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Older Adults’ Engagement in Senior University Lectures and the Effect of Individual Motivations


Ackermann, Tobias Peter; Seifert, Alexander (2021). Older Adults’ Engagement in Senior University Lectures and the Effect of Individual Motivations. Frontiers in Education, 6:591481.

Abstract

Among older adults, engagement in education can potentially have positive effects on cognition and psychological well-being and can prevent social isolation. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of individual motivations specific to older learners that underlie the frequency of participation at a senior university and how health or socioeconomic dimensions may affect the possibilities for participation. With data on participants from the senior university program at the University of Zurich (N = 811), we show that greater individual motivations regarding different aspects of learning have an effect on the frequency of lecture attendance, while other life circumstances do not. However, the findings show that when different forms of motivation are compared, instrumental motivation—meaning that the intention to use the gained knowledge now or in the future is responsible for the participant’s learning aspirations—is the only motivation that significantly increases lecture attendance. Hence, we conclude that to increase people’s engagement in this specific form of education in later life and to intensify lecture attendance, these programs should meet participants expectations.

Abstract

Among older adults, engagement in education can potentially have positive effects on cognition and psychological well-being and can prevent social isolation. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of individual motivations specific to older learners that underlie the frequency of participation at a senior university and how health or socioeconomic dimensions may affect the possibilities for participation. With data on participants from the senior university program at the University of Zurich (N = 811), we show that greater individual motivations regarding different aspects of learning have an effect on the frequency of lecture attendance, while other life circumstances do not. However, the findings show that when different forms of motivation are compared, instrumental motivation—meaning that the intention to use the gained knowledge now or in the future is responsible for the participant’s learning aspirations—is the only motivation that significantly increases lecture attendance. Hence, we conclude that to increase people’s engagement in this specific form of education in later life and to intensify lecture attendance, these programs should meet participants expectations.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Center for Gerontology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Education
Language:English
Date:9 March 2021
Deposited On:09 Mar 2021 16:32
Last Modified:24 Feb 2024 02:48
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:2504-284X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/feduc.2021.591481
PubMed ID:33439851
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)