Investing in the future - identifying participants in an educational program for middle-aged and older adults

Christina Bode, Denise T.D de Ridder

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    With the aging of societies, gerontological issues have become increasingly relevant. Within health education research, however, issues related to aging remain underrepresented. It is not yet understood whether and by what means people prepare for their aging. This article seeks to identify those who invest in the future by examining the reach of the educational program ‘In anticipation of the golden years’. We studied what motivated participants to enroll, and collected demographic, psychological and social network characteristics from the 158 individuals (mean age 61.5 years) who had signed up for the program. These data were compared with data from large-scale surveys of the aging population in order to examine the representativeness of program participants. The majority of participants' motives corresponded very well with the aims of the program. Comparison of demographic, psychological and social characteristics revealed that, in general, participants enjoyed greater psychological resources than in the population, while they were less advantaged with respect to their personal situation (predominantly household composition and subjective health) and social relationships. Our findings suggest that future investment in relation to aging is a well-accepted idea that appeals to individuals who exhibit a specific combination of resources and risk factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-482
    JournalHealth education research
    Volume22
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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