Healthy aging and the University of the Third Age – Health behavior and subjective health outcomes in older adults
Introduction: By participating in the University of the Third Age (U3A), retirees are offered the opportunity for activation and development in the later years of life. However, little is known how certain aspects of healthy aging, such as health-related behavior and subjective health outcomes, differ between U3A students and other older adults not taking part in any form of education. To address this, the aim of the present study was to compare selected aspects of healthy aging in a group of U3A members with older adults not taking part in any form of lifelong learning. The study also establishes relationships between the tested variables and predictors of health behavior. Materials and methods: 277 older adults (130 U3A members and 147 non-members) aged 60–92 (M = 68.84, SD = 5.32) completed measures of health behavior, self-rated physical health, self-rated sense of own health responsibility and satisfaction with life. Results: The U3A attendees presented significantly higher scores for general health behavior and some of its components, and declared higher self-rated health than their peers not affiliated to any educational organization. Self-rated health, responsibility for health and satisfaction with life were positively correlated with general health behavior and most of their categories. but the correlation coefficients differed between both groups. A hierarchical regression model demonstrated the predictive roles of attendance in U3A, sociodemographic and subjective factors in health behavior undertaking. Conclusions: The study results may help to identify older adults who should be targeted in interventions aimed at supporting healthy aging.
- Artykuły naukowe 
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