Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Toni Liechty

Committee Member

Francis A. McGuire

Committee Member

Dorothy L. Schmalz

Abstract

Individuals age 65 and older make up an increasingly large proportion of the population in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011). Due to retirement, this cohort experiences an increase in discretionary time to participate in old and new leisure activities (Nimrod, 2008). This study used concepts from Leisure Innovation Theory to investigate what happens when one participates in a new leisure activity. While participating in leisure activities, older adults experience a variety of motivations (e.g. Chen & Pang, 2012; Lamb & Brady, 2005) and constraints (e.g. Kleiber, McGuire, Aybar-Damali & Norman, 2008). The concepts of triggers, motivation, and constraints were studied to understand how older adults participate in leisure; particularly learning as leisure. Learning as leisure can be found in lifelong learning institutes (LLIs) (MacNeil, 1998; Lamb & Brady, 2005; Brady, Cardale & Neidy, 2013, etc.). Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is a specific type of LLI that was the setting for this study. With an email list of current and former OLLI members, an online survey was distributed looking at the previously stated concepts, demographics, and participation in OLLI. This study provided an opportunity to bridge the gap between research and practice by applying it to a real world setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate the triggers, motivations, and constraints of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute members.

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