Title page for ETD etd-05092012-145423

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kwon, Hyun Joo
Author's Email Address jjooyu@vt.edu
URN etd-05092012-145423
Title Housing Behavior of Older Adults in Multifamily Housing
Degree PhD
Department Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Beamish, Julia O. Committee Chair
Goss, Rosemary Carucci Committee Member
Mitchell, Kimberly J. Committee Member
Parrott, Kathleen R. Committee Member
  • Intention to Move
  • Residential Satisfaction
  • Reasons for Moving
  • Multifamily Housing
  • Older Adults
Date of Defense 2012-04-27
Availability restricted
People age 55 and over will dramatically increase in the next 25 years, and will comprise approximately 30% of the total population. They may want to maintain their current lifestyle, and at the same time, they will experience changes of their lifecycle stage that could affect their housing choices. Even though single-family, detached housing is the most dominant housing type in the U.S., a significant number of older adults could choose to live in multifamily housing if their motivations and background are understood. The choice to live in multifamily housing by adults’ in their later life may be influenced by their past experiences living in multifamily housing, and by their current satisfaction with multifamily housing living.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the past, current, and future housing behavior of residents 55 and older living in multifamily housing. The research framework for this study was developed based on Morris and Winter’s (1975, 1978) theory of housing adjustment and Wiseman’s (1980) model of elderly migration. The research framework was comprised of five major sections: (a) Current Demographic Characteristics, (b) Previous Demographic Characteristics, (c) Reasons for Moving into Current housing, (d) Residential Satisfaction, and (e) Intention to Move in the Future. Five major hypotheses were tested.

This study was designed as a quantitative study, using a self-administered questionnaire administered by an online survey company. Between February 2, 2012 and February 4, 2012, a total of 431 usable surveys for this study were collected. Several statistical methods were employed: descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, Pearson’s correlation, crosstabs, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), and structural equation model (SEM).

From EFA, three major reasons for moving into current housing (the multifamily living reason, the nearby activities reason, and the financial reason), and three residential satisfaction factors (satisfaction with the unit design, the multifamily community, and the location) were derived.

Multifamily living reason significantly positively influenced satisfaction with the unit design, the multifamily community, and the location. There was a significant influence of the nearby activities reason only on satisfaction with the location. Financial reason significantly negatively influenced satisfaction with the unit design, the multifamily community, and the location. Satisfaction with the unit design and the multifamily community significantly negatively related to the intention to move.

The findings from this study can help older adults and their advisors to better understand the housing decision-making process in later life, and inform the housing industry about the perceived potential benefits and challenges in developing multifamily housing for older adults.

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