s i c a l s t r e s s o r s as d i s r u p t i v e f o r c e s i n the l i v e s of the e l d e r l y , g e r o n t o l o g i s t s have a l s o begun t o examine s o c i a l o thers as p o t e n t i a l mediators and b u f f e r s a g a i n s t the impact of s t r e s s o r s , (p. 635) Issues of s o c i a l support i n l a t e r l i f e have r e c e i v e d i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n i n the l i t e r a t u r e of psychology and s o c i o l o g y but not i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e . More i n - d e p t h r e s e a r c h w i l l be r e q u i r e d t o more f u l l y unders tand the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s e n s i t i v e measures of s o c i a l contex t and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 136 Changes i n P a r t i c i p a t i o n S ince Age F o r t y N e i t h e r f i n d i n g s from the l i t e r a t u r e nor from t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy p r o v i d e a l o n g i t u d i n a l view of p a r t i c i p a t i o n across the l i f e c o u r s e . T h i s c u r r e n t s t u d y , however, p r o v i d e s one g l impse i n t o changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n across the l i f e span (Table 9 ) . Respondents i n t h i s s tudy were asked t o r e p o r t changes i n t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e age f o r t y i n each of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Based upon these r e p o r t s , an o v e r a l l change index was c a l c u l a t e d f o r each i n d i v i d u a l . Response p o s s i b i l i t i e s ranged from "Less than when 40" (1 .00) , t o a m i d p o i n t of p a r t i c i p a t i o n "About the same as when 40" (2 .00) , t o a h i g h of p a r t i c i p a t i o n "More than when 40" (3 .00 ) . The average change index across a l l p a r t i c i p a n t s was 2 . 1 , i n d i c a t i n g t h a t f o r t h i s group of o l d e r a d u l t s t h e r e was l i t t l e change i n an o v e r a l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e the age of f o r t y . T h i s i s c o r r o b o r a t e d i n the work of Peppers (1976) who found t h a t t h e r e was a c o n t i n u i t y of a c t i v i t y between pre and post r e t i r e m e n t y e a r s . A l t h o u g h the average change index f o r respondents i n t h i s study remained "About the same" as when f o r t y , t h e r e were, however, changes noted i n a c t i v i t y cho ices between age f o r t y and l a t e r l i f e . T h i s f i n d i n g , s t i l l congruent w i t h an o v e r a l l c o n t i n u i t y across the l i f e c o u r s e , p o i n t s towards a r e s t r u c t u r i n g of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s across the 137 l i f e span. There were s e v e r a l a c t i v i t i e s t h a t respondents p a r t i c i p a t e d i n more than when they were 40. The most f r e q u e n t l y c i t e d were: A t t e n d i n g community or s e n i o r c e n t r e s Watching PBS, Knowledge Network or o t h e r e d u c a t i o n a l TV R e f l e c t i n g on l i f e events L e a r n i n g about h e a l t h and n u t r i t i o n Observ ing nature and l i f e D i e t i n g or watching weight Reducing s t r e s s l e v e l s Doing v o l u n t e e r work Watching the news D i s c u s s i n g w i t h g r a n d c h i l d r e n W a l k i n g T r a v e l l i n g f o r p l e a s u r e Reading book or p l a y s There were a l s o s e v e r a l a c t i v i t i e s t h a t they p a r t i c i p a t e d i n l e s s than when they were f o r t y . The most f r e q u e n t l y c i t e d i n c l u d e d : L e a r n i n g f o r a job H u n t i n g , f i s h i n g or camping Tak ing correspondence courses Tak ing p a r t i n a p r o f e s s i o n a l group Dancing C a r i n g f o r a pet Running or j o g g i n g B i c y c l i n g B o w l i n g These f i n d i n g s , i n f e r r i n g a r e s t r u c t u r i n g of a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e , are supported i n the l i t e r a t u r e i n r e s e a r c h by Zuzanek & Box (1988) who conc luded t h a t : I t seems t h a t , at l e a s t i n the case of h e a l t h y o l d e r a d u l t s , advanced age c a r r i e s w i t h i t a g r a d u a l and c o n t r o l l e d r e s t r u c t u r i n g of o l d e r a d u l t s ' d a i l y l i v e s r a t h e r than a r a d i c a l w i t h d r a w a l from, or d i s c o n t i n u a t i o n w i t h , a c t i v i t y p a r t i c i p a t i o n , (p. 180) 138 A c r o s s a wide spectrum of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , o l d e r s e n i o r s were no more l i k e l y than younger s e n i o r s t o r e p o r t l e s s p a r t i c i p a t i o n than when they were f o r t y ( r = - . l l , p>.01) . There was a l s o no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between gender and s e l f - r e p o r t s of changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e age f o r t y (r=- .12, p>.01) . Two hypotheses were accepted which proposed t h a t there were no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e the age of f o r t y r e l a t e d e i t h e r t o the age or gender of respondents . P a r t i c i p a t i o n s t u d i e s which assume t h a t e i t h e r age o r sex i s the most important v a r i a b l e i n f l u e n c i n g changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n across the l i f e course must be s e r i o u s l y q u e s t i o n e d . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , t h e r e was a s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between an i n d i v i d u a l ' s change index and h e a l t h (r=.23, p=.001). Respondents r e p o r t i n g b e t t e r h e a l t h a l s o r e p o r t e d t a k i n g p a r t i n more l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s s i n c e they were 40 than d i d those respondents r e p o r t i n g l e s s s a t i s f a c t o r y h e a l t h . As p o p u l a t i o n a g i n g c o n t i n u e s , i t w i l l be i n c r e a s i n g l y important t o unders tand changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e l a t e d t o h e a l t h s t a t u s . F i n d i n g s from t h i s s tudy p o i n t t o a c o n t i n u i t y across the l i f e course combined w i t h a r e s t r u c t u r i n g of p a r t i c i p a t i o n on an a c t i v i t y by a c t i v i t y b a s i s . F u r t h e r l o n g i t u d i n a l r e s e a r c h i s r e q u i r e d t o v e r i f y t h i s l i f e course view of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 139 O r g a n i z a t i o n a l Choices Made by O l d e r A d u l t s When l e a r n e r s choose t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s they a l s o make c h o i c e s which express p r e f e r e n c e s about the s p o n s o r s h i p and o r g a n i z a t i o n of programs. Four c h o i c e s , r e l a t e d t o the s p o n s o r s h i p and o r g a n i z a t i o n of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , were r e p o r t e d i n t h i s s t u d y : s p o n s o r s h i p (Table 10) , p r e f e r r e d t ime of day of p a r t i c i p a t i o n (Table 13) , p a r t i c i p a t i o n a lone or i n group s e t t i n g s (Table 13) , and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n age-segregated or a g e - i n t e g r a t e d s e t t i n g s (Table 13) . Sponsorship The f i v e most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s i n t h i s s tudy were s e n i o r c e n t r e s ; media : t e l e v i s i o n and r a d i o ; " s e l f " ; churches ; and, s c h o o l s , u n i v e r s i t i e s and c o l l e g e s (Table 10) . On average, respondents r e p o r t e d u s i n g t h r e e s p o n s o r i n g agencies t o support t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . These r e s u l t s demonstrated the d i v e r s i t y of sponsors f o r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e and r e v e a l e d not o n l y the importance of community-based and media programs, but a l s o the importance of o n e s e l f as a p l a n n e r of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . These f i n d i n g s c o r r o b o r a t e d work by DeCrow (1975) who e x p l o r e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e sponsored by a wide v a r i e t y of n o n - s c h o o l a g e n c i e s : l i b r a r i e s , museums, churches , parks and r e c r e a t i o n departments , b u s i n e s s , and numerous v o l u n t e e r and community 140 agencies. The importance of community sponsored learning a c t i v i t i e s was more recently acknowledged by Ventura & Worthy (1982) who noted that almost one-quarter of older participants who were enrolled i n educational programs did so through community or senior centres. Along the same l i n e , Heisel, Darkenwald, & Anderson (1981) reported that: Age appears to be an important determinant of where the el d e r l y take courses. While the 60-64 group has no single p a r t i c u l a r l y favored location, those 65-69 show a d e f i n i t e preference for community organizations (20.4%), a location that becomes markedly more popular with the oldest learners (36.4%). Those who attend courses given i n four-year colleges tend to have college degrees, (p. 237) This current study demonstrated the importance of the media as a sponsoring agency for learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Several time-budget studies (Altergott, 1988; Zuzanek & Box, 1988) have previously commented that older adults spend increasing amounts of time watching t e l e v i s i o n . Only a few studies, however, were located that considered educative aspects of media programs (Davis & M i l l e r , 1983; Glass & Smith, 1985; Straka, 1987). Glass & Smith (1985) concluded: Educators and service providers must f i n d the most responsible and the most effec t i v e methods for reaching t h e i r target audience. I f t e l e v i s i o n i s among the means considered for reaching the aged, i t i s worthwhile to examine both the l i a b i l i t i e s as well as the benefits before proceeding, (p. 258) Forty-six percent of respondents i n t h i s study reported that " s e l f " was an important current sponsor of learning a c t i v i t i e s . The importance of s e l f - d i r e c t e d learning a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e was established by Tough (1971, 1979) and extended to older adults by Hiemstra (1972, 1985). Brookfield (1984), i n an attempt to move past 141 merely acknowledging s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g as a l e g i t i m a t e focus f o r a d u l t e d u c a t i o n , recommended e s t a b l i s h i n g l e a r n i n g networks t h a t support s e l f - d i r e c t e d endeavors . P r o v i d i n g support f o r these l e a r n i n g networks w i l l a s s i s t s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n e r s throughout the l i f e c o u r s e . S e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n e r s do n o t , n e c e s s a r i l y , l e a r n w i t h o u t the a s s i s t a n c e of e x t e r n a l resources or s o c i a l c o n t a c t . E f f e c t i v e resources are r e q u i r e d t o a s s i s t s e n i o r s who p l a n t h e i r own l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e s ; i n n o v a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s are e s s e n t i a l t o i n c r e a s e the s e l f - d i r e c t e d s k i l l s of o l d e r a d u l t s who c u r r e n t l y r e l y on community agencies t o p l a n and o r g a n i z e t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s . Only 28% of respondents i n t h i s present s tudy r e p o r t e d t h a t " s c h o o l s , u n i v e r s i t i e s , or c o l l e g e s " were important sponsors of t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Based upon t h i s r e s u l t , the h y p o t h e s i s was accepted which proposed t h a t the most important sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were nonformal and i n f o r m a l and not f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . T h i s f i n d i n g encourages u s , as e d u c a t o r s , t o s h i f t our focus t o the community and t o r e c o g n i z e the importance of a l t e r n a t i v e s t o i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - b a s e d programs. O p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r a d u l t educators are present i n v a r i e d nonformal and i n f o r m a l s e t t i n g s : s e l f - h e l p groups , w e l l n e s s c e n t r e s , l i b r a r i e s , and media; o p p o r t u n i t i e s are a l s o present f o r a d u l t educators t o enhance the e f f o r t s of s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n e r s . 142 Preferred Time of Day for P a r t i c i p a t i o n A majority of respondents (56.3%) report engaging i n "out of home" learning a c t i v i t i e s primarily i n the daytime (Table 13) . There was a small but s i g n i f i c a n t correlation which revealed that older seniors choose to participate i n learning a c t i v i t i e s i n the daytime. This i s consistent with findings by Peterson (1983) who concluded: Instructional programs for older people are generally preferred i n the daytime, and scheduling courses i n the evenings or on weekends may prove detrimental to enrollment, (p.283) The location and time of an a c t i v i t y can often become barriers to p a r t i c i p a t i o n for older adults (Cross, 1981) . Several respondents i n t h i s study l i v e d i n the c i t y core and remarked that they feared going out of t h e i r homes after dark. Program planners targeting the senior population must be sensitive to environmental influences on p a r t i c i p a t i o n and continue to explore alternatives for developing the most supportive scheduling and location of a c t i v i t i e s . P a r t i c i p a t i o n Alone or i n Group Settings Over 48% of respondents i n t h i s study reported taking part i n learning a c t i v i t i e s i n a group. There was a small but s i g n i f i c a n t relationship which revealed that older seniors were more l i k e l y to p a r t i c i p a t e i n learning a c t i v i t i e s i n groups than were younger seniors. Based upon t h i s r e s u l t , the hypothesis was rejected which proposed that older seniors preferred to participate i n learning a c t i v i t i e s alone rather than i n group settings. 143 In the l i t e r a t u r e , two c o n f l i c t i n g p i c t u r e s have emerged c o n c e r n i n g s o c i a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . A disengagement view of a g i n g (Cumming & Henry, 1961) i m p l i e d t h a t as people age they r e t r e a t e d i n t o a more i s o l a t e d w o r l d . T h i s produces a p o r t r a i t of a g i n g a d u l t s r e t r e a t i n g towards more s o l i t a r y types of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Romaniuk & Romaniuk (1982) and Sprouse (1981), however, noted the importance of s o c i a l reasons f o r t a k i n g p a r t i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . F i n d i n g s from t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy c o r r o b o r a t e d r e s e a r c h which c h a l l e n g e d the re levance of disengagement theory f o r many o l d e r a d u l t s . In t h i s s t u d y , the t h i r d most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s was " t o meet or be w i t h f r i e n d s " . A l o n g the same l i n e s , two of the top t e n most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were s o c i a l i n n a t u r e : t a l k i n g w i t h f a m i l y and f r i e n d s and a t t e n d i n g s e n i o r c e n t r e s . These f i n d i n g s compliment the group o r i e n t a t i o n r e p o r t e d by many o l d e r l e a r n e r s . O p p o r t u n i t i e s which support g r o u p - o r i e n t e d a c t i v i t i e s are a l r e a d y a t t r a c t i n g g r e a t e r numbers of o l d e r a d u l t p a r t i c i p a n t s : E l d e r h o s t e l , s e l f - h e l p groups , w e l l n e s s p r o j e c t s . P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Age-Segregated and A g e - I n t e g r a t e d S e t t i n g s Over 45% of respondents i n t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy r e p o r t e d engaging i n age-segregated l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (Table 13) . Of the remain ing respondents , 21.1% p a r t i c i p a t e d e q u a l l y i n age-segregated and age-i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s and 26.8% r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n u s u a l l y i n age-144 i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s . A l t h o u g h the g r e a t e s t percentage of respondents p r e f e r r e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n age-segregated a c t i v i t i e s , t h e r e was, however, no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between age and p r e f e r e n c e f o r age-segregated or a g e - i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s . To d a t e , r e s e a r c h about p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a g e - i n t e g r a t e d versus age-segregated l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s has produced some c o n t r a d i c t o r y r e s u l t s . Research suggested the importance of a g e - i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s f o r some o l d e r a d u l t s (Covey, 1981; Hooper & March, 1978). On the o ther hand, P e t e r s o n & Orgren (1982) noted t h a t o l d e r a d u l t s p r e f e r r e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e w i t h members of t h e i r own age group. Sprouse (1981) r e p o r t e d t h a t a g e - i n t e g r a t e d courses were l i k e l y t o a t t r a c t those who were younger , b e t t e r educated and more a f f l u e n t , w h i l e those at the o p p o s i t e end of the socioeconomic spectrum were more a t t r a c t e d t o community based age-segregated a c t i v i t i e s . In t h i s c u r r e n t s t u d y , o l d e r a d u l t s w i t h more p r e v i o u s e d u c a t i o n were more l i k e l y t o r e p o r t p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a g e - i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s (r=.23, p=.001) than were respondents w i t h l e s s p r e v i o u s e d u c a t i o n . The importance of both age-segregated and a g e - i n t e g r a t e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s r e q u i r e s f u r t h e r e x p l o r a t i o n . Increased i n t e r g e n e r a t i o n a l c o n f l i c t between the e l d e r l y and younger g e n e r a t i o n s i s p o s s i b l e as more economic support must go towards a r a p i d l y growing a g i n g p o p u l a t i o n . Younger g e n e r a t i o n s w i l l need t o be educated about the r e a l i t i e s of a g i n g i n s o c i e t y ; o l d e r a d u l t s w i l l need t o l e a r n t o communicate e f f e c t i v e l y w i t h younger g e n e r a t i o n s . Thus, i t i s impor tant f o r s o c i a l 145 p l a n n e r s and a d u l t educators t o develop o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r i n t e r g e n e r a t i o n a l programs. The importance of age-segregated programs, however, must not be m i n i m i z e d . The e n t i r e q u e s t i o n s u r r o u n d i n g the i s s u e of age-segregated versus a g e - i n t e g r a t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s needs t o be re f ramed. The q u e s t i o n i s not e i t h e r age-segregated or age-i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s ; the q u e s t i o n s become: "When are age-segregated o p p o r t u n i t i e s most a p p r o p r i a t e ? " "When are a g e - i n t e g r a t e d a c t i v i t i e s most a p p r o p r i a t e ? " Reasons f o r P a r t i c i p a t i o n The most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy were growth and s o c i a l l y - o r i e n t e d r a t h e r than d e f i c i e n c y -o r i e n t e d : "Keeping ones mind a l i v e " , " G a i n i n g knowledge or s k i l l s " , " M e e t i n g or b e i n g w i t h f r i e n d s " , " P e r s o n a l Development" , and " E n t e r t a i n m e n t " (Table 14) . The l e a s t r e p o r t e d reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n suggested d e f i c i e n c y - o r i e n t e d f a c t o r s from the p o p u l a r E d u c a t i o n P a r t i c i p a t i o n S c a l e developed by B o s h i e r (1977, 1985): "Because someone e l s e recommended i t " , "To escape boredom", and "As a break from r o u t i n e " . B o s h i e r & C o l l i n s (1983) have r e p o r t e d t h a t , when u s i n g the E d u c a t i o n P a r t i c i p a t i o n S c a l e , o l d e r a d u l t s were most o f t e n e n r o l l e d f o r reasons of c o g n i t i v e i n t e r e s t , t h a t i s , f o r l e a r n i n g f o r i t s own sake. Only t h r e e of the s i x f a c t o r groups from the E d u c a t i o n P a r t i c i p a t i o n Sca le were of major importance t o respondents i n t h i s 146 s t u d y : C o g n i t i v e I n t e r e s t , S o c i a l C o n t a c t , and Community S e r v i c e ; three of the s i x f a c t o r groups were of v e r y l i m i t e d importance t o t h i s group: P r o f e s s i o n a l Advancement, E x t e r n a l E x p e c t a t i o n s , and S o c i a l S t i m u l a t i o n (escape boredom). The E d u c a t i o n P a r t i c i p a t i o n Sca le does not appear t o p r o v i d e s u f f i c i e n t c h o i c e s t h a t r e f l e c t the g r o w t h - o r i e n t e d m o t i v a t i o n s of o l d e r a d u l t s across nonformal and i n f o r m a l l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . B o s h i e r & R i d d e l l (1978) acknowledged t h a t the E d u c a t i o n P a r t i c i p a t i o n Sca le "was o r i g i n a l l y developed t o measure the mot ives of p a r t i c i p a n t s who are u s u a l l y m i d d l e - c l a s s and e n r o l l e d i n ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' a d u l t e d u c a t i o n s i t u a t i o n s " (p .170) . A d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h i s necessary t o v a l i d a t e m o t i v a t i o n a l o r i e n t a t i o n s f o r the contemporary cohor t of o l d e r a d u l t s ac ross a broad spectrum of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . On average , respondents r e p o r t e d h a v i n g over f i v e important reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . M u l t i p l e and d i v e r s e reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e have a l s o been r e p o r t e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e ( F i s h e r , 1986; H e i s e l , Darkenwald, & Anderson, 1981; K i n g s t o n , 1982; Romaniuk & Romaniuk 1982) . In t h i s s t u d y , as the number of r e p o r t e d reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c r e a s e d the number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s an o l d e r a d u l t engaged i n a l s o i n c r e a s e d . Based upon t h i s r e s u l t , the h y p o t h e s i s was accepted which proposed t h a t as p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c r e a s e d so d i d the number of reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n (r=.31, p=.001). T h i s f i n d i n g supports the work of Thornton & C o l l i n s (1986) who conc luded t h a t a d u l t s who age 147 s u c c e s s f u l l y are ab le t o g i v e more reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s and p a r t i c i p a t e i n more a c t i v i t i e s . One e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p l i e s i n dynamic f o r c e s encouraging o r d i s c o u r a g i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n throughout the l i f e c o u r s e . Reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n are p a r t of a complex web of soc ioeconomic , p e r s o n a l , and p o l i t i c a l f o r c e s ( M i l l e r , 1967) shaping p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The more reasons a respondent g i v e s f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n , the g r e a t e r v a l u e p a r t i c i p a t i o n has f o r them and the more p o s i t i v e are the f o r c e s encouraging p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Older a d u l t s w i t h fewer c o m p e l l i n g f o r c e s encouraging p a r t i c i p a t i o n are l e s s m o t i v a t e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e and r e p o r t fewer c o m p e l l i n g reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . T h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g r e q u i r e s the development of e f f e c t i v e s t r a t e g i e s f o r i n c r e a s i n g p o s i t i v e f o r c e s f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and f o r d e c r e a s i n g the n e g a t i v e f o r c e s which l i m i t p a r t i c i p a t i o n f o r l e a r n e r s i n l a t e r l i f e . There were s m a l l but s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and both age and r e p o r t s of b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n (Table 15) . Respondents who r e p o r t e d more reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n were younger and more l i k e l y t o r e p o r t b e l o n g i n g t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n than those who r e p o r t e d fewer reasons . O r g a n i z a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n s are p a r t of a s u p p o r t i v e network t h a t encourages o l d e r a d u l t s t o c o n t i n u e t o be l i f e l o n g l e a r n e r s . O p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r l i f e l o n g o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a f f i l i a t i o n p r o v i d e d by such groups as the B r i t i s h Columbia Telephone 148 r e t i r e m e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n , Telephone P i o n e e r s , p r o v i d e s u p p o r t i v e networks which can enhance o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r l e a r n i n g across the l i f e c o u r s e . B a r r i e r s t o P a r t i c i p a t i o n The most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n were " B e i n g too b u s y " , " T r a n s p o r t a t i o n " , "Money", " L o c a t i o n of the a c t i v i t y " , and, " H e a l t h " (Table 16) . Most of these b a r r i e r s have been e x t e n s i v e l y reviewed i n the l i t e r a t u r e ( F i s h t e i n & F e i e r , 1982; Goodrow, 1975; Graney & Hays, 1976; K i n g s t o n , 1982; K i n g s t o n & D r o t t e r , 1983; March, Hooper & Baum, 1977; Marcus, 1978; P r i c e & Lyon, 1982; Ventura & Worthy, 1982) . The most important b a r r i e r i n t h i s s t u d y , " B e i n g too b u s y " , has n o t , however, r e c e i v e d adequate a t t e n t i o n i n the l i t e r a t u r e . Today, many o l d e r a d u l t s l e a d f u l l and a c t i v e l i v e s . As e d u c a t o r s , we must s h i f t our focus from c o n s i d e r a t i o n of a p a s s i v e c l i e n t e l e t o p r o v i d i n g r e l e v a n t exper iences f o r many a c t i v e o l d e r a d u l t s l e a d i n g busy and f u l l l i v e s . Program p l a n n i n g f o r o l d e r a d u l t s r e q u i r e s t h o u g h t f u l d e c i s i o n making which must be c a r r i e d out i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h the o l d e r l e a r n e r . On average, respondents r e p o r t e d two b a r r i e r s t o t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . One h y p o t h e s i s i n t h i s study proposed t h a t as the number of r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r s i n c r e a s e d , the number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s would decrease . T h i s was n o t , however, supported i n the f i n d i n g s . There was no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between the 149 t o t a l number of r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r s and any measures of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . I t seems l o g i c a l t o propose t h a t one s t r o n g b a r r i e r s , such as very poor h e a l t h , would be a more s i g n i f i c a n t b a r r i e r t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n than two or t h r e e l e s s i n f l u e n t i a l b a r r i e r s . F a c t o r A n a l y s i s of 71 L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s L e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were f a c t o r a n a l y z e d t o determine i f t h e r e were u n d e r l y i n g f a c t o r s which c o u l d h e l p e x p l a i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n across a wide spectrum of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s (Table 18) . T h i s i n i t i a l r o t a t i o n suggested 13 f a c t o r s u n d e r l y i n g the 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s which e x p l a i n e d 48% of the v a r i a n c e i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n : FACTOR 1 V o l u n t e e r Involvement FACTOR 2 R e c r e a t i o n FACTOR 3 Home L i f e FACTOR 4 S e l f Development FACTOR 5 S p i r i t u a l Enrichment FACTOR 6 Wel lness FACTOR 7 Language A r t s FACTOR 8 C r a f t s FACTOR 9 L e i s u r e FACTOR 10 E x p r e s s i v e FACTOR 11 Outdoors /Nature FACTOR 12 Hobbies FACTOR 13 R e f l e c t i o n / R e a d i n g These f a c t o r groups suggested o r i e n t a t i o n s i n the l i t e r a t u r e proposed by H o u l e ' s (1961), B o s h i e r (1985b) and Londoner (1985); they a l s o r e f l e c t e d broad themes of p a r t i c i p a t i o n s y n t h e s i z e d by Ventura & Worthy (1982) . F a c t o r groups i n t h i s s tudy do not represent m u t u a l l y e x c l u s i v e c a t e g o r i e s from these f o u r t y p o l o g i e s . Each f a c t o r group i n 150 t h i s s tudy may c o n t a i n , f o r example, elements of both E x p r e s s i v e and I n s t r u m e n t a l o r i e n t a t i o n s , o r , r e f l e c t a combinat ion of S o c i a l C o n t a c t , C o g n i t i v e I n t e r e s t , and Community S e r v i c e m o t i v a t i o n s . For t h i s c u r r e n t d i s c u s s i o n , however, f a c t o r s were f o r c e d i n t o o n l y one, or at most two, o r i e n t a t i o n s f o r each t y p o l o g y r e p r e s e n t e d . F a c t o r s groups were d i v i d e d about e q u a l l y among t h r e e m o t i v a t i o n a l c a t e g o r i e s proposed by Houle (1961): 3.5 f a c t o r s r e f l e c t e d g o a l o r i e n t a t i o n s , 4 .5 r e f l e c t e d l e a r n i n g o r i e n t a t i o n s and 4 f a c t o r s r e f l e c t e d a c t i v i t y o r i e n t a t i o n s . The f a c t o r groups a l s o r e f l e c t e d Londoner ' s (1985) d i s c u s s i o n s of i n s t r u m e n t a l and e x p r e s s i v e l e a r n i n g o r i e n t a t i o n s : n ine f a c t o r s suggested e x p r e s s i v e a c t i v i t i e s , f o u r f a c t o r s suggested i n s t r u m e n t a l a c t i v i t i e s . In c o n t r a s t t o Londoner ' s (1985) d i s c u s s i o n , however, the f a c t o r c l u s t e r s f o r t h i s s tudy f a l l p r i m a r i l y i n the e x p r e s s i v e r a t h e r than the i n s t r u m e n t a l a r e n a . Based upon a s y n t h e s i s of r e l e v a n t r e s e a r c h , Ventura & Worthy (1982) suggested two broad themes t h a t u n d e r l a y reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e : (a) a c o n t i n u e d sense of meaning i n l i f e , and (b) a sense of c o n t r o l or c o p i n g . In t h i s c u r r e n t s t u d y , t e n f a c t o r s suggested a sense of meaning and t h r e e f a c t o r groupings suggested g a i n i n g a sense of c o n t r o l or c o p i n g i n l i f e . Attempts t o r e l a t e f a c t o r groupings from t h i s s tudy t o B o s h i e r ' s m o t i v a t i o n a l c a t e g o r i e s (Bosh ier , 1985) were d i f f i c u l t because a l a r g e m a j o r i t y of f a c t o r groups suggested i n t h i s c u r r e n t s tudy r e f l e c t e d the ca tegory of C o g n i t i v e I n t e r e s t from B o s h i e r ' s E d u c a t i o n P a r t i c i p a t i o n 151 S c a l e . T h i s c o n f i r m s work by B o s h i e r & C o l l i n s (1983) who noted t h a t " o l d e r a d u l t s . . . w e r e more i n c l i n e d t o be e n r o l l e d f o r C o g n i t i v e I n t e r e s t - l e a r n i n g f o r i t s own sake" (p. 172) . Based on the p r e l i m i n a r y f a c t o r a n a l y s i s c a r r i e d out i n t h i s s t u d y , f a c t o r c l u s t e r s d i d not suggest t h r e e m o t i v a t i o n a l c a t e g o r i e s from the p o p u l a r E d u c a t i o n a l P a r t i c i p a t i o n S c a l e : P r o f e s s i o n a l Advancement, S o c i a l S t i m u l a t i o n (Escape) , and E x t e r n a l E x p e c t a t i o n s . T h i s a n a l y s i s suggests the importance of programming f o r m u l t i p l e l e a r n i n g o r i e n t a t i o n s throughout the l i f e c o u r s e : g o a l , a c t i v i t y , and l e a r n i n g o r i e n t a t i o n s (Houle, 1961). I t a l s o p o i n t s towards (a) the importance of growth o r i e n t a t i o n s i n l a t e r l i f e ; and, (b) the need f o r e x p r e s s i v e a c t i v i t i e s t h a t p r o v i d e meaning i n l a t e r l i f e . That i s , f a c t o r c l u s t e r s suggest the importance of e x p r e s s i v e a c t i v i t i e s t h a t p r o v i d e a sense of meaning f o r l a t e r l i f e l e a r n e r s . T h i s o v e r a l l growth o r i e n t a t i o n was congruent w i t h the g r o w t h - o r i e n t e d m o t i v a t i o n s expressed by respondents i n t h i s s tudy (Table 14) . The r e l a t i o n s h i p s between f a c t o r c l u s t e r s from t h i s study and o r i e n t a t i o n s t o l e a r n i n g suggested by Houle (1961), B o s h i e r (1985b), Londoner (1985), and Ventura & Worthy (1982) are i l l u s t r a t e d i n Table 19. A d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h i s r e q u i r e d t o i n c r e a s e our knowledge of s e v e r a l f a c t o r groups from t h i s s tudy t h a t are o n l y b e g i n n i n g t o capture the a t t e n t i o n of a d u l t e d u c a t o r s : V o l u n t e e r Involvement , S e l f Development i n l a t e r l i f e , S p i r i t u a l Enr ichment , W e l l n e s s , and R e f l e c t i o n / R e a d i n g . 152 Table 19 R e l a t i o n s h i p between L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t y F a c t o r Groups and Four O r i e n t a t i o n s t o A c t i v i t i e s CLUSTER NAME ORIENTATIONS TO ACTIVITIES HOULE 1961 BOSHIER* 1985 LONDONER 1985 VENTURAS WORTHY 1982 1. V o l u n t e e r Involvement Goal Com.Service I n s t r u m e n t a l Meaning 2 . R e c r e a t i o n A c t i v i t y Soc .Contac t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning 3 . Home L i f e Goal I n s t r u m e n t a l Coping 4. S e l f Development Goal C o g . I n t e r e s t I n s t r u m e n t a l Coping 5 . S p i r i t u a l Enrichment L e a r n i n g C o g . I n t e r e s t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning 6. Wel lness Goal L e a r n i n g C o g . I n t e r e s t I n s t r u m e n t a l Coping 7. Language A r t s L e a r n i n g C o g . I n t e r e s t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning 8. C r a f t s A c t i v i t y L e a r n i n g C o g . I n t e r e s t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning 9. L e i s u r e A c t i v i t y Soc .Contac t C o g . I n t e r e s t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning 10 . E x p r e s s i v e A c t i v i t y L e a r n i n g C o g . I n t e r e s t Soc .Contac t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning 11 . Outdoors/ A c t i v i t y C o g . I n t e r e s t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning 12 . Hobbies A c t i v i t y C o g . I n t e r e s t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning 13 . R e f l e c t i o n / Reading L e a r n i n g C o g . I n t e r e s t E x p r e s s i v e Meaning * Com.Service=Community S e r v i c e S o c . C o n t a c t = S o c i a l Contact C o g . I n t e r e s t = C o g n i t i v e I n t e r e s t 153 F i n d i n g s from t h i s c u r r e n t study suggest many areas f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n ; f i n d i n g s a l s o i n f e r new d i r e c t i o n s f o r program p l a n n e r s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s work ing w i t h a growing p o p u l a t i o n of o l d e r a d u l t s . A summary of the f i n d i n g s from t h i s s tudy and recommendations f o r r e s e a r c h and p r a c t i c e are p r e s e n t e d i n the f i n a l c h a p t e r . 154 VII. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s p r o v i d e s one important s o c i a l s t r a t e g y f o r a d d r e s s i n g the p o t e n t i a l s and problems of a g i n g i n d i v i d u a l s i n an a g i n g s o c i e t y . Enhancing p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n these l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s p r e s e n t s a s i g n i f i c a n t a d u l t e d u c a t i o n c h a l l e n g e . Many p a r t i c i p a t i o n s t u d i e s have focused on p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n more t r a d i t i o n a l , i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - b a s e d e d u c a t i o n a l p u r s u i t s and p a i n t e d a s i n g u l a r p o r t r a i t of the o l d e r l e a r n e r , one t h a t assumed decreases i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n w i t h i n c r e a s i n g age. T h i s present s t u d y , however, viewed l e a r n i n g across a wider range of a c t i v i t i e s than c u r r e n t l y addressed i n the l i t e r a t u r e and sketched m u l t i p l e images of o l d e r a d u l t s engaged i n a d i v e r s e s e l e c t i o n of growth and s o c i a l l y - o r i e n t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . The purpose of t h i s study was t o c h a r a c t e r i z e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a broad range of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e and t o examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n and s e l e c t e d p e r s o n a l and sociodemographic measures i n f l u e n c i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The r e s e a r c h d e s i g n i n v o l v e d a d e s c r i p t i v e - c o r r e l a t i o n a l s tudy u s i n g a m a i l e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e . Q u e s t i o n n a i r e s completed by 332 n o n - i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d v o l u n t e e r a d u l t s over the age of 55 were a n a l y z e d u s i n g the SPSS. PC+ V . 3 . 0 (SPSS, I n c . , 1988) s t a t i s t i c a l package. The average age of respondents i n t h i s s tudy was 70.0 y e a r s , spanning a range from 55 t o 91 y e a r s . Over 73% of respondents were 155 female; 23% were male. A majority of respondents l i v e d alone. Approximately 40% of respondents were currently married and over 34% were widowed. Most respondents were f u l l y r e t i r e d (83.4%). The median income was $20,000.00 spanning a range from $1,200.00 to $110,000.00. The median completed l e v e l of education was "Some vocational or technical education"; educational levels ranged from "Some elementary" to "Post-graduate completed". Over 32% of respondents reported being "Very s a t i s f i e d " with t h e i r l i v e s ; nearly 28% reported being i n "Excellent" health. A majority reported being " S a t i s f i e d " with t h e i r l i v e s and nearly 48% reported being i n "Good" health. A large majority reported having a confidant and belonging to a community or professional organization. For t h i s study, a learning a c t i v i t y was broadly defined as any experience i n which adults over the age of 55 reported that learning occurred. This i s congruent with current thinking reported by Courtenay & Long (1987) who suggested that education for the older adult should include "any learning opportunity provided for or by the older adult" (p.83). For each respondent, p a r t i c i p a t i o n was measured i n three ways: (a) the number of learning a c t i v i t i e s engaged i n over the past year; (b) a rate of p a r t i c i p a t i o n representing the average frequency of pa r t i c i p a t i o n across 71 learning a c t i v i t i e s ; and, (c) the number of hours per week engaged i n learning a c t i v i t i e s . Over the past year, on average, older adults reported p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n 35 learning a c t i v i t i e s for an average of 14 hours per week. 156 The t e n most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were: r e a d i n g books or p l a y s ; w a t c h i n g P u b l i c B r o a d c a s t i n g System, Knowledge Network, or e d u c a t i o n a l TV; r e a d i n g newspapers or magazines; t r a v e l l i n g ; t a l k i n g w i t h f a m i l y or f r i e n d s ; a t t e n d i n g community or s e n i o r c e n t r e s ; watching the news; o b s e r v i n g nature and l i f e ; v i s i t i n g l i b r a r i e s ; and l i s t e n i n g t o the r a d i o . Only two of the 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s , t a k i n g correspondence courses and b o w l i n g , were not c o n s i d e r e d as an important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y by at l e a s t one o l d e r a d u l t . Respondents who r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a g r e a t e r number of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were younger, more educated, and i n b e t t e r s e l f -r e p o r t e d h e a l t h . They a l s o were more l i k e l y t o b e l o n g t o community or p r o f e s s i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s , t o r e p o r t more reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and more s p o n s o r i n g agencies t o support t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Respondents who r e p o r t e d g r e a t e r r a t e s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were more l i k e l y female and of lower income. A l t h o u g h t h e r e were s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s between p a r t i c i p a t i o n and age, e d u c a t i o n , and income, these r e l a t i o n s h i p s were much s m a l l e r than a n t i c i p a t e d . A c r o s s a l l a c t i v i t i e s , o l d e r a d u l t s r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s as f r e q u e n t l y as when they were f o r t y . There was, however, a r e s t r u c t u r i n g of a c t i v i t y c h o i c e s s i n c e the age of f o r t y . O l d e r a d u l t s were more l i k e l y t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n s e n i o r cent re a c t i v i t i e s ; watching P u b l i c B r o a d c a s t i n g , Knowledge Network and e d u c a t i o n a l t e l e v i s i o n ; r e f l e c t i n g on l i f e events ; o b s e r v i n g nature and l i f e ; d i e t i n g and watching w e i g h t ; r e d u c i n g s t r e s s l e v e l s ; d o i n g 157 v o l u n t e e r work; watching the news; d i s c u s s i n g w i t h g r a n d c h i l d r e n ; r e a d i n g newspapers or magazines; and, watch ing o t h e r than e d u c a t i o n a l t e l e v i s i o n . They were l e s s l i k e l y t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n l e a r n i n g f o r a job ; h u n t i n g f i s h i n g , h i k i n g or camping; t a k i n g correspondence c o u r s e s , d a n c i n g , c a r i n g f o r a p e t , r u n n i n g and j o g g i n g , b i c y c l i n g , and b o w l i n g . P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n more l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s than when f o r t y was s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d t o more p o s i t i v e s e l f - r e p o r t s of h e a l t h but was not r e l a t e d t o the age or sex of respondent . Choices ' of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s r e f l e c t e d p r e f e r e n c e s about the s p o n s o r s h i p and o r g a n i z a t i o n of an a c t i v i t y . Four o r g a n i z a t i o n a l c h o i c e s of o l d e r a d u l t s were measured i n t h i s s t u d y : s p o n s o r i n g a g e n c i e s , t ime of day of p a r t i c i p a t i o n , p a r t i c i p a t i o n a lone or i n groups , and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n age-segregated or a g e - i n t e g r a t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . The most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d s p o n s o r i n g agencies f o r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were s e n i o r c e n t r e s , media , and o n e s e l f . On average , respondents r e p o r t e d u s i n g three s p o n s o r i n g agencies t o support t h e i r c u r r e n t l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . O l d e r a d u l t s a l s o r e p o r t e d engaging i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s p r i m a r i l y i n the dayt ime , u s u a l l y i n groups , and u s u a l l y w i t h members of t h e i r own age group. The f i v e most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n were e s s e n t i a l l y growth and s o c i a l l y - o r i e n t e d : t o keep the mind a l i v e , g a i n i n g knowledge or s k i l l s , meet ing or b e i n g w i t h f r i e n d s , f o r p e r s o n a l development, and f o r e n t e r t a i n m e n t . On average, respondents r e p o r t e d s i x reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Those who 158 p a r t i c i p a t e d more gave more reasons why they p a r t i c i p a t e d , were younger , and were more l i k e l y t o be long t o a community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n than were those who r e p o r t e d fewer reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The l a r g e s t percentage of respondents r e p o r t e d t h a t " B e i n g too busy" was the major b a r r i e r t o a d d i t i o n a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Other f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n were t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , money, l o c a t i o n of the a c t i v i t y , and h e a l t h . Respondents r e p o r t e d an average of two b a r r i e r s t o t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . R e p o r t i n g more b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n was s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d t o lower income, l i v i n g a l o n e , poorer h e a l t h and lower l i f e - s a t i s f a c t i o n . An i n i t i a l f a c t o r a n a l y s i s suggested s e v e r a l themes t h a t under lay p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . These themes i n c l u d e d : V o l u n t e e r Involvement , R e c r e a t i o n , Home L i f e , S e l f Development, S p i r i t u a l Enrichment , W e l l n e s s , Language A r t s , C r a f t s , L e i s u r e , E x p r e s s i v e , O u t d o o r s / N a t u r e , Hobbies , and R e f l e c t i o n / R e a d i n g . These t h i r t e e n f a c t o r groups e x p l a i n e d 48% of the v a r i a n c e i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . Recommendations F i n d i n g s from t h i s study suggest c o n c l u s i o n s about the o l d e r a d u l t as l e a r n e r ; f i n d i n g s a l s o suggest f u t u r e avenues f o r r e s e a r c h and p r a c t i c e t h a t can enhance the development of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r 159 o l d e r a d u l t s . C o n c l u s i o n s and recommendations f o r r e s e a r c h and p r a c t i c e are o r g a n i z e d around the e i g h t r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n s p r e s e n t e d i n Chapter I : 1. What types of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s do o l d e r a d u l t s engage i n ? 2 . What are the most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e ? 3 . What sociodemographic measures i n f l u e n c e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e ? 4. How does p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s change from age f o r t y t o l a t e r l i f e ? 5 . What c h o i c e s do o l d e r a d u l t s make about the s p o n s o r s h i p and o r g a n i z a t i o n of t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 6. What reasons do o l d e r a d u l t s g i v e f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s ? 7. What are the b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e ? 8. Do l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s group i n t o meaningful f a c t o r s ? What Types of L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s Do Older A d u l t s Engage In? O l d e r a d u l t s p a r t i c i p a t e i n a wide v a r i e t y of d i v e r s e l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . O l d e r a d u l t s are not a homogeneous p o p u l a t i o n w i t h s i n g u l a r l e a r n i n g needs, i n t e r e s t s and p r e f e r e n c e s . No one program model or d e l i v e r y method w i l l meet t h e i r l e a r n i n g needs and e d u c a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t s . There i s no o l d e r a d u l t s t e r e o t y p e around which a s u c c e s s f u l 160 master program can be deve loped. Thornton (1986) suggested, "we need t o know more about methods of meeting the developmental needs of i n d i v i d u a l s , in formed by an awareness of the great degree of d i v e r s i t y among i n d i v i d u a l s as they age" (p. 87) . Research needs t o e x p l o r e methods, t echniques and resources most s u i t e d t o a d i v e r s e p o p u l a t i o n of o l d e r l e a r n e r s . In p r a c t i c e , as e d u c a t o r s , we are encouraged t o deepen our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of d i v e r s i t y i n l a t e r l i f e and t o l i n k t h i s knowledge t o a p p r o p r i a t e programming d e c i s i o n s . We are c h a l l e n g e d t o s h i f t our focus from a narrow band of i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y - s p o n s o r e d e d u c a t i o n a l programs t o a broader range of community-based a c t i v i t i e s and t o develop c o l l a b o r a t i v e program p l a n n i n g e f f o r t s i n v o l v i n g o l d e r l e a r n e r s and community o r g a n i z a t i o n s . T h i s wider view of programming r e f l e c t s concepts of program proposed by Thomas (1964): the i d e a of an a c t i v i t y f o r a l l persons i n v o l v e d (p. 243) . Thomas s t a t e d t h a t "pr ime e d u c a t i o n a l v a l u e i s t o be found i n the p a r t i c i p a t i o n by sponsor , t e a c h e r , and s tudents i n p l a n n i n g the program as w e l l as i n c a r r y i n g i t o u t " (p. 243) . What Are The Most Important L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s i n L a t e r L i f e ? The most important l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s spanned a wide range of nonformal and i n f o r m a l a c t i v i t i e s . D i f f e r e n t l e a r n i n g 161 exper iences have d i f f e r e n t v a l u e s f o r each o l d e r a d u l t . These f i n d i n g s support recent work by Courtenay (1989) who c o n c l u d e d : A d i v e r s e content and a v a r i e t y of c lass room environments and i n s t r u c t i o n a l methods s h o u l d be developed d u r i n g the p l a n n i n g of e d u c a t i o n a l exper iences f o r o l d e r l e a r n e r s , (p. 532) The focus of p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e s e a r c h must s h i f t from a narrow p e r s p e c t i v e t o a broader v i s i o n of e d u c a t i o n i n the T h i r d Age. As p r a c t i t i o n e r s , we are encouraged t o enhance important nonformal and i n f o r m a l l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s by (a) c o l l a b o r a t i n g w i t h e x i s t i n g community and s o c i a l support networks ; (b) a s s i s t i n g community agencies and media e n t e r p r i s e s t o develop t h e i r e d u c a t i v e r o l e ; (c) d e v i s i n g techniques and methods c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the most a p p r o p r i a t e modes of l e a r n i n g i n l a t e r l i f e ; and, (d) r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t the l e a r n e r , and not the sponsor , educator or method i s the f o c a l p o i n t of each l e a r n i n g e n t e r p r i s e . What Sociodemographic F a c t o r s I n f l u e n c e P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n L a t e r L i f e ? Older a d u l t s who r e p o r t e d g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s were younger, more l i k e l y t o be female , t o have more e d u c a t i o n , t o be i n b e t t e r s e l f - r e p o r t e d h e a l t h , and were more l i k e l y t o b e l o n g t o community or p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s than respondents who r e p o r t e d l e s s p a r t i c i p a t i o n . O l d e r a d u l t s who p a r t i c i p a t e d more were a l s o more l i k e l y t o r e p o r t more reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and a g r e a t e r number of sponsors f o r t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . A d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h 162 i s necessary t o v e r i f y the complex web of p e r s o n a l , s o c i a l , and economic f o r c e s t h a t shape p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . In p r a c t i c e , an unders tanding of these c o n t e x t u a l f o r c e s must i n f l u e n c e program p l a n n i n g d e c i s i o n s . Men, f o r example, have lower r a t e s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . I f men are the t a r g e t audience f o r h e a l t h programs, c o l l a b o r a t i v e e f f o r t s , i n n o v a t i v e m a r k e t i n g schemes and a p p r o p r i a t e techniques must be used t o mot iva te g r e a t e r male p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Another example i n v o l v e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between h e a l t h and p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Older a d u l t s r e p o r t i n g the poores t h e a l t h p a r t i c i p a t e d i n many fewer l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s than those r e p o r t i n g b e t t e r h e a l t h . I t seems reasonable t o propose t h a t l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r those i n the poores t h e a l t h must be developed i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h t h e i r e x i s t i n g support system. D e v e l o p i n g l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s aimed at i m p r o v i n g the q u a l i t y of l i f e f o r s e n i o r s i n poorer h e a l t h would be enhanced by r e s e a r c h e f f o r t s which expand our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of e x i s t i n g s o c i a l networks . In t h i s s t u d y , those w i t h poorer h e a l t h were more l i k e l y t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n s e l f - h e l p groups and d i s c u s s w i t h t h e i r d o c t o r s . T h i s suggests g r e a t e r f i n a n c i a l and e d u c a t i o n a l support f o r s e l f - h e l p group a c t i v i t i e s . The A l z h e i m e r ' s S o c i e t y and the A r t h r i t i s Foundat ion o f f e r examples of s u c c e s s f u l e d u c a t i o n a l programs developed w i t h i n the s t r u c t u r e of s e l f - h e l p groups f o r a d u l t s w i t h c h r o n i c h e a l t h problems. O l d e r a d u l t s r e p o r t i n g l e s s p a r t i c i p a t i o n a l s o r e p o r t e d fewer reason and s p o n s o r i n g agencies f o r t h e i r l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Three 163 s t r a t e g i e s are suggested f o r i n c r e a s i n g p o s i t i v e f o r c e s t h a t can motivate p a r t i c i p a t i o n : (a) promotional campaigns such as the Canadian " P a r t i c i p a c t i o n ; " campaign are needed t o emphasize the personal value of t a k i n g p a r t i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s ; (b) coordinated media campaigns t o report success s t o r i e s about o l d e r l e a r n e r s ; and, (c) appropriate a d v e r t i s i n g to promote l e a r n i n g i n l a t e r l i f e . L o c a l i n t e r e s t s t o r i e s , r e l a t e d by o l d e r l e a r n e r s , could be the focus of these i n i t i a t i v e s . A l l of these proposed i n i t i a t i v e s encourage a more p o s i t i v e view of aging and promote p o t e n t i a l s of growth i n l a t e r l i f e . How Does P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Learning A c t i v i t i e s Change From Age F o r t y to  L a t e r L i f e ? This study provided some clues about changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n over the l i f e course. Findings r e f l e c t e d both c o n t i n u i t y and change across the l i f e course. A d d i t i o n a l l o n g i t u d i n a l s t u d i e s are r e q u i r e d to v e r i f y these f i n d i n g s and to explore changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n across the l i f e course. In p r a c t i c e , s e n s i t i v i t y to i s s u e s of c o n t i n u i t y and change w i l l strengthen program planning e f f o r t s t a r g e t e d f o r o l d e r l e a r n e r s . Older a d u l t s reported i n c r e a s e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n s i n c e age f o r t y i n s e n i o r centre a c t i v i t i e s ; watching P u b l i c Broadcasting System, Knowledge Network and other e d u c a t i o n a l TV; r e f l e c t i n g on l i f e events; l e a r n i n g about h e a l t h and n u t r i t i o n , observing nature and l i f e ; watching weight; reducing s t r e s s l e v e l s ; doing volunteer work; watching news; d i s c u s s i n g w i t h 164 g r a n d c h i l d r e n ; w a l k i n g ; and, t r a v e l l i n g f o r p l e a s u r e . The l e a r n i n g p o t e n t i a l w i t h i n these a c t i v i t i e s needs t o be maximized. For example, a) the media can be used t o d i s p e r s e accura te i n f o r m a t i o n about substance abuse and a l t e r n a t i v e s ; b) s e n i o r c e n t r e s can p i l o t t e s t programs t h a t enhance v o l u n t e e r r o l e s i n l a t e r l i f e ; and c) i n n o v a t i v e programs such as gu ided autobiography and o r a l h i s t o r y can be o f f e r e d t o meet i n t e r e s t s i n r e f l e c t i o n and o b s e r v a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e ; and d) a d u l t educators can become c o n s u l t a n t s f o r programs which take a p r o a c t i v e view of w e l l n e s s i n l a t e r l i f e . What Choices Do Older A d u l t s Make about the Sponsorship and O r g a n i z a t i o n  of T h e i r L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s ? The t h r e e most important sponsors of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r o l d e r a d u l t s were s e n i o r c e n t r e s , media , and s e l f . T h i s c o r r o b o r a t e s f i n d i n g s from the l i t e r a t u r e which suggest the importance of community s p o n s o r s h i p i n l a t e r l i f e . I t a l s o suggests the p o t e n t i a l of t e l e v i s i o n as an e d u c a t i v e t o o l and supports the need f o r more r e s e a r c h and development about "a c l e a r unders tanding of the t e c h n o l o g i e s , t h e i r p o t e n t i a l uses , and the o p t i o n s and a l t e r n a t i v e s we have i n t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n t o home and s o c i a l uses f o r the e l d e r l y " ( S t r a k a , 1986, p . 113) . The importance of o n e s e l f as a sponsor c o n t i n u e s i n l a t e r l i f e . R e c e n t l y , B r o c k e t t (1985) d e s c r i b e d a l i n k between s e l f - d i r e c t i o n and l i f e s a t i s f a c t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . A d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h can answer 165 questions about the relationship between s e l f - d i r e c t i o n and such important issues as independence i n l a t e r l i f e ; additional research can also explore methods for enhancing s e l f - d i r e c t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . Older adults not only reported t h e i r sponsorship.preferences but also reported preferences about how t h e i r learning a c t i v i t i e s were organized. The largest percentage of older adults participated during the daytime i n age-segregated, group-oriented learning a c t i v i t i e s . Program planners and administrators need to offer more opportunities for group a c t i v i t i e s at preferred times and locations to increase older adult p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Group a c t i v i t i e s support the s o c i a l motivation of older learners. Daytime a c t i v i t i e s are more accessible for those without adequate transportation and r e f l e c t a s e n s i t i v i t y to the fears of many seniors who prefer to be at home after dark. Research needs to be directed towards evaluating when either age-segregated or age-integrated learning a c t i v i t i e s are most appropriate. A c t i v i t i e s to establish meaningful l i n k s between generations need to receive high p r i o r i t y . The need for age-segregated programs must also be explored. Learning a c t i v i t i e s with peers can provide a supportive environment for learning and enhance e f f o r t s at increasing self-esteem. What Are The Reasons For P a r t i c i p a t i o n In Later Life? The most important reasons why older adults participated i n learning a c t i v i t i e s were e s s e n t i a l l y growth and socially-oriented: to keep one's mind a l i v e , to develop knowledge or s k i l l , to meet or be with 166 f r i e n d s , f o r p e r s o n a l development, and f o r e n t e r t a i n m e n t . M o t i v a t i o n a l s c a l e s such as the E d u c a t i o n P a r t i c i p a t i o n Sca le ( B o s h i e r , 1977, 1983; B o s h i e r & R i d d e l l , 1978) suggest reasons f o r a d u l t s ' p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t r a d i t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n a l endeavors . They do n o t , however, f u l l y e x p l o r e reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n nonformal and i n f o r m a l l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s of g r e a t e s t importance t o o l d e r a d u l t s . R e f i n i n g the p o p u l a r E d u c a t i o n P a r t i c i p a t i o n Sca le t o r e f l e c t m o t i v a t i o n s of o l d e r a d u l t s across a wide v a r i e t y of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s would p r o v i d e e d u c a t i o n a l g e r o n t o l o g i s t s w i t h r e l e v a n t i n f o r m a t i o n t o d i r e c t programming d e c i s i o n s . B o s h i e r (1985b) r e f l e c t e d t h a t there was a "need t o s t u d y . . . t h e m o t i v a t i o n of people who make (and f a i l t o make) use of the broadening a r r a y of o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r l e a r n i n g i n the n a t u r a l s o c i a l s e t t i n g " (p. 152) . Programmers are c h a l l e n g e d t o o f f e r l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s which address the m u l t i p l e and v a r i e d m o t i v a t i o n s of l a t e r l i f e l e a r n e r s . On average each o l d e r a d u l t r e p o r t e d s i x reasons f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . I f the m u l t i p l e and d i v e r s e m o t i v a t i o n s of o l d e r a d u l t s are t o be met, o l d e r a d u l t s must be m e a n i n g f u l l y i n v o l v e d i n every phase of p l a n n i n g , i m p l e m e n t a t i o n , d e l i v e r y , and e v a l u a t i o n of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . The most important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s s tudy was t o keep one ' s mind a l i v e . P r a c t i c a l two-day workshops can be developed which p r o v i d e p r a c t i t i o n e r s w i t h s k i l l s t o e n r i c h the l e a r n i n g environments f o r o l d e r l e a r n e r . As one o l d e r women commented "we are capable of more than s i t t i n g and watching s l i d e s . " O p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r 167 d i s c u s s i o n and personal r e f l e c t i o n are e s s e n t i a l w i t h i n v a r i e d contexts. One s e n i o r expressed her f r u s t r a t i o n at the s t r u c t u r e of many current programs f o r o l d e r l e a r n e r s She wrote about her experiences at a recent summer program f o r o l d e r a d u l t s : While the q u a l i t y and content of l e c t u r e s was high, i t i s the f a c t of being l e c t u r e d a t , of being rendered a passi v e consumer w i t h h a r d l y a moments time f o r a b r i e f question t h a t I object t o . . . In other words, f i n d the relevance of courses i n the v a r i e d l i v e s of s e n i o r s themselves, and give maximum opportunity f o r b u i l d i n g i n t e r a c t i o n , networks, and even f r i e n d s h i p s . Another important reason f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s was s o c i a l engagement. Simple a d d i t i o n s t o e x i s t i n g programs would a s s i s t l e a r n e r s to meet needs f o r s o c i a l contact: (a) i n f o r m a t i o n brokerage about l e a r n i n g networks t a r g e t e d towards o l d e r a d u l t s and provided i n convenient and f a m i l i a r l o c a t i o n s ; (b) group a c t i v i t i e s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o every program to maximize o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r s o c i a l c ontact; (c) time set aside at the beginning of each program to f a c i l i t a t e i n t r o d u c t i o n s among l e a r n e r s ; (d) c l o s u r e events at the end of each program to encourage l e a r n e r s t o exchange addresses and to provide suggestions f o r l e a r n e r s who want to continue t h e i r l e a r n i n g endeavors; (e) name tags provided at a l l a c t i v i t i e s . What Are the B a r r i e r s To P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Late r L i f e ? The m a j o r i t y of o l d e r a d u l t s i n t h i s study were contacted through s e n i o r centres and u n i v e r s i t y programs f o r o l d e r a d u l t s . Many of these respondents were already p a r t i c i p a n t s i n some type of s t r u c t u r e d 168 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y . Any complete d i s c u s s i o n of b a r r i e r s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n must, however, i n c l u d e an unders tanding of the n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t . I t i s recommended t h a t a d d i t i o n a l r e s e a r c h be undertaken t o examine b a r r i e r s f o r n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t s and t o compare r e s u l t s w i t h the f i n d i n g s from t h i s s t u d y . O l d e r - o l d , e t h n i c m i n o r i t i e s , and o l d e r women f a c i n g the quadruple jeopardy of age, gender, f i n a n c i a l i n s e c u r i t y , and i s o l a t i o n must be i n c l u d e d i n t h i s r e s e a r c h . The most f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r i n t h i s s t u d y , b e i n g too busy, r e v e a l e d the a c t i v e l i f e s t y l e s of many o l d e r a d u l t s . A m a j o r i t y of o l d e r a d u l t s are not p a s s i v e , but are a c t i v e growing i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h impor tant and d i v e r s e t ime and energy commitments. The u n d e r l y i n g p h i l o s o p h y of any program which assumes t h a t disengagement and d e c l i n e are synonymous w i t h advancing age must be q u e s t i o n e d . Programmers must accommodate a c t i v e l e a r n e r s and not m a r g i n a l i z e o l d e r a d u l t s t o t imes and l o c a t i o n s not used by younger a d u l t l e a r n e r s . T r a n s p o r t a t i o n t o and l o c a t i o n s of a c t i v i t i e s were two f r e q u e n t l y r e p o r t e d b a r r i e r s t o f u r t h e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Maps need t o be developed which g r a p h i c a l l y i l l u s t r a t e l o c a t i o n s of a c t i v i t i e s , t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and hous ing p r o j e c t s f o r s e n i o r s . These community maps would g r a p h i c a l l y i l l u s t r a t e areas where t h e r e i s no easy access t o community s e r v i c e s . Based upon t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n , new a c t i v i t i e s can be l o c a t e d i n convenient l o c a t i o n s a c c e s s i b l e and f a m i l i a r t o the o l d e r a d u l t . The s e n i o r c e n t r e or church can p r o v i d e a convenient f a m i l i a r l o c a t i o n f o r community c o l l e g e programs o f f e r e d f o r the o l d e r a d u l t . The S e n i o r 169 S t u d i e s I n s t i t u t e at Grant MacEwan Community C o l l e g e , Edmonton, A l b e r t a , i s an example of an e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n o f f e r i n g programs i n s e n i o r c e n t r e s , d r o p - i n c e n t r e s , and shopping m a l l s . P r i v a t e homes p r o v i d e a p o s s i b l e l o c a t i o n f o r l e a r n i n g groups . The community c o l l e g e c o u l d f u n c t i o n as a host cent re f o r these s a t e l l i t e in-home l e a r n e r s . These s m a l l s a t e l l i t e s c o u l d meet as a l a r g e group a few t imes a s e s s i o n t o share i d e a s , i n f o r m a t i o n and f r i e n d s h i p . I n n o v a t i v e programming i s needed t o m i n i m i z e the b a r r i e r s t h a t t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and l o c a t i o n pose f o r many o l d e r l e a r n e r s . Older a d u l t s r e p o r t e d t h a t h e a l t h was an important b a r r i e r t o a d d i t i o n a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . I t was those who r e p o r t e d " V e r y p o o r " h e a l t h who r e p o r t e d p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a many fewer l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Those who r e p o r t e d " P o o r " h e a l t h , however, remained moderate ly a c t i v e l e a r n e r s . Research and programming e f f o r t s need t o focus on i m p r o v i n g access f o r o l d e r a d u l t s w i t h c h r o n i c h e a l t h problems. As e d u c a t o r s , we can m i n i m i z e h e a l t h b a r r i e r s from two p e r s p e c t i v e s . F i r s t , more a c t i v i t i e s need t o be developed f o r o l d e r a d u l t s who are unable t o a t t e n d o r g a n i z e d programs. T h i s i m p l i e s e f f e c t i v e use of the media and of a growing number of capable o l d e r v o l u n t e e r s . Secondly , e x i s t i n g f a c i l i t i e s can be renovated and t e c h n o l o g i c a l resources can be developed t o a l l o w the l e a r n e r t o s tay a c t i v e f o r as l o n g as p o s s i b l e . T e l e v i s i o n , r a d i o , v i d e o and audio c a s s e t t e s , and computers are u n d e r u t i l i z e d as e d u c a t i v e resources f o r home-bound o l d e r a d u l t s . SeniorNet i s one example of a n o n - p r o f i t 170 computer network des igned f o r a d u l t s over 55 which i s a l r e a d y i n c r e a s i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s of s o c i a l contac t f o r many house-bound and d i s a b l e d s e n i o r s . Do L e a r n i n g A c t i v i t i e s Group i n t o M e a n i n g f u l F a c t o r s ? An i n i t i a l f a c t o r a n a l y s i s of 71 l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s produced 13 f a c t o r s t o summarize 48% of the v a r i a n c e i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s i n l a t e r l i f e . These f a c t o r s a r e : V o l u n t e e r Involvement ; R e c r e a t i o n ; Home L i f e ; S e l f Development; S p i r i t u a l Enr ichment ; W e l l n e s s ; W r i t i n g & Languages; C r a f t s ; L e i s u r e ; E x p r e s s i v e ; O u t d o o r s / N a t u r e ; Hobbies , and, R e f l e c t i o n / R e a d i n g . These f a c t o r groups d e s c r i b e an o l d e r p o p u l a t i o n i n t e r e s t e d i n d e v e l o p i n g meaningful g r o w t h - o r i e n t e d l i v e s . A l t h o u g h i t i s important f o r programmers t o r e c o g n i z e problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a g i n g , i t i s e q u a l l y important t o implement programs t h a t r e c o g n i z e p o t e n t i a l s f o r development i n l a t e r l i f e . Programs need t o be t a r g e t e d towards d e v e l o p i n g the v o l u n t e e r r o l e i n l a t e r l i f e . Other a c t i v i t i e s can enhance meaningfu l l e i s u r e r o l e s i n l a t e r l i f e and r e c o g n i z e the r e l e v a n c e of s p i r i t u a l enr ichment , w e l l n e s s , and r e f l e c t i o n f o r o l d e r l e a r n e r s . C o n c l u s i o n s S e v e r a l themes run through the c o n c l u s i o n s and recommendation from t h i s s t u d y . These themes suggest an agenda of r e s e a r c h and p r a c t i c e . The most urgent r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t s i n c l u d e : 171 1. I n v o l v i n g o l d e r a d u l t s as c o l l a b o r a t o r s i n r e s e a r c h e f f o r t s . 2 . Expanding p a r t i c i p a t i o n s t u d i e s t o i n c l u d e a broader range of nonformal and i n f o r m a l a c t i v i t i e s than c u r r e n t l y p r e s e n t e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e . 3 . I n v e s t i g a t i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between p a r t i c i p a t i o n and c o n t e x t u a l f a c t o r s such as h e a l t h s t a t u s , s o c i a l ne tworks , f r i e n d s h i p p a t t e r n s , and b e l o n g i n g t o community and p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s . 4. E s t a b l i s h i n g l o n g i t u d i n a l r e s e a r c h t o assess changes i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n through the l i f e c o u r s e . 5 . D e v i s i n g a m o t i v a t i o n a l s c a l e which r e c o g n i z e s the d i v e r s i t y of m o t i v a t i o n a l o r i e n t a t i o n s of o l d e r a d u l t s across n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l and s e l f - d i r e c t e d a c t i v i t i e s . 6. E x t e n d i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n s t u d i e s t o i n c l u d e the o l d e r - o l d and e t h n i c m i n o r i t i e s i n r e s e a r c h . 7. E v a l u a t i n g a p p r o p r i a t e t e c h n i q u e s , methods and resources f o r i n c r e a s i n g the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of i n f o r m a l , nonformal and s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . 8. D e v e l o p i n g e d u c a t i o n a l t o o l s such as s e l f - e s t e e m and a s s e r t i v e n e s s workshops f o r i n c r e a s i n g s e l f - d i r e c t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . 9. D e f i n i n g the most a p p r o p r i a t e uses f o r a g e - i n t e g r a t e d and age-segregated programs. 172 Important sugges t ions f o r p r a c t i c e i n c l u d e : 1. E s t a b l i s h i n g c o u n c i l s or committees composed of community a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , a d u l t e d u c a t o r s , and o l d e r a d u l t s t o develop c o l l a b o r a t i v e e d u c a t i o n a l p l a n n i n g , i m p l e m e n t a t i o n , and e v a l u a t i o n . 2. O f f e r i n g programs t h a t empower o l d e r a d u l t l e a r n e r s and enhance t h e i r t e a c h i n g s k i l l s . 3 . I n t e g r a t i n g knowledge about d i v e r s i t y i n l a t e r l i f e i n t o programming d e c i s i o n s . 4. T r a i n i n g f a c i l i t a t o r s , community p r a c t i t i o n e r s and v o l u n t e e r s about the p o t e n t i a l s and problems of l a t e r l i f e . 5. C o l l a b o r a t i n g w i t h researchers t o e v a l u a t e t echniques and resources t h a t enhance l e a r n i n g i n n o n f o r m a l , i n f o r m a l , and s e l f -d i r e c t e d s e t t i n g s . 6. P i l o t t e s t i n g i n n o v a t i v e programs f o r v o l u n t e e r enr ichment , s p i r i t u a l enhancement, w e l l n e s s , and r e f l e c t i o n . 7. I n c o r p o r a t i n g o l d e r a d u l t s ' p r e f e r e n c e s f o r dayt ime , community sponsored, group a c t i v i t i e s i n t o program p l a n n i n g d e c i s i o n s . 8. P r o v i d i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r both a g e - i n t e g r a t e d and age-segregated p a r t i c i p a t i o n . As e d u c a t i o n a l g e r o n t o l o g i s t s , we are c h a l l e n g e d t o unders tand the p o t e n t i a l s and problems of o l d e r l e a r n e r s . There are v e r y r e a l problems a f f e c t i n g many o l d e r a d u l t s t h a t must i n f l u e n c e program p l a n n i n g d e c i s i o n s . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , f o r many o l d e r a d u l t s , l a t e r l i f e i s a t ime 173 t o e xplore new options and a time t o engage i n c o l l a b o r a t i v e endeavors which enhance interdependence and the q u a l i t y of l i f e . To date, however, there i s s t i l l only l i m i t e d i n t e r a c t i o n among o l d e r a d u l t s , community agencies, and p r o f e s s i o n a l educators t o develop r e l e v a n t l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s f o r l e a r n e r s i n l a t e r l i f e . There i s l i m i t e d c o l l a b o r a t i o n and the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r d u p l i c a t i o n of program e f f o r t s and expenditures i s great. Agency boundaries can become r i g i d l i m i t i n g the flow of i n f o r m a t i o n or ideas between groups. Learning a c t i v i t i e s can be developed w i t h l i m i t e d i n f o r m a t i o n about the p e r s o n a l , s o c i a l , and economic r e a l i t i e s which shape p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . F i n dings from t h i s study challenge t r a d i t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and community o r g a n i z a t i o n s t o move towards more c o l l a b o r a t i v e endeavors w i t h o l d e r l e a r n e r s . The o l d e r a d u l t must be a valued c o n s u l t a n t i n the planning, implementation, and e v a l u a t i o n of l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t i e s . Without t h e i r support, program pla n n i n g e f f o r t s f o r o l d e r l e a r n e r s w i l l meet, at best, w i t h l i m i t e d success. The wisdom of a generation who has s u r v i v e d a major depression, two world wars, and two decades of r a p i d t e c h n o l o g i c a l change must be d i r e c t e d towards c r e a t i n g b e t t e r personal and community f u t u r e s . I t i s not a matter of g i v i n g "power" to o l d e r people but of r e s t o r i n g to them the r i g h t t o l i v e , not merely t o s u r v i v e ; to be as others, and not to be l e f t on one s i d e ; to continue to enquire i n t o t h i n g s , t o make d i s c o v e r i e s and t o develop i n t e r e s t s on t h e i r own. Etore G e l p i , A Future f o r L i f e l o n g Education 174 References A l t e r g o t t , K. (1988). S o c i a l a c t i o n and i n t e r a c t i o n i n l a t e r l i f e . In Karen A l t e r g o t t ( E d . ) , D a i l y l i f e i n l a t e r l i f e . Newbury P a r k : Sage P u b l i c a t i o n s . A n t o n u c c i , T . C . (1985). 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A l t e r g o t t ( E d . ) , D a i l y l i f e i n l a t e r l i f e :  Comparative p e r s p e c t i v e s . C a l i f o r n i a : Sage P u b l i c a t i o n s . 186 Appendix B LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN LATER LIFE CHECKLIST INSTRUCTIONS: Below are a list of activities in which people often learn. Please look at each activity and CIRCLE the letter that best represents HOW OFTEN you have taken part in the activity during the past year. Then CIRCLE if you NOW do each activity "LESS", the "SAME", or "MORE" than when you were 40. Finally, go back over the list of activities and CIRCLE the TEN  MOST IMPORTANT LEARNING ACTIVITIES in your life these days. Move quickly through the list and use the following codes: N=Never Less=not as often now A = Annually as when I was 40 Q=Quarterly Same=about the same now M = Monthly as when I was 40 W=Weekly More=more often now D = Daily than when I was 40 HOW OFTEN DO YOU NOW, I TAKE PART "MORE" TAKE PART IN EACH the"SAME" OR "LESS" THEN EACH ACTIVITY? WHEN I WAS 40? ACTIVITIES Circle One Circle One 1. Attending legion activities N A Q M W D Less Same More 2. Going to community or senior centres N A Q M W D Less Same More 3. Observing nature and life N A Q M W D Less Same More 4. Reflecting on life events N A Q M W D Less Same More 5. Traveling for pleasure N A Q M W D Less Same More 6. Talking with family & friends N A Q M w D Less Same More 7. Discussing with grandchildren N A Q M w D Less Same More 8. Learning to manage my money N A Q M w D Less Same More 9. Taking general interest courses N A Q M w D Less Same More 10. Taking hobby related courses N A Q M w D Less Same More 11. Attending lectures N A Q M w D Less Same More 12. Taking correspondence courses N A Q M w D Less Same More 13. Reading newspapers or magazines N A Q M w D Less Same. More 14. Reading books or plays N A Q M w D Less Same More 15. Writing autobiographyJournaLdiary N A Q M w D Less Same More 16. Writing letters N A Q M w D Less Same More 17. Writing books,plays,stories,poetry N A Q M w D Less Same More 18. Visiting libraries N A Q M w D Less Same More 19. Visiting museums and art galleries N A Q M w D Less Same More 20. Attending concerts/musical events N A Q M w D Less Same More 21. Drawing,painting.sketching.sculpting N A Q M W D Less Same More 22. Playing a musical instrument N A Q M W D Less Same More 23. Singing/being part of a choral group N A Q M w D Less Same More 24. Attending plays or theatre N A Q M W D Less Same More 25. Being part of theatre/drama group N A Q M W D Less Same More 26. Learning a language N A Q M W D Less Same More 27. Doing decorative crafts,ceramics etc N A Q M W D Less Same More 28. Doing needlecraft sewing.quilting N A Q M W D Less Same More 29. Collecting stamps, coins, etc N A Q M W D Less Same More 30. Photography N A Q M W D Less Same More 31. Woodworking, carpentry, carving N A Q M W D Less Same More 32. Dancing N A Q M W D Less Same More 33. Playing cards, chess,checkers N A Q M W D Less Same More 188 34. Playing bingo 35. Doing crossword/jig-saw puzzles 36. Repairing and home maintenance 37. Repairing my car 38. Cooking or baking 39. Gardening 40. Caring for a pet 41. Dieting and watching my weight 42. Learning about health/nutrituion 43. Reducing my stress levels 44. Discussing with doctors 45. Discussing with other health workers 46. Being in a self-help group 47. Attending counselling or therapy 48. Learning for my current job 49. Taking part in a professional group 50. Watching PBS,Knowledge Network, other educational TV 51. Watching news 52. Watching other TV 53. Listening to radio 54. Listening to records and tapes 55. Using a computer 56. Exercising, aerobics, keep-fit 57. Doing tai chi/yoga/meditation 58. Walking 59. Running or jogging 60. Swimming 61. Golfing 62. Bowling 63. Hunting.fishing,hiking,camping 64. Bicycling 65. Taking part in political events 66. Working on committees 67. Working on community programs 68. Doing other volunteer work 69. Attending religious activities 70. Working in a church/religious group 71. Discovering my spiritual being N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N N N A Q M W D A Q M W D A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D A Q M W D A Q M W D A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D N A Q M W D Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More Less Same More PLEASE WRITE IN ANY OTHER IMPORTANT LEARNING ACTIVITIES IN YOUR LIFE NOW. 72. 73. N A Q M W D N A Q M W D Less Same More Less Same More ••NOW, PLEASE GO BACK OVER THE LIST OF ACTIVITIES ONE LAST TIME AND CIRCLE THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES IN WHICH YOU LEARN THESE DAYS.* 189 Please answer the following questions to assist us in understanding how activity patterns differ. Please either CIRCLE the number which best represents your answer to a question or WRITE IN in the best answer for you in the blank provided. 1. W H A T WAS Y O U R A G E A T YOUR L A S T BIRTHDAY? 8. WHAT IS T H E HIGHEST L E V E L OF EDUCATION THAT Y O U H A V E COMPLETED? years 2. A R E YOU? 1. female 2. male 3. W H A T IS Y O U R M A R I T A L STATUS? 1. single, never married 2. married,common-law,cohabiting 3. divorced 4. widowed 4. WITH W H O M DO YOU LIVE? 1. alone 2. with spouse only 3. with child only 4. with spouse & child 5. with friend or relative 6. Other (PLEASE WRITE IN) 5. A R E Y O U C U R R E N T L Y WORKING  FOR P A Y ? 1. working for pay full-time 2. working for pay part-time 3. no, fully retired 4. retired and work part-time for pay 6. W H A T IS/WAS YOUR P R I M A R Y O C C U P A T I O N DURING YOUR WORK Y E A R S ? 1. some elementary school 2. elementary school completed 3. some high school 4. high school completed 5. some vocational/technical school 6. vocational/technical school completed 7. some university 8. university degree completed 9. some post graduate work 10. post graduate work completed 11. OTHER (PLEASE WRITE IN) 9. HOW SATISFIED A R E YOU WITH YOUR LIFE  THESE DAYS? 1. very dissatisfied 2. dissatisfied 3. satisfied 4. very satisfied 10. FOR Y O U R A G E . DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR  H E A L T H TO BE? 1. very poor 2. poor 3. fair 4. good 5. excellent l l . I S T H E R E A S P E C I A L PERSON YOU  TRUST OR CONFIDE IN? 1. no 2. yes 12. DO Y O U B E L O N G TO A SENIOR C E N T R E  COMMUNITY. C H U R C H OR PROFESSIONAL GROUP? 1. no 2. yes 7. IN R O U N D NUMBERS WHAT WAS  Y O U R T O T A L HOUSEHOLD INCOME B E F O R E T A X E S LAST YEAR? _Iast year 13. WHAT TIME OF D A Y DO YOU U S U A L L Y  T A K E P A R T IN "Out of Home"  L E A R N I N G ACTIVITIES THESE DAYS? 1. mornings only 2. afternoons only 3. nights only 4. mornings and afternoons 5. mornings, afternoons and nights P L E A S E T U R N TO THE L A S T P A G E 190 14. D O Y O U T A K E PART IN LEARNING  ACTIVITIES 1. usually with your own age group 2. usually with various age groups 3. about equally with own & other ages 15. D O Y O U T A K E PART IN LEARNING  ACTIVITIES 1. usually alone 2. usually with a group 3 . about equally alone & group 16. P L E A S E CIRCLE A L L THE GROUPS T H A T  P L A N OR OFFER IMPORTANT L E A R N I N G  ACTIVITIES FOR YOU THESE DAYS. 1. business or industry 2. media: TV or Radio 3. senior centres 4. other community or government agencies 5. yourself 6. churches 7. 6chools,coUeges,universities 8. self-help groups 9. OTHER (PLEASE WRITE IN) 17. T H I N K B A C K TO WHEN YOU WERE 40.  P L E A S E CIRCLE A L L THE GROUPS  T H A T P L A N N E D OR OFFERED  IMPORTANT LEARNING ACTIVTnES  F O R YOU T H E N . 1. business or industry 2. media:TV or radio 3. senior centres 4. other community or government agencies 6. yourself 6. churches 7. schools.colleges,universities 8. self-help groups 9. OTHER (PLEASE WRITE IN) 18. P L E A S E CIRCLE A L L THE IMPORTANT  R E A S O N S WHY YOU T A K E PART IN  L E A R N I N G ACTIVITIES THESE DAYS. 1. meeting or being with friends 2. gaining knowledge or skills 3. for my job or work 4. because someone recommended it 5. for the community 6. to escape from boredom 7. for my health 8. for physical fitness 9. for relaxation 10. for entertainment 11. for personal development 12. to keep my mind alive 13. as a break from routine 19. P L E A S E CIRCLE A L L IMPORTANT REASONS  STOPPING YOU FROM TAKING PART IN  MORE LEARNING ACTIVITIES THESE DAYS. 1. money 2. transportation 3. seeing or hearing problems 4. I'm too old 5. family responsibilites 6. too busy 7. no one to go with 8. I'd feel uncomfortable 9. location of activity 10. I'm not interested 11. time activity offered 12. health problems 13. registration procedures 14. not enough information 16.1 don't see any value for me 16. OTHER (PLEASE WRITE IN) 20.THINK B A C K TO WHEN YOU WERE 40. P L E A S E CIRCLE A L L IMPORTANT REASONS  THAT STOPPED YOU FROM TAKING P A R T IN  MORE LEARNING ACTIVITIES T H E N . 1. money 2. transportation 3. seeing and hearing problems 4. I was too old 5. family responsibilities 6. too busy 7. no one to go with 8. I felt uncomfortable 9. location of the activity 10.1 wasn't interested 11. time activity offered 12. health problems 13. registration procedures 14. not enough information 15.1 didn't see any value for me 16. OTHER (PLEASE WRITE IN) 21. ABOUT HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU SPEND IN LEARNING ACTIVITIES THESE DAYS? About hours P L E A S E CHECK THAT YOU H A V E CIRCLED  THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT LEARNING  ACTIVITIES IN YOUR LIFE THESE DAYS ON THE ACTIVITIES CHECKLIST T H A N K YOU FOR YOUR TIME & EFFORT Completion of this questionnaire indicates that you have given your consent to participate 191 

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