The learning needs of older adults

Boulton-Lewis, Gillian M. & Purdie, Nola M. (2003) The learning needs of older adults. Educational Gerontology, 29(2), pp. 129-149.

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The capacity of older adults to remain physically, mentally, and socially active is partly dependent on continued participation in learning and education. Older adults, however, often are not considered as likely candidates for learning. We conducted two studies to gain a better understanding of learning among adults over 70 years of age. In the first study, we interviewed 17 older adults about their learning needs, the barriers they perceived to meeting these needs, and their efficacy for overcoming these barriers. We used the results of that study to construct a learning needs, barriers, and efficacy questionnaire, which was completed by 160 older adults. The least important needs were those associated with technology; the most important needs were associated with transportation, health, and safety. The strongest barriers were those associated with physical disabilities; the weakest barriers were associated with other people. In general, participants were confident they could successfully address needs related to health, safety, leisure, and transportation but not those associated with technology.

Impact and interest:

50 citations in Scopus
42 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 20992
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: full text of PDF copy in Idrive for ERA, I:\Support_for_Research\ePrints\FULLTEXT-DOCUMENTS\ERA-Trial
Keywords: learning, older adults, needs, barriers, questionnaire
DOI: 10.1080/713844281
ISSN: 1521-0472
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Taylor and Francis
Deposited On: 05 Jun 2009 02:18
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2010 15:53

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