Title page for ETD etd-050799-172859

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Scanlon, Jennifer Margaret
URN etd-050799-172859
Title Understanding Older Adults' Perceptions of Participation in Physical Exercise: A Life Course Approach
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Roberto, Karen A. Committee Chair
Blieszner, Rosemary Committee Member
Teaster, Pamela B. Committee Member
  • life course perspective
  • physical exercise
  • physical activities
  • older adults
  • exercise
Date of Defense 1999-04-19
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to explore older adults' perceptions of participation in physical exercise throughout the life course. Using a life course perspective as the theoretical framework for this study, I identified the factors in older adults' lives that may or may not lead to continuous participation in physical exercise throughout life. Through in-depth interviews with nine men and six women who are members of the Wellness Center in Southwest Virginia, I gained a precise understanding of how societal processes and opportunities, life course roles and transitions, and individual meanings of physical exercise influenced perceptions of participation in physical exercise.

Several conclusions were drawn from the findings of this research. First, the older adults' reported perceived changes in their perceptions and definitions of physical exercise in accordance with life stages and particular roles (i.e., parenthood and career) throughout their lives. Second, the older adults' believed that geographical location and societal influences and opportunities had a tremendous impact on their participation in physical activity as children. Third, the older adults' indicated that childhood involvement in physical activity was very influential to their participation in physical activities and exercise throughout life. Fourth, changing patterns of physical activity and exercise participation were associated with altered role transitions and altered opportunities during young and middle adulthood. Fifth, retirement provided the older adults with a great deal of freedom and opportunity to participate in physical exercise. Finally, the older adults' participation in physical exercise contributed to their quality of life.

  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
 28.8 Modem   56K Modem   ISDN (64 Kb)   ISDN (128 Kb)   Higher-speed Access 
  appendixA.PDF 382.04 Kb 00:01:46 00:00:54 00:00:47 00:00:23 00:00:02
  appendixB.PDF 12.86 Kb 00:00:03 00:00:01 00:00:01 < 00:00:01 < 00:00:01
  appendixc-e.pdf 31.24 Kb 00:00:08 00:00:04 00:00:03 00:00:01 < 00:00:01
  Chap123.pdf 77.80 Kb 00:00:21 00:00:11 00:00:09 00:00:04 < 00:00:01
  Chap4.pdf 101.88 Kb 00:00:28 00:00:14 00:00:12 00:00:06 < 00:00:01
  Chap5.pdf 25.25 Kb 00:00:07 00:00:03 00:00:03 00:00:01 < 00:00:01
  frontmatter1.pdf 7.30 Kb 00:00:02 00:00:01 < 00:00:01 < 00:00:01 < 00:00:01
  frontmatter2.pdf 11.61 Kb 00:00:03 00:00:01 00:00:01 < 00:00:01 < 00:00:01
  References.PDF 20.14 Kb 00:00:05 00:00:02 00:00:02 00:00:01 < 00:00:01

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