ERIC Number: ED199404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Participation Motivations of Older Adult Learners.
Spouse, Betsy M.
A study examined older adult participation in continuing education to determine if there are significant differences in the characteristics and participation motivations between older adults who enroll in age-integrated programs and those who participate in age-segregated programs. Questionnaires consisting of a program participant's survey collecting social and demographic information and Boshier's Education Participation Scale (a survey instrument consisting of thirty-five statements of reasons for participation in adult education programs) were completed by 482 older adults enrolled in non-credit classes at one university and three community learning centers. Respondents were divided into four groups, depending on whether they participated in age-segregated or age-integrated programs and or whether they took academic or recreation and hobby courses. Study results indicated that age-segregated, community-based educational programs attract learners with a variety of social and demographic characteristics. Older adult learners attend community classes for reasons of cost and convenience and because of the less formal atmosphere of the classes. Social contact is a prime motivational factor. While age-segregated learners would generally prefer age-integrated programs, they accept age-segregation as the price one has to pay for community-based or targeted programs. (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Programs, Community Centers, Community Programs, Continuing Education, Demography, Educational Attitudes, Individual Characteristics, Learning Motivation, Older Adults, Participant Characteristics, Participation, Questionnaires, Social Characteristics, Student Attitudes, Student Motivation, Surveys
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Age Segregation; Boshiers Education Participation Scale
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (Cincinnati, OH, March 4-7, 1981).