Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Marieke Van Puymbroeck

Committee Member

Dr. Christy Brown

Committee Member

Dr. Brandi M. Crowe

Committee Member

Dr. Nicole Davis


Transitions into assisted living facilities (ALFs) may influence older adults’ wellbeing. Positive influences on older adults’ wellbeing are referred to as adjustment strategies, whereas negative influences are called constraints to wellbeing. Theoretical underpinnings for these influences are found in the Hierarchical Leisure Constraints Theory and the Transition Process Framework. Past research indicates a few influences on older adults’ wellbeing, such as family relationships, perceived physical health, and connections to the community. However, no assessment existed to quantify their wellbeing when relocating into an ALF. Therefore, this dissertation details the development and factor structure of the Mueller Assessment of Transition (MAT), a novel assessment to measure older adults’ wellbeing when transitioning into ALFs. Utilizing survey research design, an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted with 69 older adult participants to analyze the factor structure of the MAT. The findings from the EFA provided a 12-item MAT for a final round of data collection in a nationwide sample of 108 older adult participants in ALFs. Using a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), the factor structure of the MAT was confirmed for adequate validity and reliability. Lastly, multiple linear regression models were analyzed for relationships between older adults’ wellbeing at time of transition, their past/current health conditions, and their perceived functional abilities. Findings indicated that past/current genitourinary health conditions were predictive of older adults’ wellbeing at time of transition, while wellbeing at time of transition was also predictive of perceived functional abilities. Overall, applications for healthcare practitioners using the MAT with older adults in ALFs are further detailed, and limitations of the dissertation are presented, including the COVID-19 pandemic as a threat to internal validity. Future research for the MAT includes testing for convergent validity, longitudinal analyses for older adults’ first year living in the ALF, and investigating the MAT with other older adult settings like independent living facilities, adult day programs, and skilled nursing facilities.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.