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Title: How Changes in Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities Influence Life Satisfaction in Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities among Older Females
Physical Description: 1 online resource (120 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Smith, Erin
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: retirement
Family, Youth and Community Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Family, Youth and Community Sciences thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Leisure oriented retirement communities are an increasingly popular trend among retirees with an impact on numerous aspects of gerontology. The images of leisure oriented retirement communities are that of neighborhoods that facilitate various activities that add to an older adult?s life satisfaction. Due to the growing popularity of these communities, these images and advertisements elicit the question of how changes in social, physical, and leisure activities influence life satisfaction in a leisure oriented retirement community. A descriptive research study was undertaken in a leisure oriented retirement community in north-central Florida with over 50,000 residents. Twelve female residents were asked a series of questions on activities and life satisfaction before and since moving to the leisure oriented retirement community. Content analysis was utilized to analyze the data. Through manifest content analysis several themes emerged which illustrated how the leisure oriented retirement community?s supported activities impacted one?s life satisfaction. These themes were then examined and two theories emerged, continuity theory and person-environment fit model. The findings suggest that the female respondents became more involved with their activities upon moving to the leisure oriented retirement community. Most of the women indicated that, although they were satisfied with their activities before moving to the leisure oriented retirement community, the community-facilitated activities had a positive impact on their life satisfaction. The respondents gave various reasons for their increased involvement in activities and increase in life satisfaction citing the convenience of the facilities and clubs and the variety of social connections made within the community. The convenience of the community-facilitated activities and social connections of this leisure oriented retirement community add to the ability of these women to age successfully. The findings suggest the amenities of leisure oriented retirement communities and their impact on these respondents may warrant further research on how residents of these communities age.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Erin Smith.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Forthun, Larry F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0042255:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042255/00001

Material Information

Title: How Changes in Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities Influence Life Satisfaction in Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities among Older Females
Physical Description: 1 online resource (120 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Smith, Erin
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: retirement
Family, Youth and Community Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Family, Youth and Community Sciences thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Leisure oriented retirement communities are an increasingly popular trend among retirees with an impact on numerous aspects of gerontology. The images of leisure oriented retirement communities are that of neighborhoods that facilitate various activities that add to an older adult?s life satisfaction. Due to the growing popularity of these communities, these images and advertisements elicit the question of how changes in social, physical, and leisure activities influence life satisfaction in a leisure oriented retirement community. A descriptive research study was undertaken in a leisure oriented retirement community in north-central Florida with over 50,000 residents. Twelve female residents were asked a series of questions on activities and life satisfaction before and since moving to the leisure oriented retirement community. Content analysis was utilized to analyze the data. Through manifest content analysis several themes emerged which illustrated how the leisure oriented retirement community?s supported activities impacted one?s life satisfaction. These themes were then examined and two theories emerged, continuity theory and person-environment fit model. The findings suggest that the female respondents became more involved with their activities upon moving to the leisure oriented retirement community. Most of the women indicated that, although they were satisfied with their activities before moving to the leisure oriented retirement community, the community-facilitated activities had a positive impact on their life satisfaction. The respondents gave various reasons for their increased involvement in activities and increase in life satisfaction citing the convenience of the facilities and clubs and the variety of social connections made within the community. The convenience of the community-facilitated activities and social connections of this leisure oriented retirement community add to the ability of these women to age successfully. The findings suggest the amenities of leisure oriented retirement communities and their impact on these respondents may warrant further research on how residents of these communities age.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Erin Smith.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Forthun, Larry F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0042255:00001


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HOW CHANGES IN SOCIAL, PHYSICAL, AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE LIFE
SATISFACTION IN LEISURE ORIENTED RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES AMONG
OLDER FEMALES




















By

ERIN KATE SMITH


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010

































2010 Erin Kate Smith









ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank the members of my supervisory committee, Dr. Larry Forthun, Dr.

Carolyn S. Wilken, and Dr. Susan Bluck, for their help and support throughout this process.

Their advice, comments, suggestions, and encouragement throughout the research process have

been valuable. I would also like to thank the faculty and staff at the University of Florida who

have served as an excellent source of guidance and wealth of information throughout this project.

The courses I have taken as part of my master's degree requirements have served as a valuable

basis for future research endeavors.

Thank you to my four initial sources, who put me in contact with the twelve women who

would later go on to be the backbone of this study. They were welcoming and helpful throughout

this process offering guidance and information about the community. I would also like to thank

the twelve participants, without their participation this study would not have been possible. Their

insight into their lives and their activities was enjoyable and fun to listen too, and this

information was vital to this study. I would especially like to thank the two women who served

as independent reviewers. Their input and advice on the coding, categories, and themes was

extremely valuable. Additionally, I would like to thank the staff at the Lady Lake Library for the

use of their facilities; they were exceptionally kind and welcoming.

Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends. My family has helped to support and

facilitate this project since its inception. My father and mother, Ed and Donnia Smith have been

a wonderful source of ideas and insight throughout my Master's curriculum. My sister, Sara has

helped make copies and set up folders throughout this process and served as a great encourager. I

would also like to thank Roderik. Without his support and encouragement I would not have been

able to finish this project. He has offered insight and shown true patience throughout this

process.









TABLE OF CONTENTS




A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S .............................................................................................................3

L IS T O F T A B L E S ................................................................................................. ..................... 7

LIST OF FIGURES ................................................ .. ......... ............ ...............8

L IST O F A B B R E V IA TIO N S .............................................. ...............................................9.......

A B S T R A C T ............... ................................................................ .......................................... 10

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............................................ .. .......... ................................... 12

E m pirical B asis for Q questions .. ...................................................................... ................ 14
Specific Aims ....................................................................... 15

2 L ITE R A TU R E R E V IE W .............. ..................................................................... 17

Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities...................................................................... 17
Them es and H history of L O R C s ........................................ ....................... ................ 18
D em graphics .................................................................................. ....................... 20
S u c c e ssfu l A g in g ....................................................................................................................2 3
T h e o ry .......................................................................................................... ........ ....... 2 5
C o n tin u ity T h e o ry ...........................................................................................................2 6
Person- Environment Fit Model .................................................................... ............... 31
Sum m ary ...................................................................... ...... ..................... 33
Characteristics of Females as They Age..............................................................................34
P u rp o se .......................................................................................................... ......... ....... 3 5

3 METHODOLOGY ................................................................... .................. .....38

D e sig n ............................................................................................................ ......... ....... 3 8
R e se a rc h S ettin g .....................................................................................................................3 8
Sampling and Recruitment Procedure .................................................................................39
S a m p le .......................................................................................................... ......... ....... 4 1
M eth o d s ........................................................................................................ ..................... 4 1
P ro c e d u re ...................................................................................................... ..................... 4 2
In stru m en tatio n ............................................................................................ ..................... 4 3
Quantitative Measures ............................................................................................... 44
Demographic questionnaire .................................................................... ...............44
Satisfaction w ith life scale .....................................................................................44
Qualitative Measures: In-Depth Interview .................... ...................................45


4









A n a ly sis ....................................................................................................... ..................... 4 8

4 STUDY RESULTS .................................. ............ ............................. 52

Q u antitativ e R results ........... .. .................. ................ .............. ............. ... ....... .... ............ 52
R results of D em graphic Q uestionnaire...................................................... ................ 52
R results of Satisfaction w ith Life Scale....................................................... ................ 53
Sum m ary of Quantitative R esults................................... ...................... ................ 54
Qualitative Analysis ............................... .. ........... .....................................55
C o d in g .............................................................................................................................5 5
C ate g o rie s .............................................................................................. ..................... 5 5
T h e m e s ............................................................................................................................5 6
C e n tra l T h e o ry ........................................................................................................................5 6
C u rre n t A ctio n s ...............................................................................................................5 8
D decision M making Processes .......................................................................................60
A adaptive C capacity .................................................................................................... 62
Person-E nvironm ent Fit ................................................................................................65

5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND CONCLUSIONS ..................................................72

D e m o g ra p h ic s ......................................................................................................................... 7 3
R e search Q u e stio n s .......................... ...... .. ... ... ..... ..... ............................................... 7 3
Before Moving to this LORC How Did Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities
Contribute to W om men's Life Satisfaction? ....................................... ..................... 73
How Do the LORC's Facilitated Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities Contribute
to W omen's Life Satisfaction? .................... ... .... ............. ............... 75
How Has Life Satisfaction Changed Since Moving to this LORC? ............................81
L im stations & Strengths of the Study .....................................................................................82
R ecom m endations ................................................................................ ..................... 84

APPENDIX

A IN TERV IEW ER 'S IN STRU CTION S.............................................. .................... ..................... 87

B WELCOME, INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD
PROTOCOL, AND INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE DEMOGRAPHIC
Q U E S T IO N A IR E ................................................................................................................... 8 8

C SCRIPT FOR IN-DEPTH SEMISTRUCTURED INTERVIEW........................................90

D DEM OGRAPH IC QUESTIONN A IRE .................................................................................. 92

E SW L S Q U E STIO N S .............. ............................. ...................................... 95.....9

F IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ....... ............. ...........................................96

G IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS- Pilot Test...........................................................98









H IR B P R O T O C O L .................................................................................................................. 10 0

I IRB APPROVAL ............. .. ................... .. ........... ..................................... 103

J CATEGORIES ..................... ...................... .. ......... ............ ............... 106

K T H E M E S ..............................................................................................................................1 1 0

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ....................................................... ................................................ 112

B IO G R A P H IC A L SK E T C H .................................................... ............................................. 120












































6









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4-1 Table illustrating last place of residence before the LORC..........................................71

4-2 Table illustrating how themes combine to reflect constructs influencing life
satisfaction ...................................................................................................... ....... .. 7 1

4-3 Table illustrating how themes and characteristics combine to reflect constructs of
P erson-E nvironm ent Fit M odel.......................................... ........................ ................ 71









LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

2-1 D iagram of D isengagem ent Theory.............................................................. ................ 36

2-2 D iagram of A activity Theory. ...................................................................... ................ 36

2-3 D iagram of C ontinuity Theory.......................................... ......................... ................ 37

2-4 Diagram of Person-Environment Fit Model .................................................................37

4-1 G raph of Self R ated O overall H health .............................................................. ................ 68

4-2 Graph of Level of Education and Partners Level of Education....................................68

4-3 D iagram of C ontinuity Theory.......................................... ......................... ................ 69

4-4 Diagram of Person- Environment Fit Model ................................................................69

4-5 Diagram of Continuity Theory with Themes................................................................70

4-6 Diagram of Person-Environment Fit Model with Themes ...........................................70






























8









LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS


LORC Leisure Oriented Retirement Community

LORCs Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

HOW CHANGES IN SOCIAL, LEISURE, AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE LIFE
SATISFACTION IN LEISURE ORIENTED RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES AMONG
OLDER FEMALES

By

Erin Smith

August 2010

Chair: Larry Forthun
Major: Family, Youth, and Community Sciences

Leisure oriented retirement communities are an increasingly popular trend among retirees

with an impact on numerous aspects of gerontology. The images of leisure oriented retirement

communities are that of neighborhoods that facilitate various activities that add to an older

adult's life satisfaction. Due to the growing popularity of these communities, these images and

advertisements elicit the question of how changes in social, physical, and leisure activities

influence life satisfaction in a leisure oriented retirement community. A descriptive research

study was undertaken in a leisure oriented retirement community in north-central Florida with

over 50,000 residents. Twelve female residents were asked a series of questions on activities and

life satisfaction before and since moving to the leisure oriented retirement community. Content

analysis was utilized to analyze the data. Through manifest content analysis several themes

emerged which illustrated how the leisure oriented retirement community's supported activities

impacted one's life satisfaction. These themes were then examined and two theories emerged,

continuity theory and person-environment fit model. The findings suggest that the female

respondents became more involved with their activities upon moving to the leisure oriented

retirement community. Most of the women indicated that, although they were satisfied with their









activities before moving to the leisure oriented retirement community, the community-facilitated

activities had a positive impact on their life satisfaction. The respondents gave various reasons

for their increased involvement in activities and increase in life satisfaction citing the

convenience of the facilities and clubs and the variety of social connections made within the

community. The convenience of the community-facilitated activities and social connections of

this leisure oriented retirement community add to the ability of these women to age successfully.

The findings suggest the amenities of leisure oriented retirement communities and their impact

on these respondents may warrant further research on how residents of these communities age.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

George Barnard Shaw once said of retirement, "The only way to avoid being miserable [in

retirement] is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not." Retirement is

often thought of as the time in one's life where one can lounge by the pool for hours, play golf

every day of the year, and not have a care in the world. Leisure Oriented Retirement

Communities (LORCs) have redefined the American concept of retirement, and the Baby

Boomer generation (1946-1964) is latching on to the idea of retiring to a location with numerous

social, physical, and leisure activities.

LORCs have only recently become a trend in the United States. Before World War II, most

people did not survive to retirement, but with the onset of labor unions, healthcare advances, and

social security-- retirement has become a part of life that most Americans will experience

(Moschis, Bellenger, & Curasi, 2005). Improvements in healthcare and financial security have

created an environment where many retire at age 65, and can expect to live in health and

financial security for another ten to 15 years (U.S. Census, 2000). Traditionally, many

Americans chose not to relocate upon retirement. Today a growing number of Americans are

choosing to move to an out of state retirement community (Rogers & Raymer, 2001; Golant,

1990). The increasing number of LORCs is changing the way people retire. Vesperi (1985) in

her case studies of older adults notes that many retirees flocked to St. Petersburg, Florida in the

mid-1950s because of its warm climate and elder friendly policies. At the same time retirement

communities in Arizona such as Youngtown and Sun City started to revolutionize the way

Americans spent their retirement years; by offering residents numerous community- facilitated

activities (Moschis et al., 2005).









Older adults, particularly affluent older adults, can expect to retire with more money and to

live longer and healthier lives than any previous generation (Moschis et al., 2005). These retirees

are revolutionizing the way Americans view retirement, and retirement communities across the

country are marketing to this new generation of older adults. A drive down any major interstate

in Florida or Arizona is not complete without seeing a number of advertisements with smiling

retirees involved in an activity.

Sun City, one of the first LORCs, located outside of Phoenix, Arizona has 38,000 residents

(U.S. Census, 2000). The popularity of Sun City sparked multiple Sun City communities around

Phoenix, and last year Del Webb, Sun City's developer, reported 50 retirement communities in

the process of being built. In 2000, Florida's largest LORC, The Villages, had 8,000 residents

(U.S. Census, 2000). By 2009, The Villages had over 75,000 residents, a 937.5% increase in

population (The Villages, 2010).

Some studies suggest that retirees move to these communities for: homogeneity, overall

esthetic appeal, and safety (McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). McHugh and Larson-Keagy

(2005) have detailed these trends among older adults who have relocated to Sun City. They

found Sun City was made up of retirees who were alike with respect to race, religion, and

political beliefs. Residents of Sun City relocated there because of the aesthetically pleasing

grounds and the relative safety offered by the gates of Sun City. However, there is no research on

whether these gated homogeneous facilities lead to a higher life satisfaction for their residents

due to the numerous amounts of community-facilitated activities (McHugh & Larson- Keagy,

2005; Youngblood, 2005; Streib, Folts, & Peacock, 2006).

Several theories, often competing theories, have been used to explain successful aging and

life satisfaction in the aging adult. Although Cumming and Henry (1961) argued that in order for









older adults to remain satisfied with their lives they must disengage from society as they age,

most agree older adults achieve higher life satisfaction or at a minimum maintain their current

life satisfaction by remaining active or becoming more active as they age. Two decades later,

Atchley (1982) proposed continuity theory theorizing that activities and life satisfaction carry

over from mid- to late life. Continuity theory suggested that to achieve successful aging one must

continue one's established pattern of behavior across the lifespan. Furthermore, person-

environment fit model added to continuity theory by suggesting that this fit between activities

and environment influence behavior. Extensive research has shown that an older adult's well-

being with respect to their physical and mental conditions is influenced by aspects of their

environment (Cvitkovich & Wister, 2001; Lawton, 1990; Carp & Carp, 1984; Kahana, 1982;

Lawton, 1998).

Empirical Basis for Questions

Previously, researchers have examined LORCs by examining relocation pattern trends,

effects of widowhood, and themes in the community (Moschis et al., 2005; Youngblood, 2005;

McHugh, 2000; McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). However, there is little previous research on

how LORC supported or sponsored activities influence life satisfaction. These activities are a

central premise of why individuals relocate to LORCs. The lack of understanding of how the

LORC's community facilitated activities influence life satisfaction is a primary question in

understanding the benefits of an LORC. This gap elicits the question of how community-

facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities impact life satisfaction. The site used for this

research is a LORC that is best described as a middle to upper income independent living LORC.

The growing popularity of LORCs, and the portion of the population that will soon be entering

retirement years makes this topic relevant to gerontologists, architects, community planners, and

the aging population.









Specific Aims

An active retirement has become the norm in an older American adult's life, and LORCs

are becoming an increasingly popular option among retirees (Brooks & Adams, 2001). Many of

the amenities offered in LORCs are neighborhood or community sponsored social, physical, and

leisure activities. The smiling faces on billboards and commercials seem to portray older adults

who are satisfied with their choice in retirement, but we know that those billboards are designed

for marketing purposes. This study will ask women (60-75) who live in a LORC a series of

questions about their social, physical, and leisure activity patterns prior to and since relocating

to a LORC and how these activities contribute to their life satisfaction. The study will be

conducted in a LORC, located in north central Florida roughly an hour north of both Tampa and

Orlando. Restaurants, shopping, healthcare, religious opportunities, and entertainment

opportunities help to make this LORC all inclusive. The purpose of this study is to better

understand how community supported activities in a LORC relate to life satisfaction. Listed

below are the specific questions that this research seeks to answer:

Before moving to this LORC how did social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to
women's life satisfaction?

How do the LORC's facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to women's life
satisfaction?

How has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC?

Below is a list of terms used throughout the paper:

* COMMUNITY SUPPORTED/FACILITATED/ SPONSORED ACTIVITIES. These activities are in some
way provided or generated by the leisure oriented retirement community.

* LEISURE ACTIVITIES. Leisure activities are activities that occur during non- work time,
provide a sense of happiness, freedom of choice to participate in the activity, and a high level
of involvement.









* LEISURE ORIENTED RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES. Leisure oriented retirement communities are
self-contained communities where there is an emphasis placed on leisure activities through
facilities and organized activities. Leisure oriented retirement communities contain these four
elements (1) a retirement element- residents are no longer in full time employment and this
affects their use of time and space (2) a community element-an age specific population,
living in the same geographically bounded area (3) a degree of collectivity- which residents
identify, and which may include shared activities, interests, and facilities (4) a sense of
autonomy with security.

* LIFE SATISFACTION. Life satisfaction has been defined by past research as, "a global
evaluation by the person of his or her life.. individuals 'construct' a standard, which they
perceive as appropriate for themselves, and compare the circumstances of their life to that
standard" (Pavot, Diener, Colvin, & Sandvik, 1991, p. 150).

* PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES. Physical activities are any body movement that requires energy.

* SOCIAL ACTIVITIES. Social activities are the set of interactions and relationships between
people.

* SUCCESSFUL AGING. Successful aging has been defined in the literature as, "more than being
satisfied with one's past and present circumstances... (it) suggests] an orientation to life that
serves as a guide for future action and adaptation. In addition, many of the comments suggest
strategies for successful aging reflecting philosophies that the older person had used earlier in
life." (Fisher, 1992, p.197).

* YOUNG-OLD ADULTS. Young-old adults are adults between the ages of 55-74.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Throughout this chapter both research and theory will be evaluated to assist in building a

foundation for the three principal research questions: Before moving to this LORC how did

social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to women's life satisfaction?; How do the

LORC's facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to women's life

satisfaction?; How has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC? Several theories

have attempted to explain activities as one ages and how this influences successful aging and life

satisfaction (Cummings & Henry, 1961; Havighurst, 1963; Atchley, 1982; 1983; 1989; 1994;

Lewin, 1951). Previous work suggests if one maintains or increases their activity as one ages the

causal impact on life satisfaction is positive. One of the goals of this study is to investigate the

impact an LORC has on one's activities and life satisfaction. As a basis for understanding the

findings of this research this chapter will focus on: the history and themes of LORCs,

demographics of LORCs, successful aging/ life satisfaction, continuity theory, person-

environment fit model, and the defining characteristics of females as they age.

Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities

LORCs gained popularity in the mid part of the 20th century. Leisure orientated retirement

communities are defined as communities where there is an emphasis on "leisure activities and

the opportunities and facilities to pursue such" (Folts & Streib, 1994; Streib et al., 2006). The

LORC is in stark contrast to the retirement housing options that had been common among older

adults. LORCs offer residents the opportunity to partake in resort style living, offering an

abundance of social, physical, and leisure activities to residents. Since the mid 1960s the

popularity of these communities has increased dramatically. The growth in these communities is

expected to continue as baby boomers begin to retire. One of the central concepts behind LORCs









is the amount and variety of activity in which residents can participate. Past research has found

that older adults enjoy activities and this helps promote life satisfaction in older adults as they

age (Ross & Drentea, 1998). The amount and variety of activities provide the residents with the

ability to participate in an activity that maintains the same vigor residents might have had in their

previous professions or before moving to the LORC. LORCs are designed with an emphasis on

activities that engage their residents and encourage participation in the community (Streib et al.,

2006).

Themes and History of LORCs

LORCs are defined above as; communities where there is an emphasis placed on leisure

activities through facilities and organized activities (Folts & Streib, 1994; Streib et al., 2006).

According to brochures from three prominent LORCs in the United States some key activities

offered include: golf, tennis, swimming, pickleball, and social organizations (Karen Cobalt,

Personal Communication, 2009; The Villages, 2009). Grant (2006) found that residents of

retirement communities enjoyed a wide variety of, "intellectual, aesthetic, and recreational

activities" (p. 49). LORCs range from small trailer parks with added amenities to large amenity

based communities with multi-million dollar houses (Streib et al., 2006).

There are a variety of retirement facilities for older adults to choose from when considering

retirement housing options: assisted living, congregate care, continuing care, and independent

living (Biggs, Bernard, Kingston, & Nettleton, 2000). Assisted living, congregate care, and

continuing care offer older adults a variety of amenities and a varying degree of support services,

such as dining services and skilled nursing care (Biggs et al., 2000). Conversely, independent

living is defined as, "houses, condominiums, apartments and mobile homes" (Biggs et al., p.

650, 2000). This review of retirement housing options will focus on leisure oriented retirement









communities, a form of independent living for older adults. Phillips, Bernard, Biggs, and

Kingston (2001) identified four main attributes of retirement communities:

(1) a retirement element- residents are no longer in full time employment and this
affects their use of time and space (2) a community element-an age specific
population, living in the same geographically bounded area (3) a degree of
collectivity- which residents identify, and which may include shared activities,
interests, and facilities (4) a sense of autonomy with security (p. 650).

LORCs are comprised of all four main attributes of a retirement community; however, they

also offer residents an opportunity to participate in a variety of community facilitated social,

physical, and leisure activities.

There are a few themes that are noteworthy in LORCs. McHugh and Larson- Keagy (2005)

identify three themes that emerged during a series of interviews with residents of Sun City.

These themes that emerged include: birds of a feather, idyllic havens, and fortress mentality

(McHugh & Larson- Keagy, 2005). The theme birds of a feather, refers to the same age, race,

and socio economic groups that live in Sun City (McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). The second

theme was identified as idyllic havens, which was the way the residents interviewed described

Sun City (McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). The third theme that emerged during the interviews

was the fortress mentality, as a way to describe the protective nature of LORCs (McHugh &

Larson-Keagy, 2005). These trends in Sun City may help to explain the mentality that residents

of other LORCs have about their community.

Retirement communities trace their origin to the 1920's when fraternal organizations, labor

unions, and religious groups began buying discounted land in Florida for their retired members

(Moschis et al., 2005). With the onset of the depression and World War II the popularity of

retirement communities decreased (Moschis et al., 2005). Retirement communities did not re-

emerge in popularity until after World War II, with the development of Youngtown in 1954

(Moschis et al., 2005). Located in Arizona, its popularity led to the development of Sun City









outside of Phoenix (McHugh & Larson- Keagy, 2005; Moschis et al., 2005). Sun City is a large-

scale retirement community promoting a variety of social, physical, and leisure activities

(McHugh & Larson- Keagy, 2005). With its opening in 1960, Sun City was in sharp contrast to

the norm of aging ideas. Sun City marked the beginning of LORCs in the United States, and

consequently led to the growth of the largest LORC developer (McHugh, 2000; McHugh &

Larson-Keagy, 2005; Moschis et al., 2005). The amenities offered by LORCs have continued to

develop as they have become an increasingly popular retirement option among older adults

(Moschis et al., 2005). The predicted demand in growth for LORCs will continue to increase as

the population of young-old in the United States continues to grow (Townshend, 2002; Moschis

et al., 2005).

Demographics

The population of the United States is rapidly changing, with respect to age and population

distribution. The U.S. Census predicted that the percentage of the American population over the

age of 65 will grow by eight percent over the next 40 years (U.S. Census, 2008). There is no

exact number or measurement on the number of LORCs or their residents in the United States.

One of the most prominent LORC developers, Del Webb, constructed over 52 LORCs with over

18,000 residential homes built in 2007 (Karen Colbalt, Personal Communication, February 11,

2009). The growing young-old adult population is key to demand in new LORC construction

(Moschis et al., 2005). Young- old adults are defined as older adults between the ages of 55-74

(Kart & Kinney, 2001). In a 2005 study, 1,463 Americans over the age of 55 were interviewed

and asked their retirement plans, 21.4% indicated that they plan on living in a LORC (Moschis et

al.).

LORCs are marketed to young-old adults over the age of 55, and previous research has

indicated most young-old adults plan to retire between the ages of 63-65 (Haas & Serow, 2002).









The leading edge of the "baby boomer" generation will reach 65 by 2011 (Kart &Kinney, 2001).

This generation spans three decades, and as a result the US population over the age of 65 will

grow by 35% between 2010 and 2020 (Kart & Kinney, 2001; U.S. Census, 2008). The U.S.

Census (2008) estimates that over one out of every four Americans is a Baby Boomer, making

up the largest demographic group in the United States. Baby Boomers have seven times the

purchasing power of later generations (Generation X & Y) (Misonzhnik, 2006). Del Webb, the

largest developer of LORCs in the United States, reported 18% of survey respondents in the baby

boomer generation wish to relocate to a different state when they retire (Del Webb, 1996). Based

on the above estimates roughly 13,680,000 American Baby Boomers will need a retirement

housing option in the next 20 years (U.S. Census, 2008; Misonzhnik, 2006; Del Webb 1996).

Some regions, such as the southeastern and western regions of the United States reported higher

interstate migration for those 65 and over (U.S. Census, 2003). Florida reported the highest

interstate migration among older adults 60 and above (Longino & Manheimer, 1995; U.S.

Census, 2000). Arizona, California, and Texas consistently ranked among the top locations for

migration in the United States between 1960 and 1990 (Longino & Manheimer, 1995). In 2000,

Nevada also reported a high portion of 65 and over interstate migration (U.S. Census, 2000). A

report, from the U.S. Census in 2003, indicates that although Florida had the highest number of

65 and over interstate migrants; Nevada has the highest net migration of those 65 and over (He &

Schachter, 2003). The state with the highest number of relocating interstate migrants was New

York, with 61,000, out migrants relocating to Florida from 1995 to 2000 (He & Schachter,

2003). Florida also posted the highest gains for individual counties with Palm Beach County

reporting one of the highest rates of interstate migration and Sumter County, posting the highest

net migration of individuals 65 and over in the United States (He & Schachter, 2003). The three









states with the highest number of out moving interstate migrants were New York, Illinois, and

California (He & Schachter, 2003). These findings are consistent with more recent findings

about two of the most populous LORCs in Florida and Arizona. The samples in two recent

studies done in an LORC indicate many of the inter state migrants had relocated to Florida and

Arizona from the northeast or mid-western states (Youngblood, 2005; McHugh & Larson-

Keagy, 2005).

LORCs can vary dramatically with respect to race. In previous research regarding LORCs,

researchers have found that these communities are predominantly White (McHugh & Larson-

Keagy, 2005). However, recently LORCs targeted towards minority racial and ethnic groups

have become more popular. Two of the largest LORCs in the United States, The Villages in

Florida and Sun City in Arizona, are analyzed below for racial demographic information. Efforts

have been made to obtain the most recent population information according to the U.S. Census.

The Villages, is spread throughout three counties, Sumter, Lake, and Marion. The 2007 U.S.

Census population estimate suggested that Sumter County, home to the largest part of The

Villages was 85% White, this is in contrast to the population demographic information provided

in the 2000 U.S. Census on The Villages, that shows The Villages to be 98.5% White. This is

also in sharp contrast to the racial demographics for Florida which is 80% white (U.S. Census,

2007). Similar statistics are found in Sun City, Maricopa County, Arizona, one of the largest

LORCs in Arizona. As of 2007 the U.S. Census indicated that 96.4% of Sun City was White.

This is in comparison to the population demographics of Maricopa County which is 79.1%

White (2007). Arizona as a whole is 76.4% White (U.S. Census, 2007). This data on LORCs

indicates a predominance of White residents.









LORCs are an increasingly popular retirement option among older adults. One of the

central attractions of LORCs is the abundance of activities and options for retirement. LORCs

market an abundance of activities and options for older adults that will help them age. Past

research has suggested, residents enjoy the pristine setting, perceived safety of the community,

and the demographic similarities of the residents. Residents are provided a community that

encompasses all of their needs as they age. These communities, which provide residents with an

abundance of social, physical, and leisure activities are expected to gain in popularity as the

Baby Boomer generation retires. The popularity of these communities is expected to grow the

most in the southeastern and southwestern regions of the United States based on past older adult

migration trends. One of the principal attractions of an LORC for older adults is the variety of

activities (McHugh & Larson- Keagy, 2005; Moschis et al., 2005), which has been shown to

influence successful aging (Havighurst, 1963; Atchley, 1994).

Successful Aging

Successful aging is difficult to define (Tate, Lah, & Cuddy, 2003). For example, nineteen

older adults were interviewed and asked their definition of successful aging; the range of

responses varied (Fisher, 1992). Fisher (1992), suggests this about their views:

Successful aging involves more than being satisfied with one's past and present
circumstances... (it) suggests] an orientation to life that serves as a guide for future
action and adaptation. In addition, many of the comments suggest strategies for
successful aging reflecting philosophies that the older person had used earlier in
life (p. 197).

Although, the above study did not establish a definitive definition of successful aging; it

did suggest older adults view successful aging as a process guided by one's past actions.

Older adults not only vary in the way they define successful aging, but also in what they

think successful aging entails. Rowe & Kahn (1998), defined successful aging as, "the many

factors which permit individuals to continue to function effectively, both physically and









mentally, in old age" (p.xii). These factors have been identified as: cognitive function,

psychological factors, autonomy, aging and social support, bereavement, support and control,

and physiological and psychological pathways (Rowe & Kahn, 1998; Rowe & Kahn, 1987).

Recent findings revealed two-thirds of older adults agreed successful aging is multidimensional

(Phelan, Anderson, LaCroix, & Larson, 2004). Some of the factors that influence successful

aging are: exercise- a physical factor, being a male- physiological and psychological pathways

factor, and social contact through activities- aging and social support factor (Strawbridge, Cohen,

Shema, & Kaplan, 1996; Roos & Havens, 1991). Some of the events that negatively influence

successful aging include: having a chronic disease, having poor self assessed health, being

depressed, having experienced the death of a spouse, losing mental capability, developing

cancer, and being forced to retire or retiring due to health reasons (Roos & Havens,1991).

Successful aging varies based on personal characteristics and past experiences (Rowe &

Kahn, 1998; Fisher, 1992). What one older adult defines as successful aging can be drastically

different than another's definition of successful aging. Past research suggests some of the

psychological components that influence successful aging are past experiences and personal

characteristics (Atchley, 1982; 1983; 1994). For many individuals successful aging is measured

by life satisfaction (Fisher, 1992; Havighurst, 1961). Havighurst (1961) suggests that for some

people the outcome of successful aging is life satisfaction. While, Fisher (1992) found that

although successful aging and life satisfaction are not interchangeable terms; some older adults

think of life satisfaction as one of the outcomes of successful aging.

Depp and Jeste (2006) suggested that the biggest contributor to life satisfaction is

prevention of disability and maintaining cognitive function. As previous research suggests one of

the key factors, which positively influences successful aging is exercise (Rowe & Kahn, 1998).









Physical activity is suggested to increase health and decrease disability as one ages (Wu,

McCrone, & Lai, 2008). This increase in health is linked with higher life satisfaction (Menec,

2003). Maintaining social connections has also increased life satisfaction (Neugarten et al.,

1961). More recent findings suggest maintaining social activities helps one to maintain social

contacts as they age (Strawbridge, et al., 1996; Roos & Havens, 1991).

Life satisfaction is one of the central components of subjective well-being (Diener,

Emmmons, Larsen, & Griifin, 1985) and can be defined as, "contentment with one's life in

general" (Maddox, 1987, p. 399). More specifically, for the purposes of this research, life

satisfaction is defined as, "a global evaluation by the person of his or her life" (Pavot, et al.,

1991, p. 150). Pavot, et al. (1991) go on to suggest that life satisfaction is defined when

individuals 'construct' a standard, which they perceive as appropriate for themselves, and

compare the circumstances of their life to that standard (p. 150).

Successful aging and life satisfaction have been defined in several contexts in the above

section. The following section will focus on theories used to explain how activities can influence

successful aging and life satisfaction.

Theory

Theories help to understand how activities impact the successful aging and life satisfaction

of an older adult. These theories have been utilized to explain how activities change over the

course of an older adults' life span, and how this in turn influences life satisfaction. Continuity

theory suggests that as one ages, one maintains the same type and time involvement in activity,

and as a result one maintains a consistent or increased level of life satisfaction. Continuity

theory was developed as a response to disengagement theory and activity theory. On the other

hand, person-environment fit model attempts to explain how one's environment fits their

physical, mental, and emotional needs as they age, resulting in a maintained level of life









satisfaction. These theories are relevant in that they offer different explanations of how activities

impact life satisfaction in an LORC. Both of these theories seek to explain how different levels

of activity impact successful aging or life satisfaction.

Continuity Theory

Continuity theory suggests that as an individual ages, she or he will tend to remain

engaged in pervious activities or replace previous activities with new activities that will maintain

or increase her or his life satisfaction. Prior to the development of continuity theory both

disengagement and activity theory had been proposed to explain the relationship between

activities and life satisfaction. However, both of these theories were limited in explaining

activities and life satisfaction in older adults because the theories assumed older adults wanted to

either completely disengage from society or be completely engaged in society. Whereas

continuity theory suggested one's activities earlier in life serve as an indicator for his or her

involvement in activities after retirement.

Cumming and Henry (1961) developed disengagement theory to explain how older adults'

age successfully. The theory postulates that as older adults age they disengage or withdraw from

society in order to fulfill their ideas of old age (Cumming & Henry, 1961). Cumming and Henry

(1961) argued disengagement is a process that every older adult eventually goes through in his or

her interactions with society. Thus, the eventual consequence of aging is a new relationship

between the older adult and society (Cumming & Henry, 1961). In Figure 2-1, there is a diagram

of disengagement theory illustrating the experimental and outcome variables.

According to Cumming and Henry, there are three changes that an older adult goes through

as they age. The first is a change in the number of people one engages in communication with

and the amount of time the older adult spends engaged in communication (Cumming & Henry,

1961). According to the theory the substance of an older adult's communication with other age









groups changes as one disengages from society (Cumming & Henry, 1961). Additionally, older

adults undergo a change in personality that causes decreased involvement in others and more

interest in oneself. These findings have recently been reaffirmed by Brown and Lowis (2003),

who suggested that as individuals grow older they spend more time reflecting on their lives and

as a result disengage from society.

Later research on activities and social connections has utilized many of the same constructs

as disengagement theory (Jonson & Magnussen, 2001). Gerotranscendence theory seeks to

explain the reason older people change from being more oriented towards possessions,

materialism, and pragmatism to a more reflective view of their lives (Tornstam, 1997). This

more reflective level that one enters into as they age is described as: a stage where one feels less

involved with the outside world and more in tune with oneself (Tornstam, 1996; 1997; Jonson &

Magnussen, 2001). The shift to the transcendent view of the world is accompanied with growth

towards wholeness and decreased self-centeredness by the individual (Tornstam, 1996; 1997;

Jonson & Magnussen, 2001). As with disengagement theory, gerotranscendence theorizes that as

individuals age the definition of current activities and relationships and their significance

changes. Gerotranscendence further theorizes these changes are accompanied by an older adult's

evolution in fulfilling his or her ideas of old age.

Although, not all aspects of disengagement or gerotranscendence theory are relevant in

examining the idea of life satisfaction in an LORC; they do help to understand how one may be

satisfied with one's life but not as involved in activities. Individuals relocating to an LORC are

often leaving homes and communities they have resided in since birth (McHugh & Larson-

Keagy, 2005 ; Youngblood, 2005). The process of relocating to an LORC is a process of

disengagement from immediate family, extended family, and friends (McHugh &Larson- Keagy,









2005; Youngblood, 2005). Although many individuals in an LORC maintain contact and visit

with immediate family on a regular basis; they usually do not see their immediate family as often

as where they lived pre- relocation to the LORC (Youngblood, 2005). The process of

disengagement or gerotranscendence is more evident in contacts and visits with extended family

and friends (Youngblood, 2005).

Activity theory arose as an alternative explanation to disengagement theory to help to

understand how activities influence the way people age. Activity theory posits that activity

pattern and level, maintaining an equilibrium, and adapting to role loss, as one ages helps to

increase life satisfaction. Activity theory consists of three constructs: activity (maintaining a

pattern and level), equilibrium (maintaining stability in one's activities), and adapting to role loss

(maintaining a similar role as one ages)(Havighurst, Neugarten, & Tobin, 1968; Schulz, 2006).

One of the key constructs identified in activity theory, Figure 2-2, is activity. Activity is

defined as, "any form of doing"... It is influenced by two dimensions, level and pattern. (Schulz,

2006, p. 10). Level of activity can be viewed as how involved an individual is in an activity;

pattern of activity is how often an individual completes an activity. Older adults often experience

a change in their level and pattern of activity over their life span (Duke, Leventhal, Brownlee, &

Leventhal, 2002; Strain, Grabusic, Searle, & Dunn, 2002). Many factors contribute to an older

adult changing their activity (Chen, 2000; Duke et al., 2002; Strain et al.,2002). Although, some

individuals retire from their professions, complete the child rearing process, or slow down

physically, they still remain active by staying engaged in activities.

Equilibrium as shown in the diagram of activity theory (Figure 2-2) asserts that activity

levels and patterns are structured by an individual's needs, and there is no fundamental

difference between the needs of a middle age and old age adult (Schulz, 2006). This construct









postulates older individuals should actively try to maintain their social activities from middle age

to old age in order to maintain life satisfaction (Havighurst, 1963; Havighurst et al., 1968).

Physical health places limitations on a older adults' ability to maintain equilibrium through the

aging process (Lennartsson & Silverstein, 2001; Duke et al., 2002; Strain et al., 2002)

The third construct, adaptation, has been defined as "the process of adjusting to fit a

situation or environment" (Atchley, 1994, p.361). As individuals age from middle to old age they

are often faced with a number of changes; these changes may include: retirement, relocation,

health issues, and loss of family and friends to death. Retirement is one of the biggest

experiences most adults go through as they age. In adapting to role loss, individuals replace old

roles with new roles in society (Havighurst, 1963). Past research indicates that those who have

the most positive attitudes towards their current jobs are often the most likely to have retirement

intentions (Adams, Prescher, Beehr, & Lepisto, 2002). The researchers hypothesized that other

social roles were contributing to retirement intentions, such as religious roles and parental

responsibilities, and these social roles are a way to adapt to the upcoming role loss of retirement

(Adams et al., 2002). For example, if an individual used to be an accountant in middle age he or

she may volunteer to deal with an organization's finances in old age (Atchley, 1994).

Older adults also replace social roles as an individual's family and friends relocate or die.

After the bereavement process has been completed, older adults will often embark on new

relationships. New friendships and intimate relationships are often formed among older adults

(Connidis, 2001; de Jong Gierveld, 2004). Past research indicates increased life satisfaction,

among older adults in regards to these new friendships and intimate relationships (de Jong

Gierveld, 2004).









Disengagement and activity theory although sometimes relevant in explaining an older

adults post retirement behavior fails to explain how individuals differ and how one's activities

change over time. Continuity theory was developed as a response to the growing criticism of

disengagement and activity theory (Atchley, 1983; 1989). The diagram, Figure 2-3, illustrates the

constructs and outcome of continuity theory. Continuity theory suggests adult development is

ongoing (Atchley, 1983; 1989; 1994). It further suggests participation in an activity during the

early part of one's life is a strong indicator in their participation in the same activity in the later

part of one's life (Agahi, Ahacic, & Parker, 2006). Continuity theory makes the assumption that

older adults have formed goals or a developmental direction for themselves which influences

their decision making processes (Atchley, 1994). Hence, human beings are constantly

undergoing changes and adapting to new situations drawing on past experiences that shape their

current actions (Atchley, 1983; 1989). These past experiences form the backbone of patterns

individuals use throughout their lives to adapt to changes and reach goals (Atchley, 1994).

This adaptation process continues as individuals enter late life and subsequently lose

physical and mental capabilities (Agahi et al., 2006). This adaptation process forms one of the

central tenets of continuity theory, adaptive capacity (Atchely, 1989; 1994). Adaptive capacity is

the concept that humans are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and thus humans often

make the decision to engage in activities that they perceive themselves to be stronger in

(Atchley, 1994; 1998). Similar findings about adapting in social relationships were found; these

findings suggested as people grow older they seek out relationships that have a positive

connotation for them (Cornwell, Laumann, & Schumm, 2008; Cornwell, 2009).

Recent research on retired adults in Israel demonstrates adding new activity in old age

increases life satisfaction (Nimrod, 2008a). Nimrod (2008a) found that pre-retirement occupation









and activities highly influenced retirement activities in old age. Nimrod describes two groups of

people post retirement: innovators and non-innovators (Nimrod, 2008a). Nimrod (2008b) notes

the main difference between innovator and non-innovator groups are pre-retirement occupation

and feelings on retirement (Nimrod, 2008b). These findings suggest that as older adults age they

continue to maintain previous roles and adapt to new situations in the context of a LORC.

Although, this research focused on older adults in Israel; these findings do leave room for further

research on retired adults living in LORCs elsewhere- such as the United States (Nimrod,

2008a).

Current actions, the decision making process, and adaptive capacity in relation to activities

may offer some insight on how one's activities in an LORC help to maintain life satisfaction.

Continuity theory and later work based on continuity theory may offer some perspective about

how older adults view their activities before moving to an LORC and their current activities in

the LORC. Many older adults in LORCs express great pride in their previous positions in life

(Youngblood, 2005). Continuity theory and later work done by Nimrod (2008a; 2008b) suggests

these positions would carry over into retirement in some fashion. For example, an accountant

may retire from being an accountant, but he/ she may still handle an organization's finances.

Continuity theory asserts that this is because if the activities that one engages in earlier in life

help to maintain life satisfaction, fulfillment with one's life, one will continue to engage in them

as they age (Atchley, 1983; Maddox, 1987).

Person- Environment Fit Model

Researchers in the past have attempted to explain a person's activities by how well they fit

their environment. The idea was first proposed by Lewin (1951). Lewin (1951) theorized that

one's behavior is a function of his or her personal experiences and physical environment. This

work was later applied to environmental gerontology by several researchers seeking to explain









how environments influence successful aging and life satisfaction (Lawton & Nahemow, 1973;

Kahana, 1982; Carp & Carp, 1984).

Person- environment fit model, seen in Figure 2-4, proposes four constructs which

influence the outcome variables of residential satisfaction and psychological well-being.

Psychological well-being is partially derived from life satisfaction. These four constructs are:

personal characteristics, personal preferences, environmental characteristics, and P -E Fit

(Kahana, Lovegreen, Kahana, & Kahana, 2003). Each construct is influenced by several sub

constructs.

Personal characteristics are defined by demographic characteristics and psychological

characteristics. Demographic characteristics are age, gender, race, and education. Psychological

characteristics are based on one's personality. The second construct that influences residential

satisfaction and psychological well- being are personal preferences. Individuals base their

personal preferences on what they want in their physical and social domains. The third construct,

environmental characteristics, is what they have or what they perceive to have in their

environment. Environment is loosely defined as the opportunities and obstacles that a person

faces in obtaining the optimal activity level (Kelly, 1993). Physical domains, part of personal

preferences and environmental characteristics, are based on safety, stimulation/ peacefulness,

resource amenities, and physical amenities/ aesthetics; while social domains are based on

homogeneity/ heterogeneity, and interaction/ solitude. More recent research suggests when older

adults engage in increased outdoor activities there are increased physical and psychological

benefits (Sugiyama & Thompson, 2007). The fourth construct P-E Fit, is influenced and defined

by personal preferences and environmental characteristics. (Kahana et al., 2003; Lawton &

Nahemow, 1973; Kahana, 1982; Carp & Carp, 1984). Previous research has shown a casual









connection between life satisfaction and these outcome variables (Mastekaasa & Mourn, 1984;

Cummins & Nistico, 2002).

An older adults' life satisfaction is heavily impacted by their social environment, which is

part of an individual's environmental characteristics (Thomese & Broese van Groenou, 2006).

Kahana et al. (2003) found social participation and social homogeneity are extremely important

to older adults in relation to their social connections as they age. The importance of social

participation is significant because if one does not participate in activities with others; they will

not be able to form social connections. While social homogeneity is significant in forming social

connections because of the importance individuals place on personal characteristics in forming

social connections. This social environment is based on the social connections older adults make

as they age; these connections often form the backbone of a care group (Kahanah et al., 2003;

Thomese & Broese van Groenou, 2006). Social connections are often found in LORCs, where

research has shown that older adults seek independence (Kahana et al., 2003; Youngblood,

2005).

Summary

LORCs present older adults with an environment that offers grocery stores, pharmacies,

medical care, and numerous other amenities. They also provide residents with numerous social,

physical, and leisure activities. The impact that these community-facilitated activities have on a

resident's life satisfaction has never been measured. The two theories reviewed above attempt to

explain successful aging or life satisfaction through activities. Continuity theory proposes that if

one maintains a continuous level of activity as one ages, life satisfaction will remain the same.

Person-environment fit model suggests that if a person's environment meets her or his personal

characteristics, personal preferences, and environmental characteristics: it will meet her or his

physical, mental, and emotional needs as he or she ages, eventually resulting in a maintained









level of life satisfaction. Both of these theories have been used to explain how activities have a

causal relationship with successful aging and life satisfaction among older adults. However,

these theories have not been applied in LORCs. The goal of this research is to utilize the

following theories to try to understand how activities influence life satisfaction in a LORC. One

of the limitations of previous research on the relationship between activities and life satisfaction

is gender (Russel, 2007; Wray, 2004; Stanley & Freysinger, 1995).

Characteristics of Females as They Age

Previous research has established that there is a difference between males and females with

respect to participation in activities and successful aging (Russell, 2007). Although, women vary

on what they define as successful aging, Wray (2004) found that, "Women use different

strategies to pursue active lives and remain in control, as they grow older" (p. 15). This means

as women grow older they choose the activity in which they participate.

Past research on the differences of males and females as they age has found that females

enjoy participating in activities more than males (Son, Kerstetter, Yarnal, & Baker, 2007).

Furthermore, these activities provide a social network for females as the age. These social

networks offer females a set of friends to rely on during significant life events, and they also give

females the chance to engage in creative and non-binding activities. Russell (2007) and

Williamson (2000), found that 2/3 of participants in assisted living activities were female; these

findings may be explained by a male's participation in more solitary activities (Russell, 2007).

Males showed higher signs of disengagement as they aged. Males became less interested in

social connections and activities (Stanley & Freysinger, 1995). These findings were further

confirmed through research on adaptive capacity in older males (Genoe & Singleton, 2006).

They found as older males age they are more likely to give up some activities due to physical

limitations; however, they sometimes replace this loss with an activity they already take part in









(they simply increase the amount of time in activity a with a loss in activity b) (Genoe &

Singleton, 2006).

In relation to successful aging females often feel that aging successfully is a choice

(Rossen, Knafl, & Flood, 2008). Females attribute successful aging to a successful late life

transition (Rossen et al., 2008). Hence, some studies suggest that older females adjust better

because they are more likely to accept changes in their physical abilities, relationships, and their

environment (Rossen et al., 2008). Given these differences between males and females as they

age it is imperative to look at how activities in an LORC influence life satisfaction by examining

one gender first.

Purpose

Past research has suggested there are distinct demographic trends that have emerged in

LORCs across the country (Townshend, 2002; Moschis et al., 2005; McHugh & Larson-Keagy,

2005; Longino & Manheimer, 1995; He & Schachter, 2003; Youngblood, 2005). Based on this

information and past research on continuity theory and person- environment fit model, one could

surmise there is a positive relationship between successful aging or life satisfaction and activities

when healthy older adults move into LORCs (Nimrod, 2008a; Thomese & Broese van Groenou,

2006). This research will help to identify the relationship between activities in an LORC and

life satisfaction. In order to identify activities and how they influence life satisfaction in a LORC,

the research will utilize several in- depth semi structured interviews. The objective of the

interviews is to determine:

Before moving to this LORC how did social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to
women's life satisfaction?;

How do the LORC's facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to women's life
satisfaction?;

How has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC?

















Fulfillment of ideas of
old age


Figure 2-1. Diagram of Disengagement Theory


Figure 2-2. Diagram of Activity Theory









































Figure 2-3. Diagram of Continuity Theory


Personal Characteristics
Demographic Characteristics- Age,
Gender, Race, Education

Psychological Characteristics-
Personality


Personal Preferences

Physical Domains- Physical Amenities/
Aesthetics, Resource Amenities, Safety,
& Stimulation/ Peacefulness


Social Domains- Heterogeneity/
Homogeneity & Interaction/ Solitude


Figure 2-4. Diagram of Person-Environment Fit Model


Environmental Characteristics
Physical Domains- Physical Amenities/
Aesthetics, Resource Amenities, Safety,
& Stimulation/ Peacefulness


Social Domains- Heterogeneity/
Homogeneity & Interaction/ Solitude









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

The purpose of this study was to determine: (1) Before moving to this LORC how did

social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to women's life satisfaction? (2) How do the

LORC's facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to women's life satisfaction?

(3) How has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC? A demographic questionnaire,

satisfaction with life scale, and a qualitative interview were employed to obtain in-depth

information about the women's feelings and experiences with relation to activities in the context

of an LORC. The methodology utilized in the research process is described below.

Design

This study utilized a cross sectional qualitative approach. This cross sectional approach

was selected due to its ability to explain association between variables in a relatively short period

of time (de Vaus, 2001). The quantitative instruments were used to add a depth of

understanding to the results. By utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods the research

design employs triangulation, complementarity, and the ability to further expand on results and

findings (Greene, Caracelli, & Graham, 1989). Triangulation allows the researcher the ability to

establish a level of consistency between the quantitative and qualitative methods (Greene et al.,

1989; Yin, 2008). Use of the quantitative instruments allows the researcher to establish

complementarity, or clarify, findings in the qualitative portion of the results by utilizing

quantitative findings (Greene et al., 1989). By utilizing quantitative measures there was a better

understanding of the results (Greene et al., 1989).

Research Setting

The research setting was one of the largest LORCs in the state of Florida. It is located in

north central Florida, approximately 55 miles north of Orlando and 25 miles south of Ocala. The









research setting geographically encompasses three counties: Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties.

There are several natural areas located throughout the LORC; however, the community has been

very well developed. Similar to other LORCs, this LORC offers its residents many amenities.

Residents of this LORC have access to an onsite medical facility, a wide selection of doctors,

shopping, and a wide variety of restaurants. The community is golf cart friendly, resulting in an

infrastructure that is designed to support the use of golf carts as a main mode of transportation to

keep the residents mobile and independent even after they can no longer drive a vehicle. As of

2009, home prices in this LORC ranged from $80,000 for a mobile home located in an older

section of the LORC to over $1,000,000 for a custom built home in a newer area.

The most current U.S census data lists the total population as 8,333 (U.S. Census, 2000).

The 2000 Census listed the community's population as 52.4% female and 47.6% male. The

LORC has a median age of 66.3 (U.S. Census, 2003). The Census (2000) listed the population of

the community as 98.4% White, and the remaining 1.6% of the population was comprised of

Multi-racial, Blacks, Asians. American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some other races. Only

5.8% of the population of the LORC reported being foreign born compared to the national

average of 11.1% (U.S. Census, 2000). The median value of a home in the LORC was $136,100

compared to the state average in Florida of $105,500 (U.S. Census, 2000). More current

information was not available from the U.S. Census on this LORC. However, the LORC's own

data sources state the population was 47,000 in 2004, and the projected population in January

2010 was 78,000 (The Villages, 2010).

Sampling and Recruitment Procedure

The research focused on a theoretical population consisting of all females living in any

LORC between the ages of 60-75. The theoretical sample of the LORC where this research was

conducted was all female residents between the ages of 60-75. This theoretical sample is a good









representation of female residents of an LORC because it is one of the largest LORCs in the

United States. This community accurately represents other LORCs across the United States

because of its large population, wide variety of amenities, and vast geographic area. This LORC

offers the same amenities that comprise most LORCs. However, the results and conclusions

reached in this study cannot be generalized to the theoretical population or theoretical sample

due to the limitations of the twelve person volunteer sample.

In order to select a sampling frame from the theoretical sample, I contacted four primary

sources who lived in the LORC. The four primary sources did not know each other minimizing

the possibility of duplication. The four sources were asked to introduce the study topic to four or

five residents. The four initial sources were asked to find people of varying experiences and

opinions of life at this LORC. The primary sources provided residents with information

regarding the researcher's intended project and contact information so they could contact the

researcher via email or telephone. A resident who was interested in participating in the study

made direct contact with the researcher. Participants contacted the researcher via phone or email.

During the phone and/or email conversations with the potential participants-the researcher

confirmed that the person met the inclusion criteria: the person was a female, between the ages

of 60-75, was a full time resident of the LORC (lived there at least nine months out of the year),

and had lived in the LORC for the past twelve months. If the participants met the inclusion

criteria they were told more about the project, time commitment of one hour to one hour and a

half, and compensation for participation in the interview. If potential participants met the

inclusion criteria and were interested in participating, an appointment to conduct the research

was scheduled. All participants were told in advance that they would be compensated for their

time commitment in the form of a $10 grocery store gift card.









Sample

The sampling frame was comprised of twelve female residents of this LORC. The sample

was collected using a volunteer sample. A volunteer sample was selected as the way of

recruitment for participants due to the restricted access to the wider population. Steps were taken

to minimize the bias introduced by a volunteer sample by selecting participants with a range of

experiences and opinions about living at this LORC. The sampling frame was screened based on

gender, age, full time residency, and length of residency. Gender was part of the exclusion

criteria due to the impact it has on participation in activities (Russell, 2007; Son et al., 2007;

Rossen et al., 2008). Women are twice as likely to participate in activities than men (Russell,

2007; Son et al., 2007; Rossen et al., 2008). Hence, women have a broader view of the activities

provided in their previous communities and an LORC. The sampling frame also used age as a

selection criterion. This criteria was established and included to control influences on the

differences participants might have with respect to their current lives, gender roles, past

experiences, and health changes that normally onset with age. Participants were also screened for

full time residency. Full time residency for the purpose of this project was defined as a person

who resides in the LORC for nine months or more of the year. This inclusion criteria was

established to eliminate outside effects such as increased family interaction or differences that

might arise that would have a significant impact on an individual. Participants were also selected

by when they moved into the LORC. The exclusion criteria eliminated potential participants who

had lived in the LORC for less than twelve months. This criteria was established in order to help

eliminate the effect of a honeymoon period for new residents of the LORC.

Methods

The primary data collection method was an in-depth semi structured interview. All the

interviews were conducted by the primary researcher, who was a 23 year old White female. The









in-depth semi structured interview was employed because of its use of, "open ended questions

[that] are developed in advance along with prepared probes. Unplanned, unanticipated probes

may also be used" (Morse & Richards, 2002, p.91). It is important to note the researcher

maintained flexibility in regards to interview questions using a procedure that sometimes called

for modifying or adding additional probing questions to the interview protocol based on

participant responses (Yin, 2008). Subsequent methods used to substantiate data collected in the

in-depth semi structured interview included a demographic questionnaire and a Satisfaction with

Life Scale.

Procedure

The interview was conducted in a public library located near the LORC. The library was

chosen specifically for the amenity of a quiet discussion room and close proximity to the LORC.

A library location was selected to enable the participants to share information in a private, non-

distracting, and non-threatening location.

The participants were met at the entrance to the library and escorted to the conference

room. There was no one else present in the room except for the participant and the researcher.

The participants were reminded of the topic of the research and were then invited to sit and make

themselves comfortable. The participants were given the following information during the

interview: the informed consent, a demographic questionnaire, a Satisfaction With Life Scale,

and a thank you note with the compensation attached. The participants were told about the key

elements of the informed consent: basic information about the study, the amount of time the

study required, the interview recording process, confidentiality in regards to their responses, their

rights as a research participant to not answer any question or withdraw from the study at any

point, and that the project had been approved by the University of Florida's Institutional Review

Board. The participants were then given the informed consent. The participants were given time









to read the informed consent. A signed copy was returned to the researcher and participants

retained a copy for their records.

The first step of the interview involved the completion of a brief paper-pencil

demographic questionnaire. The second step of the interview was the completion of a five item

Satisfaction With Life Scale. When that was finished, the researcher began the in-depth semi

structured interview. Participants were informed once more that the interview would be recorded.

The interviews were recorded using two small MP3 recording devices. Two devices were used to

ensure the interview was captured. The recording devices were placed openly on the table to

prevent the participants from forgetting the conversation was being recorded. The participants

were then asked a series of in-depth semi structured interview questions. The in-depth semi

structured interview ranged from 60-80 minutes. The script and protocol were kept structured,

and the researcher maintained a professional demeanor when talking with participants. In order

to maintain a professional demeanor several guidelines were followed, which included: adhering

to the one hour to one hour and a half timeline for the interview, the ability of the researcher to

gain the participants' trust, sensitivity and genuine interest in the participants' answers, and an

understanding and respect of the participants' cultural and normative beliefs (Rowels &

Schoenberg, 2002). At the end of the interview the MP3 recorders were turned off. The

participants were thanked for their participation and asked if they had any additional questions.

They were reminded to take their copy of the informed consent and thank you note with the

compensation attached.

Instrumentation

The methods for this study were a demographic questionnaire, a Satisfaction with Life

Scale (Diener, 1984; Diener, et al., 1985), and an in-depth interview. A demographic

questionnaire was used to collect background information about the respondents. The









Satisfaction with Life Scale was utilized to better understand the respondent's feelings on life

satisfaction. Observations the researcher made on three different visits to the LORC helped to

formulate the qualitative interview questions and provide a context for the participant's

responses. An in-depth interview was chosen as the primary method of this research study. It

enabled the researcher to ask more in depth questions and get a deeper understanding of the

respondent's answers.

Quantitative Measures

Demographic questionnaire

As part of the interview process the participants were given a demographic questionnaire.

All participants were given demographic questionnaires (Appendix D). The questionnaire asked

information about: race, self rated health, marital status, level of education, spouse's level of

education, parental status, number of children, value of their home, when they moved to the

LORC, and where they moved from. Race, marital status, and parental status were identified

using a nominal scale. Self rated health, level of education, spouse's level of education, number

of children, and value of one's home were all measured using interval/ ratio scales. Open ended

fill in the blank items were used to identify length of residency in the LORC and prior location

and length of residency at that location.

Satisfaction with life scale

The participants were given the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) (Appendix E). The

SWLS is a five item Likert scale with potential responses, ranging from 5 to 35 (Diener, 1984;

Diener et al., 1985). The higher a participant's score on the scale the higher their self reported

life satisfaction. The scale was chosen because it was brief and relatively easy for respondents to

answer (Diener et al., 1985; Rejeski & Mihalko, 2001). The items of the scale ask about the

following aspects of overall life satisfaction: (1) In most ways my life is close to ideal. (2) The









conditions of my life are excellent. (3) I am satisfied with my life. (4) So far I have gotten the

important things I want in life. (5) If I could live my life over I would change almost nothing.

The scale has been extremely well utilized and reliable in measuring life satisfaction among

older adults (Diener et al., 1985; McAuley, Blissmer, Marquez, Jerome, Kramer, & Katula,

2000; Rejeski & Mihalko, 2001). The reliability coefficient of this scale is .82 (Diener et al.,

1985; Rejeski & Mihalko, 2001). The SWLS has a high degree of internal validity among the

five items when tested by two different researchers working with older females (Diener et al.,

1985). The item-total correlation for the five item scale is as follows:(1) .81, (2) .63 (3) .61

(4).75 (5) .66 (Diener et al., 1985). Cronbach's alpha for the sample of this study could not be

calculated because the overall life satisfaction of this sample was very high resulting in a range

of responses that mainly fell between five and seven on a seven point scale.

Qualitative Measures: In-Depth Interview

Interviews provided a targeted and insightful method for obtaining data (Tellis, 1997). The

type of questions asked were open ended and allowed the participants to express their opinion,

allowing the researcher to be able to classify each case based on the participants' responses

(Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Morse, 2002).

Observations and informal conversations were utilized to help inform the research

questions, and helped to provide a context for the participants' responses. I visited the LORC on

several occasions prior to the study. I took a developer-sponsored tour of the LORC. During the

visits I visited both of the community centers, and drove around the LORC on my own. On these

visits I took notes on community-facilitated activities and amenities offered by the LORC.

Additional information was also gathered about activities and life in the LORC through personal

contacts with residents living in the community. These observations were used as a basis for

question development in the in-depth semi structured interview. In an effort to supplement and









substantiate the interview data, I visited the LORC on three occasions before conducting the

research. These observations also helped form a more holistic view of the participant responses.

Activity and continuity theory reviewed in chapter two also provided a basis for the in-

depth interview questions. Activity and continuity theory both focus on an individual's activities

and life satisfaction through out their life span. The questions used during the in-depth interview

asked the participants about their social, physical, and leisure activities prior to and since moving

to the LORC and how this impacted life satisfaction. These questions were based on the three

main research questions. Questions based on research question one and two seek to understand a

participant's activities before and since moving to the LORC, and how these activities impacted

their life satisfaction. These questions were developed based on one's past participation in

activities and how this influenced their life satisfaction. These questions were based on the

activity theory constructs of: activity level and pattern, maintaining a equilibrium, and adapting

to role loss. They were also based on the three constructs of continuity theory: current actions,

which are based on past actions, decision making process which is part of one's goal or

developmental direction, and adaptive capacity. Research question three asked participants about

how their life satisfaction has changed since moving to the LORC. These questions were based

on the outcome variable of life satisfaction in both activity and continuity theory.

Before the research questions were addressed in the interview, it was important to establish

how the respondents defined social, physical, and leisure activities. Respondents were asked if

they agreed to an already established definition of the type of activity. For example, respondents

were asked this series of questions about social activities: Previous research has defined social

activities as a set of interactions and relationships between people. How does your definition of

social activities differ? Respondents were then asked if they would list some social activities, and









identify the social activities they participated in. Respondents were also asked if they felt social

activities were related to physical and leisure activities. A similar series of questions was asked

about physical and leisure activities. The entire set of interview questions can be found in

Appendix F.

Research question one asks, before moving to this LORC how did social, physical, and

leisure activities contribute to women's life satisfaction? In order to answer these questions

respondents were asked a series of questions on their activities and how it impacted life

satisfaction before moving to the LORC. For example, respondents were asked this series of

questions about social activities. How would you describe your participation in social activities

before you moved to the LORC? How often did you engage in these activities? If the respondent

answered did not participate, why did you not participate? How did social activities contribute to

how satisfied you were before moving to this LORC?

The second research question asks how do the LORC's facilitated social, physical, and

leisure activities contribute to women's life satisfaction? The respondents were asked a series of

questions about their current activities (with particular interest in those activities that were in

some way facilitated by the LORC) and how they impacted their life satisfaction. For example,

respondents were asked this series of questions about their current social activities. How would

you describe your participation in social activities at this LORC? How often do you engage in

these activities? If the respondent answered do not participate, why do you not participate? How

do this LORCs' supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life?

The third research question was, how has life satisfaction changed since moving to this

LORC? In order to establish this the respondents were asked to answer a series of questions

about how activities influence life satisfaction. For example, respondents were asked these two









questions about life satisfaction with respect to social activities: (1) How did social activities

contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to this LORC? and (2) How do this LORC's

supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life?

The instruments were tested using pilot testing. Three females who were between the ages

of 60-75 who lived in a LORC were asked to complete the demographic questionnaire and in-

depth semi structured interview in the same context as the protocol above suggests. Pilot testing

was used to further refine the data collection process and instruments (Yin, 2003; 2008). All of

the women lived in a LORC full time, and had been living there for longer than twelve months.

The pilot participants were aware that their responses and interviews would not be used in the

study, but only to further refine the data collection process and instruments. Pilot respondents

were queried about each question that appeared in the semi structured interview (Appendix G).

Responses were examined and questions were eliminated based on the responses and feedback

given during pilot testing.

Analysis

The process of generating a theory to fit the emergent themes is known as grounded

theory development. When conducting grounded theory research the researcher engages in a

process that includes coding, categorizing, development of themes, and establishing a relevant

theory. Grounded theory research is the process by which a researcher utilizes themes developed

from the interviews to explain the phenomenon occurring in the data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967).

This phenomenon will later be explained by a theory. To develop these themes I engaged in a

process known as manifest content analysis. Manifest content analysis refers to the process a

researcher engages in when he or she describes the, "visible, obvious components..." of the text

(Graneheim & Lundman, 2004, p. 106). Categories are then developed from coded words,

phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. A category is when words, phrases, sentences, and









paragraphs consist of the same characteristics (Graneheim & Lundman, 2004). After establishing

a set of categories the next step in grounded theory research is the development of themes. The

constant comparison method is when the researcher is constantly asking how this theme, phrase,

or sentence fits or what the participant was trying to say (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The themes

developed throughout the research process should lead to the establishment of an overarching

theory.

In this study I utilized the process described above to establish codes, categories, and

themes. A theory was used to explain how the themes were connected. The recordings were

transcribed and rechecked twice. This was done to ensure no mistakes were made in transcribing

the interviews. The transcriptions were then read three times to gain a thorough understanding of

the text and its meaning. I used sentences and phrases to achieve manifest content analysis

(Feeley & Gottlieb, 1998). Several codes were developed during manifest content analysis.

Examples of some of the codes derived from manifest content analysis were: "I mean if you are

unhappy here it is your own fault ", "My activities here are much better than they were before",

"I think of this LORC as heaven", and "Activities have improved our quality of life". After

identifying the codes I grouped the units of analysis together to form a category. I developed

some core categories after reviewing the transcripts three times. Based on the data and reviewing

the interview questions I was able to devise categories. The categories were made up of

sentences and phrases consisting of similar ideas or sentiments about the same topic. A few core

categories were utilized at first, but after reviewing the material I was able to develop more

categories. These categories were constantly utilized with the constant comparison method that

was used to develop themes. The themes were eventually used to identify a theory that would

help to explain the themes.









In order to ensure reliability and consistency among the codes, categories, and themes

two gerontologists and myself engaged in the constant comparative method. The constant

comparative method is a four step process: "(1) comparing incidents applicable to each other, (2)

integrating categories and their properties, (3) delimiting the theory, and (4) writing the theory"

(Glaser, 1965, p. 439). One gerontologist held an advanced degree in gerontology and had 25

years of work experience in the field. The other gerontologist who served as a reviewer was a

recent graduate of a dual master's program in public health and psychology with a focus on

gerontology. Both were given the set of transcripts and categories. The reviewers followed the

same steps as the researcher, by reviewing the transcripts, coding, categorizing, and developing

themes A percent agreement system was used to establish concurrence among the codes,

categories, and themes. The first reviewer and the researcher had a 71% agreement between how

the codes were placed into the categories. While the second reviewer and the researcher had a

75% agreement between how the codes were placed into the categories. The researcher

discussed the similarities and differences between her codes and categories and the others' codes

and categories. These differences were taken into account when finalizing the codes and

categories. After constant comparison was used between the researcher and the reviewers the

percent agreement between the codes and categories was 91% and 96%, respectively. The

researcher also asked the reviewers to place the categories into themes. There was an initial

agreement of 85% and 89% respectively; however, after some discussion a percent agreement of

97% and 95% was reached. This process provided a system to check the coding, categories, and

themes, which provided a layer of accuracy to the data analysis process (Armstrong, Gosling,

Weinman, & Martaeu, 1997). By having two gerontologists review the raw data and categories I









had a better understanding of the findings, and I was better able to control for my own

subjectivity (Armstrong et al., 1997).









CHAPTER 4
STUDY RESULTS

In depth personal interviews were conducted at the Lady Lake Library. The goal of these

interviews was to reach conclusions on the three principal research questions, which were: (1)

Before moving to this LORC how did social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to

women's life satisfaction? (2) How do the LORC's facilitated social, physical, and leisure

activities contribute to women's life satisfaction? (3) How has life satisfaction changed since

moving to this LORC? The interviews lasted 60 90 minutes. Respondents were asked to

complete a demographic questionnaire and a Satisfaction with Life Scale. They were then asked

a series of questions on activities and life satisfaction. The semi-structured in depth interviews

were divided into three sections based on the type of activity: social activity, physical activity,

and leisure activity. Coding and manifest content analysis of the data indicated one central theory

that could be used to explain the emergent themes.

Quantitative Results

Results of Demographic Questionnaire

All of the respondents completed the demographic questionnaire. The demographic

questionnaire asked the respondents questions about: race, self rated overall health, relationship

status, education, partner's education (if applicable), number of children (if applicable), how

many times a year they see their children (if applicable), the value of their home, when they

purchased it, when they moved to this LORC, where they lived before moving to this LORC, and

how long they lived in that location before moving to this LORC.

All of the respondents self-identified as White. This respondent sample is in line with the

population of this LORC (U.S. Census, 2000) which is 98.5% White. Figure 4-1 depicts how

respondents rated their overall health. As depicted in Figure 4-1 all respondents rated their health









as about the same as their peers, better, or much better. Respondents in this study had a very high

self rated overall health, however, this is common among older females (Ferraro, 1980; Larue,

Banks, Jarvik, & Hetland, 1979). Past research suggests older females tend to inflate their overall

self rated health (Ferraro, 1980; Larue, et al., 1979). Nine of the respondents indicated that they

were married, one of the respondents indicated she was widowed, one respondent indicated she

was single (never married), and another respondent indicated she was divorced. Respondents

also answered questions about their level and their partner's level of education. Figure 4-2

illustrates these findings, the respondents are depicted in grey and their partner's are depicted in

blue. Ten of the women recorded that they had one or more children. These women indicated

that they saw at least one of their children once a year or more, but this varied on how far the

adult child lived from the LORC. The women also indicated where they had lived before

moving to this LORC. Many of the women lived in several different places before moving to this

LORC; however, just the last place they lived before moving to this LORC is displayed in Table

4-1. The women had lived an average of 39 years in their previous locations. As depicted in

Table 4-1 the majority of the women were from Florida, the Midwest, or the Northeast. This is

consistent with demographic information for the state of Florida which notes the highest levels of

out moving interstate migration of older adults were from the Midwest and Northeast (He &

Schachter, 2003).

Results of Satisfaction with Life Scale

Eleven out of the twelve respondents completed the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS).

The average summative score on the SWLS was 29.55. The highest possible score was 35. In

preliminary testing of the SWLS on older adult females living in various residential situations the

average score was 25.8 (Diener et al., 1985; Pavok, Diener, Colvin, & Sandvik, 1991). However,

one respondent was unable to answer an item on the SWLS. Therefore, the average score and









standard deviation for each item is also displayed: (Item 1) M=6.0833 and SD=.28868, (Item 2)

M= 5.8333 and SD=.38925, (Item 3) M= 6.2500 and SD= .45227, (Item 4) M=6.1818 and

SD=.60302, and (Item 5) M= 5.2500 and SD= 1.48477. These results are also higher then results

found in a previous study of older females that utilized the SWLS average score; the scores on

average were approximately one point higher than the previous study (McAuley, Konopack,

Motl, Morris, Doerksen, & Rosengren, 2006). In comparison to previous studies on older

females this sample had a very high life satisfaction score (McAuley, et al., 2006).

Summary of Quantitative Results

The findings of the demographic results are consistent with pervious findings in LORCs.

All twelve of the respondents identified as White, this was consistent with the most recent racial

demographic information on this LORC, which was 98.5% White (U.S. Census, 2000). These

finding are also consistent with past research on other LORCs which suggests these communities

are predominantly White homogenous societies (McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). The sample

also had high self perceived health; this was consistent with other females in this age group

(Ferraro, 1980; Larue, et al., 1979). The sample lived on average 39 years in their past location,

and were mainly from the Northeast, Midwest, and Florida. These findings are consistent on

retirees in Florida (He & Schachter, 2003). Additionally, these findings are consistent with past

research on LORCs suggesting the residents are mainly from the Northeast and Midwest

(McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). The SWLS indicated the women in this sample of this LORC

had a very high satisfaction with life. Overall, this sample can be characterized as predominantly

White with a high self perceived health and satisfaction with life score.









Qualitative Analysis

The reviewers and I identified 46 codes through manifest content analysis. These codes

were collapsed into 26 categories. Ten themes were then identified and these themes were then

further refined into three constructs that correspond to a central theory of this study. The next

section will expand on the process that identified these codes, categories, themes, and constructs

helping to explain a central theory of this study.

Coding

After reviewing the transcripts three times the text was coded. The coding process

identified phrases and sentences that were alike, and portrayed what the author and reviewers

identified as the central ideas used to answer the qualitative questions. Examples of some of the

coded text includes: "I mean if you are unhappy here it is your own fault ", "My activities here

are much better than they were before", "I think of this LORC as heaven", and "Activities have

improved our quality of life". Coding was based on the participant's activities and life

satisfaction before and since moving to this LORC.

Categories

The 46 codes were then condensed into 26 categories. Codes became overall explanations

of a phenomenon. Codes such as, "We were extremely fortunate with the neighborhood we got

into" and "It is amazing how appealing they work to make this place" made up the category

neighborhoods. Some of the other categories included were (See Appendix J for complete list of

categories and codes): changes in social activities, comparisons between the LORC and previous

home, how the three types of activities interact, negative aspects of the LORC, neighbors,

negative aspects of physical activity in the LORC, involvement in leisure activities at the LORC,

leisure activities before moving to the LORC, how leisure activities influenced life satisfaction

before moving to the LORC, and how leisure activities influence life satisfaction in the LORC.









Themes

The categories were further collapsed into themes. I identified ten themes that emerged

from the 26 categories listed above. These themes are: continuity in involvement in social,

physical, and leisure activities, the importance of neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood, not

being defined by typical definitions of social, physical, and leisure activities, freedom of choice

in activities and people you want to participate with, feeling not skilled enough to participate,

convenience of facilities, convenience of activities, losing contact with friends and family in

different locations, became more involved with one activity, social contacts, and maintained or

increased life satisfaction. The themes were formed by using categories, for example, neighbors/

structure of the neighborhood emerged from the categories: comparisons between the LORC and

previous home, negative aspects of the LORC, and neighbors. After reviewing these themes with

the reviewers losing contact with friends and family in different locations was combined with

freedom of choice in activities and people you want to participate with. I decided to combine

these themes because they both concerned choice in social connections.

Central Theory

Upon completion of manifest content analysis I examined several theories that could help

to encompass the ten themes identified above. Although the research and in-depth interview

questions were based on activity and continuity theory; the themes are best described using two

theories: person-environment fit model to explain the ecological context of the data and

continuity theory which offers an explanation of the central phenomenon of the study. Together

these theories offer an explanation of how activities influence life satisfaction in the context of

an LORC. The constructs of continuity theory suggest one's activities are influenced by their

past activities and this in turn influences life satisfaction. Many of the themes in the data seem to

indicate the construct of continuity theory. However, to better understand this theory in the









context of an LORC, person-environment fit model seemed to offer an explanation. Person-

environment fit model sought to explain how one's activities and life satisfaction maybe

impacted by one's environment.

In continuity theory there are three constructs that influence life satisfaction. These

constructs are identified in Figure 4-3. Current actions are one of the three constructs that

influence life satisfaction (Atchley, 1983; 1989). Current actions are defined as activities one is

currently participating in which are influenced by one's past experiences and life events (Atchley

1983; 1989). Decision making process is defined as the choices one makes which are influenced

by one's goals or developmental direction. This influences how an individual maintains

equilibrium in their life satisfaction. One's goals or developmental direction impacts how an

older adult makes decisions (Atchley, 1994). The third construct identified in continuity theory

was adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity is the process in which an older adult continues only in

activities he or she perceives himself or herself to be stronger in as they age. Adaptive capacity

influences the maintenance of life satisfaction with the assumption that as one ages one

participates in activities that demonstrate strength and maintain relationships that are more

rewarding (Atchley, 1994; 1998; Cornwell, Laumann, & Schumm, 2008; Cornwell, 2009). Table

4-2 depicts how certain themes combine to illustrate a construct.

Person-environment fit model provided a context for understanding how one's

continuation in activities is supported by their fit to their environment. When examining some

themes I noted how these themes were reflective of two constructs from person- environment fit

model. These two constructs of person-environment fit model assisted me in contextualizing

certain constructs of continuity theory. Personal characteristics and environmental characteristics









are helpful in understanding current actions and adaptive capacity in the research context. The

diagram shown in Figure 4-4 illustrates person-environment fit model.

Current Actions

According to Continuity Theory, current actions are influenced by past experiences. The

construct of current actions in continuity theory suggests participation in an activity during the

early part of one's life is a strong indicator in their participation in the same activity in the later

part of life (Agahi, Ahacic, & Parker, 2006). Atchley (1994) further suggests that this

continuation in activities from early life to late life shapes how individuals adapt to changes and

reach accomplishments.

When examining the emergent codes, categories, and themes I noted continuity in

involvement in social, physical, and leisure activities, social contacts, and maintained or

increased life satisfaction together were suggestive of one's current actions, and how current

actions are influenced by past experiences. Continuity in involvement in social, physical, and

leisure activities refers to a participant's continuation in activities since moving to an LORC.

While social contacts refers to one's increase in social connections since relocating to the LORC.

Continuation in activities was not limited to any activity but instead encompassed the

majority of a participant's activity. This continuity stemmed from earlier experiences in life that

helped participants determine their current actions.

Alice, a retired public school teacher, spoke about how much she loved teaching and
stated that after moving to this LORC a great deal of her time had been spent
volunteering at a local elementary school. She explained that was part of who she was.
She stated, "I loved teaching... In fact when I go to the charter school and meet the
children, and they asked me why I come here, I go because I live in [the LORC] and I
love kids."









This continuation in activities was not simply found in women who had worked outside of

the home full time, but also in women who had spent most of their adult lives working inside of

the home.

Cathy, who has been a stay at home mom for most of her adult life before moving to the
LORC explained she was always very involved in activities, but the LORC had simply
accelerated that process. She stated, "Well I was pretty much the social organizer then as
I am now... I was already on that track and this [the LORC] just made it easier and
perhaps more certainly more available..."

Participants also explained that their continuation in activities was not just confined to their

social activities but also to their physical and leisure activities. Participants reported they were

more involved in physical activities since moving to the LORC. Most of the participants noted

this was due to the availability and convenience of the activities and having more free time due

to retirement.

Elizabeth a retiree from the Midwest noted her participation in physical activities had
increased due to the amount of activities and the right environment. She stated her
participation, "has increased because there were more opportunities, more time, and the
weather is perfect."

Participants also noted their leisure activities had stayed consistent since moving to the

LORC. They said most of their current leisure activities were based on activities they

participated in before moving to the LORC. This is consistent with current actions being

influenced by past experiences.

Many of the residents noted their current activities which were based on their past

activities really influenced how satisfied they were with life at the LORC.

Mary a former stay at home mom from the Northeast noted that she kept busy raising her
children and with social, physical, and leisure activities. She thought she was satisfied,
but after moving to this LORC she realized there were so many more options. Mary
stated, "I thought I was satisfied then. I thought I filled my days. Making my self useful.
And having things to look forward to, but because there are so many more options here.
You realize that life there really wasn't as fulfilling."









Social contact is one of the themes mentioned above as illustrating current actions. I noted

most of the respondents gained social contacts after moving to the LORC. Respondents noted

these social contacts were often similar to those they had before moving to the LORC. However,

many of the respondents noted that these new friends had more in common with them. Many

respondents felt this was because the LORC offered such a variety of individuals to be friends

with.

Opal a retiree from a large city in the Northeast stated she could always find multiple
people willing to participate in card games or social outings. And if she got tired of one
group of people there were several different people who would be willing to participate in
card games or social outings. She felt this provided her with numerous options for social
contact, and she listed this as one of the main contributors to her life satisfaction. She also
said when looking at retirement housing options the availability of social contact was one
of the main reasons she moved to this LORC. She stated the abundance of social contact
options was in vast contrast to her past home where she had very little social contact
options.

This response as well as several other responses mirrored how previous experiences with

social contacts can influence current actions. Participants suggested the LORC offered them so

much in terms of social contact availability and friendliness that it helped influence their life

satisfaction.

Cathy, a stay at home mom, who was very involved in civic activities before moving to
the LORC, stated this about her social contacts in the LORC, "I think the people make it
easy to involve yourself, because everybody seems to be very welcoming when you get
involved in a new activity, they are always looking for new people, they are not
exclusive, they are inclusive... I think for an activity to be pleasurable you want to feel
you are wanted, and your participation is welcomed..."

Decision Making Processes

The decision making process is driven by established goals or an established

developmental direction (Atchley, 1983; 1989; 1994; Figure 4-3). I found: freedom of choice in

activities and freedom of choice of people you want to participate with, feeling not skilled

enough to participate, and maintained or increased life satisfaction helped to illustrate the









construct of decision making processes. Both freedom of choice to participate in activities and

freedom of choice of people you want to participate with and feeling not skilled enough to

participate illustrate how one makes a choice based on certain circumstances in their life.

Elizabeth noted although she enjoys participating in activities at the LORC sometimes the
party atmosphere bothered her. Sometimes she chose not to engage with people or in
activities due to alcohol, "there is an awful lot of alcohol here and an awful lot of
drinking... they do some really stupid things when they get tipsy."

Part of the novelty of this LORC is that there is an abundance of social, physical, and

leisure activities and groups to choose from. However, with the abundance of activities and

groups some of the participants felt they were not good enough to participate in some activities.

This theme relates to the other themes because one may make the choice to not participate in an

activity because one feels one will be embarrassed or hinder another's participation in that

activity. This theme became known as feeling not skilled enough to participate. Respondents

often cited not wanting to embarrass oneself or hinder the activity for other people. The theme

was made up of categories such as: comparisons between here and previous home, negative

aspects of the LORC's social life, and negative aspects of physical activity in the LORC. This

theme was especially relevant for most participants when discussing their physical activities.

Respondents mentioned feeling that although they may have had an interest in a particular

activity they often found that after trying it they were not good enough to participate. A few of

the participants spoke about having an interest in golf, but seeing how quickly other people

played or how well they played made them nervous about participating, so they chose not to

participate. These sentiments were echoed by other respondents when discussing water aerobics,

tennis, and pickleball.

Alice a retired schoolteacher stated that although she could play pickleball in her
backyard with her husband. She did not think she could keep up with the people playing
on the neighborhood courts, "then other normal people came and forget it... I could play









it with him in our backyard, and he could hit it to me. But not the way they play, two
hours at one o'clock in the afternoon is insanity."

Participants often cited the ability to choose from an array of social, physical, and leisure

activities as one of the main draws to the LORC.

Rachel a former bookkeeper from the upper Midwest reported before moving to the
LORC she lived in a nearby town. Her husband and her had decided to move to the
LORC because of the amount of activities and the ability to be able to choose what they
wanted to do for social, physical, and leisure activities.

Other respondents mentioned the freedom one has in choosing a social group or social

contacts. This freedom gave them the ability to form friendships and social connections with a

wide variety of other people living in the LORC.

Cathy stated one of the nicest parts about living in this LORC was when she found a
group of individuals that she did not "gel with" with respect to cards or social activities.
She was able to make a decision to find another group that had the same interests but was
composed of different people. Cathy explained that this made it easier to achieve her
goals of staying active because there was such a variety and abundance of people.

Respondents reported the ability to choose their activities and who they participated with

helped to make them more satisfied with their lives. Most of the respondents felt that the variety

of activities and the ability to choose from these activities led to a higher satisfaction with life.

Several respondents even cited this as the reason they had moved to this LORC. Most

respondents felt that their ability to be able to choose who and what they wanted to participate in

helped them to lead a more satisfying life because they were able to make the decisions, which

shaped their idea of aging.

Adaptive Capacity

Adaptive capacity postulates humans are sensitive to their strengths and weaknesses, and

hence, humans often make the decision to participate in activities where they perceive

themselves to be stronger (Atchley, 1994; 1998). These findings were also relevant in social

relationships; suggesting, as people age they engage in relationships that have a positive









association for them (Cornwell, et al., 2008; Cornwell, 2009). Themes that illustrated adaptive

capacity were: the importance of neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood, convenience of

facilities, convenience of activities, became more involved with one activity, and the subsequent

maintenance or increase in life satisfaction. These themes combine to represent the construct of

adaptive capacity. Together these themes suggest one focuses on relationships that are

convenient and beneficial to oneself and activities that one is strong in, enjoys doing, and finds

convenient to do.

Many of the participants who were interviewed stated their neighbors had become like

family for them. The respondents stated a lot of their social, physical, and leisure activities

involved their neighbors. These social contacts were so important to the respondents because

they provided a convenient and positive group of people to socialize with; who had gone through

many of the same experiences they had. The respondents noted their neighbors had often moved

to the LORC at the same time they did. These experiences to many of the respondents were part

of the reason they placed such a high emphasis on these relationships.

Irene noted her neighbors were like family to her, and even before her neighbors had
moved in she was thinking about what they would be like. When she finally met her
neighbors she could not be more thrilled. She stated, "Yeah, our neighbors have become
our extended family. It is amazing how close you get to people when you are 1200 miles
away from the rest of your family. And a lot of people here are in the same boat. You
know they are hundreds of miles away from their families so we have become one and
another's family and it is a good feeling."

Respondents described facilities at the LORC as very convenient, abundant, and easily

accessible. These responses formed the basis for the theme convenience of facilities. By creating

facilities that were convenient, abundant, and easily accessible the LORC developers made it

easy for older adults to adapt to their environment as they aged. The amenities the LORC

provided and facilitated for residents helped to increase the respondents' abilities to adapt to their









environment. Respondents cited numerous community facilities which increased the convenience

of the community. Some respondents felt the golf cart paths made the community very

convenient. There were numerous reasons given for the convenience of the golf cart paths

including: cost, ease of use, and the ability to drive a golf cart even after losing one's drivers

license. Many of the respondents felt this amenity along with the relative proximity of hospitals,

pharmacies, and grocery stores gave them the ability to remain independent longer as they aged.

Many of the respondents also cited the entertainment and dining options as a reason the LORC

was so convenient. Many respondents felt their entertainment and dining options were as good or

better than the ones they left behind in their previous home.

Opal stated that the shows, musical performances, and restaurants in this LORC provided
as good of entertainment and dining experience as the major northeastern city she lived in
before moving to the LORC. She listed these amenities as her favorite aspects of the
LORC.

Many of the respondents cited the convenience of activities as one of the primary

contributors to their life satisfaction. Respondents stated the LORC tried to make activities fun

and accessible keeping in mind the participants in the activities were older. The respondents

found the activities easy and accessible to do, and therefore had a sense of perceived strength in

the activity. Many of the respondents felt the LORC paid attention to their needs by tailoring

physical activities to fit older adults' abilities.

Alice a former teacher from the Northeast noted, "they are excellent teachers and the
people really love doing it. Because you can do it a few times. It is not like you have to
be perfect. Also they know that we are older. So it is not like they think that we are
perfect, so you can do it this way or that way and they will help you adjust."

Most of the respondents interviewed noted that their schedules were quite full with social,

physical, and leisure activities. They noted the convenience of the activities made them try things

they had never tried before.









Elizabeth noted since moving to the LORC she had tried so many new activities. She
stated, "I had never heard of Bunco. I had never heard of Hand and Foot or Mexico Train
Dominoes or games that they play. I had never heard of these things, but I am having a
ball playing Mexican Train."

Most of the respondents noted the convenience of the activities helped contribute to their

satisfaction with life and the LORC.

Many of the participants noted as the amount of time they lived in the LORC increased

they slowly paired down the amount of activities they participated in. This suggests as one ages

they select activities they excel in. Many of the respondents stated when they first moved to the

LORC they participated in a lot more social, physical, and leisure activities.

Cathy remembered when she first moved to the LORC her realtor recommended to not do
too many activities when she first moved in because she would become burned out with
the amount of activities.

Many of the respondents noted they had started off with more activities and now only

participated in a few. Some respondents even mentioned they were not so busy as to have to take

a break from their busy schedules.

Person-Environment Fit

Person-environment fit model is composed of four constructs (see Figure 4-4) and results

in the outcome variables of psychological well-being and residential satisfaction (Kahana et al.,

2003). Multiple themes emerged from the codes and categories to explain how continuity theory

worked in the context of the LORC. However, the themes could also be explained by person-

environment model which provides an understanding of how the "fit" between the person

(activity preferences) and environment (LORC) can lead to increased life satisfaction. For

example, age, race, and social contact can be seen as interrelated personal characteristics (see

Table 4-4). Age was often cited by participants as one of the reasons why there was such an

availability of social contacts. Likewise, all of the respondents identified themselves as White,









further confirming prior research which suggested LORCs were predominantly White

homogenous societies (McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). One respondent noted that because

everyone was retired it just made it easier to find people who were "into the same things you

were into." These findings further confirm earlier findings about age and the role it plays in how

older adults view friendships in an LORC (McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005).

Convenience of facilities, convenience of activities, neighbors/ structure of the

neighborhood, and social contacts all illustrate the construct of environmental characteristics.

Participants routinely acknowledged that the LORC by organizing social, physical, and leisure

activities for residents helped to provide them with a broadened social network and a venue to

facilitate these activities. Many of the participants often cited this as one of the main reasons they

were so satisfied with living in this LORC.

When respondents described their neighborhood they described a neighborhood that let

them take advantage of their strengths in a way that suited their needs. Many of the respondents

noted their neighborhood offered many social, physical, and leisure activities. Respondents

described themed neighborhood parties and outings to local attractions with their neighborhood

groups.

Dorothy a retiree from Florida found her neighborhood social activities to be a huge
contributor in her satisfaction with her neighborhood. She described neighborhood block
parties which featured a theme such as Mardi Gras or Halloween, dancing, and a DJ.

Another aspect of the neighborhood that represented adaptive capacity is the structure of

the neighborhood theme. Respondents stated the neighborhood centers which featured

neighborhood mailboxes and neighborhood pools really helped to increase their social activity

and hence increase their life satisfaction.

Opal a retired professional from the Northeast said that when she first moved to the
LORC she did not like having to get her mail at the neighborhood mailboxes, but then









she noticed that because everyone has to go get the mail. The mailboxes had become a
meeting place.

Participants also noted the community influenced their current actions in their participation

in activities. The respondents stated part of why they had moved to the LORC was the amount

and variety of activities. Respondents overwhelming described themselves as busy people in

their past lives, and so naturally to these respondents this LORC offered them the chance to

remain busy.

Karen is a semi-retired professional living in the LORC. She described the LORC as the
perfect mix of activities. She stated before moving to this LORC she was very busy with
social, physical, and leisure activities. Since moving to this LORC she has noticed that
although she does not participate in exactly the same activities she still spends as much
time doing them.


Many of the respondents felt the community and its facilities and activities fit what they

desired for activities in retirement.




















V 4-






0- ---------------


Much Better Beter About the Same
Self Rated Overall Health


Figure 4-1. Graph of Self Rated Overall Health





Graduate

Undergraduate

Some College

High School

Some High School


301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312


Figure 4-2. Graph of Level of Education and Partners Level of Education




























68





































Figure 4-3. Diagram of Continuity Theory




Personal Characteristics
Demographic Characteristics- Age,
Gender, Race, Education

Psychological Characteristics-
Personality


Personal Preferences

Physical Domains- Physical Amenities/
Aesthetics, Resource Amenities, Safety,
& Stimulation/ Peacefulness


Social Domains- Heterogeneity/
Homogeneity & Interaction/ Solitude


Figure 4-4. Diagram of Person- Environment Fit Model


Environmental Characteristics
Physical Domains- Physical Amenities/
Aesthetics, Resource Amenities, Safety,
& Stimulation/ Peacefulness


Social Domains- Heterogeneity/
Homogeneity & Interaction/ Solitude










Continuity in involvement in activities
Current Activities were based on past activities
Social Contacts were based on contacts from before

Current Actions



Freedom of choice in activities
Freedom of choice in people
Feeling not skilled enough to participate

Decision Making Process

Importance of neighbors
Structure of the neighborhood
Convenience of facilities
Convenience of activities
Become more involved with one activity
Adaptive Capacity


Figure 4-5. Diagram of Continuity Theory with Themes


*Convenience of facilities
eConvenience of activities
eStructure of the Neighborhood/
Neighbors
eMore Social Contact


Life
Satisfaction


Environmental
Characteristics


Figure 4-6. Diagram of Person-Environment Fit Model with Themes


*Age
*Race
*More Social
Contact
Personal
Characteristics


Residential
Satisfaction

Psychological
Well-Being









Table 4-1. Table illustrating last place of residence before the LORC
State Number
Florida 3
Indiana 1
Michigan 3
New Jersey 1
New York 1
Ohio 1
Pennsylvania 2

Table 4-2. Table illustrating how themes combine to reflect constructs influencing life
satisfaction

Current Actions Decision Making Process Adaptive Capacity
Continuity in involvement in Freedom of choice and The importance of
social, physical, and leisure people you want to neighbors/ structure of the
activities participate with neighborhood
More social contacts Feeling not skilled enough to Convenience of facilities
participate
Convenience of activities
Became more involved with
one activity

Table 4-3. Table illustrating how themes and characteristics combine to reflect constructs of
Person-Environment Fit Model


Personal Characteristics
Age
Race
More Social Contact


Environmental Characteristics
Convenience of facilities
Convenience of activities
Structure of the Neighborhood/ Neighbors
More Social Contact









CHAPTER 5
SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND CONCLUSIONS

The female sample interviewed for this study discussed their various social, physical, and

leisure activities and how they influenced their life satisfaction. The respondents' answers to the

interview questions were examined using manifest content analysis. Several themes emerged

from manifest content analysis that illustrated how the LORC's supported activities impacted

one's life satisfaction. These themes were then examined and two theories emerged, continuity

theory and person-environment fit model. These theories were utilized to explain how one's

activities in an LORC influence life satisfaction.

The study sought to define respondents' activities before and since moving to the LORC,

how these activities influenced life satisfaction, and how life satisfaction has changed since

moving to the LORC. Many of the findings of this study are in concurrence with previous

findings on activities, life satisfaction, and leisure oriented retirement communities (Atchley,

1982; Lawton, 1998; McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005; Cvitkovich & Wister, 2001; Kahana,

1982; Lewin, 1951; Carp & Carp, 1984; Baars & Thomese, 1994; Thomese & Broese, 2006;

Ekerdt, 1986; Bosse &Ekerdt, 1981). The respondents in this study indicated that they found the

planned, sponsored, and supported activities in the LORC to increase their life satisfaction. This

discussion will outline the key findings and how they build on previous findings in the

aforementioned fields. The discussion will focus on the respondents' continuation of activities,

social contacts, convenience provided by the variety of options, views on the leisure oriented

retirement community, and life satisfaction. The discussion will also seek to answer the

questions posed at the beginning of the research: (1) Before moving to the LORC how did social,

physical, and leisure activities contribute to women's life satisfaction? (2) How do LORC









supported social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to women's life satisfaction? (3) How

has life satisfaction changed since moving to the LORC?

Demographics

The demographic questionnaire and satisfaction with life scale suggest a few

characteristics of the respondents of this study. Some of the characteristics of this sample are

consistent with earlier work done on LORCs. This sample was entirely White. This is consistent

with past research on LORCs, which suggest LORCs are predominantly racially homogenous

groups (McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). This finding also helped in shaping the characteristics

and themes, which seem to be explained by environmental characteristics. The respondents also

had high self perceived health. This finding was consistent with past research indicating older

females have a high self perceived health (Ferraro, 1980; Larue et al., 1979). The demographic

questionnaire further suggests most of the women relocated to the LORC from the Northeast,

Midwest, and South. This finding is also consistent with past research on LORCs in Florida and

Arizona (He &Schachter, 2003; McHugh & Larson-Keagy, 2005). The SWLS indicated the

women in this sample of this LORC had a very high satisfaction with life. These respondents can

be characterized as predominantly White with a high self perceived health and satisfaction with

life score. The significance of the demographic and SWLS results is that it further suggests that

the conclusions reached below are very limited due to the sample size. This limitation and its

implications are discussed further in the limitations section.

Research Questions

Before Moving to this LORC How Did Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities Contribute
to Women's Life Satisfaction?

The findings suggest residents replace old activities with new activities or similar activities

as they age and this in turn helps to influence a maintained or increased life satisfaction.









Understanding these activities through continuity theory, "current actions" are shaped by an

individual's past activities which in turn influences their future life satisfaction (Atchley, 1994)

Respondents indicated that before moving to the LORC most of them were very busy with social

activities. Several respondents identified their job as their primary social activity. Many of the

respondents were satisfied with their previous activities or jobs; however, they also noted their

new role in the LORC was much more fulfilling. This finding is in accordance with past research

suggesting as older adults age they replace old roles with new roles in society (Havighurst, 1963;

Atchley, 1994). One respondent stated before moving to the LORC her social activities revolved

around her work and co-workers. Another suggested that although she went out to occasional

dinners and movies with friends, her work was her social life before moving to the LORC, and it

consumed her. Both of these respondents reported being very involved in their social activities

before moving to the LORC. They stated that although they were not involved in working

anymore they were still very involved in their social activities. This role replacement is based on

an individual's past experiences. Previous findings suggest one's current actions are shaped by

their past experiences (Atchley 1982; 1983; 1989; 1994).

Physical activities before moving to the LORC were not a central part of the respondent's

life satisfaction. Half of the respondents reported that before moving to the LORC they were

involved in some physical activities; most of these respondents indicated these physical activities

influenced their life satisfaction before moving to the LORC. Other respondents indicated that

although they were not involved in any formal physical activity. They considered their past

activities or job to be a central part of their physical activity. Ten of the respondents reported

after moving to the LORC they were more involved in physical activities. Most of the









respondents indicated before moving to the LORC they had little to no participation in leisure

activities due to time constraints.

These findings support previous research which suggest as older adults age they replace

previous activities with current activities in order to maintain or increase their life satisfaction

(Atchley, 1983; 1989). Continuity theory holds older adults are undergoing changes and adapting

to new situations drawing on past experiences that shape their current actions, much like the

respondents in the LORC (Atchley 1983; 1989). These findings were furthered by later research

suggesting that one's amount of participation in an activity in the early part of one's life is a

strong predictor for activity in the later part of one's life (Agahi et al., 2006). Later research

suggested as individuals age their personal characteristics influence their behavior (Nimrod,

2008a; Nimrod & Adoni, 2006). Many of the participants reported that they were "doers" and

their behavior had remained consistent from pre to post retirement. The responses of some of the

respondents are in congruence with findings about continuity theory and innovation theory that

suggest past experiences impact current actions.

How Do the LORC's Facilitated Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities Contribute to
Women's Life Satisfaction?

The respondents' social, physical, and leisure activities within the context of the LORC

could be explained by all three constructs of continuity theory that were used to understand the

themes identified in the interviews. As already noted, respondents' current actions were heavily

influenced by their past actions, and these current actions influenced respondents' current life

satisfaction. Also, respondents indicated that before moving to the LORC they had developed

goals or a developmental direction, which influenced their decision making process and in turn

led to a maintained or increased life satisfaction. Respondents further suggested they focused on









activities and relationships they were stronger at and had more strength in, which is reflective of

the third construct of continuity theory, adaptive capacity.

These constructs were expressed in the interviews when respondents indicated that

although they were busy in a different way than they were before moving to the LORC, they

were still occupied with activities. The activities of the respondents usually were some type of

social or leisure activity. Some of the respondents had taken a more active role in a club or

activity since moving to the LORC. Many of the respondents reported spending more time

gardening, reading, being active in clubs, and exercising.

The majority of the women interviewed described an active and involved social life. These

findings are in agreement with previous research which found social participation and social

homogeneity are extremely important to an older adults satisfaction as they age (Kahana,

Lovegreen, Kahana & Kahana, 2003). The self- reported high level of life satisfaction the

women reported, was influenced by activities and organizations (be it social, physical, or leisure

activities). These findings are in consensus with earlier research by Thomese and Broese who

found that an older adult's life satisfaction is heavily influenced by their social environment. The

respondents also reported one of the primary reasons they moved to the LORC was that they

were able to have a social life separate from their children. These findings were later confirmed

by Baars and Thomese (1994) who suggested older adults seek independence in selecting their

housing options.

One respondent said although she does not work anymore she now takes classes and

volunteers with the same intensity that she did before moving to the LORC (while she was

working). Although, these women had a change in their activity, they still maintained the same

level and pattern of involvement in a new activity. Many of the respondents stated that although









they had formed new friendships they continued to do many of the same social activities they

had always participated in such as cards, dinners, plays and movies. This also coincides with

adaptive capacity, a principal tenant of continuity theory. A limitation of the current study's

results in applying these finding to previous research on adaptive capacity is that the respondents

were female, but the female respondents in this research seem to confirm the previous findings

(Genoe & Singleton, 2006). Genoe and Singleton (2006), found that as older males age although

they may give up some activities they simply replace these activities with activities they already

are involved in (they just allocate more time to this activity).

Although, many of the respondents reported initially maintaining the same level of activity

when moving to the LORC, they also indicated that the level of commitment or time spent doing

certain activities had decreased some since moving to the LORC. Respondents reported although

they initially were very involved in a physical activity; they had found that the physical activity

was not for them and they no longer participated in that physical activity. However, these

respondents still reported high levels of satisfaction with their physical activities. These findings

are in line with later work done on activity and the decision making process (Kelly, 1993;

Atchley, 1982; 1983; 1989; 1994). The decision making process is influenced by goals and

developmental direction. The findings above suggest some respondents felt certain activities did

not fit their developmental direction and therefore decided not to participate in them.

The facilities and amenities made the community a better fit for the respondents' physical

abilities. Many of the respondents mentioned that although they had never golfed, played card

games, played tennis, line danced, or participated in watching polo they were able to do this in

the LORC. Respondents mentioned there were beginning classes for leisure activities such as

language classes. They emphasized the instructors made every effort to accommodate









participants. The respondents talked about personal experiences where an instructor had taken

extra time to teach them or someone they knew how to kayak or line dance. The majority of

respondents indicated this was part of what made the social, physical, and leisure activities so

enjoyable. Others mentioned the surroundings were ideal for participating in social, physical, and

leisure activities. One respondent discussed how the location of the mailboxes in a central

location enabled her to meet people who she now engages in activities with. Another respondent

stated the town squares really provided the perfect opportunity to meet people. Some respondents

indicated although they usually would go to the town square to watch line dancing; they always

would end up meeting new people. Other respondents mentioned that the bike and running paths

and free golf made it extremely easy to participate in physical activities. They noted that the

physical fitness classes were designed with older adults in mind. Respondents also noted the

closeness of neighborhood pools contributed to their participation in physical activities. Other

respondents reported that the restaurants and entertainment provided or facilitated by the LORC

made it possible to enjoy activities in a way that is unlike other retirement communities. Many of

the respondents stated that they chose to move to the LORC because of the amenities and ability

to engage in social, physical, and leisure activities.

Another aspect of the activities that contributed to the respondents' life satisfaction was the

facilities. Researchers in the past have attempted to explain a person's behavior by how well they

fit their environment (Lawton & Nahemow, 1973; Kahana, 1982; Carp & Carp, 1984). In early

work on person-environment fit model, Lewin (1951) theorized an individual's behavior is a

result of their personal experiences and physical environment. Later research attempted to

explain how environments influence aging (Lawton & Nahemow, 1973; Kahana, 1982; Carp &

Carp, 1984). Respondents stated part of the reason they enjoyed living in the LORC was the









amenities and facilities within the LORC. One respondent noted the bike and running trails

make it much easier to get out an exercise. Still others noted that the many available classes and

social organizations kept them active and involved. Most of the respondents credited the LORC

with providing the activities and social opportunities for residents. One of the respondents stated

when she first moved to the LORC the activities director would contact her to participate in

activities and organizations. She stated knowing she was involved and in a community that met

her needs really contributed to her satisfaction with life. These findings are in concurrence with

earlier work on living arrangements of older adults (Kahana,1982; Carp & Carp, 1984).

Many of the respondents noted the LORC offered ideal surroundings for aging. These

findings add to previous work done on person- environment fit model. All of the respondents

noted some feature or amenity of the LORC made living there convenient. Past research on

person-environment fit model has indicated older adults enjoy a higher level of satisfaction when

in an environment where their needs are met (Kahana et al., 2003; Cvitkovich & Wister, 2001).

Many of the respondents talked about how they viewed the LORC as somewhere they could age

in place. Some respondents talked about the convenience of travel by golf cart throughout the

community. One respondent noted that it was convenient because you had the ability to get to

grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, and entertainment facilities. Another

respondent noted that this was convenient because you did not need a driver's license to drive a

golf cart. The amenity of travel by golf cart created a sense of convenience for the respondents.

The respondents also noted it was very easy to become part of a social network and this

influenced their life satisfaction. Respondents noted that upon moving to the LORC they joined

social organizations, met neighbors, and took classes. They felt the social connections they made

in many ways were stronger than their social connections before moving to the LORC. The









respondents talked about how their new social activities involved others who were like them.

The interactions that people had were of their choosing, and if they did not like one group of

people there were several other groups that would have more similar interests. Although all of

the respondents emphasized they were individuals; they all seemed to place a high level of value

on the social connections they made in the LORC. Some of the respondents compared their

neighbors to family members. Overall, the respondents felt the social connections they made

through social activities greatly influenced their life satisfaction. The respondents also suggest

their community increases their life satisfaction. Two of the respondents mentioned the foresight

and ingenuity the developers of the LORC had in creating a place where there were limitless

activities and opportunities. These responses are parallel to findings in previous studies about

leisure oriented retirement communities (Youngblood, 2005; McHugh & Larson- Keagy, 2005).

Most respondents reported they were less involved and had less contact with children and

grandchildren. However, in congruence with pervious findings the respondents tended to stay

engaged with a large amount of individuals inside the LORC and in some cases engaged in more

communication with more individuals than they did before moving to the LORC (Atchley,

1994). Reasons given for the continuation or increase in communication with others inside the

LORC included: more free time, more like minded individuals, and the convenience of meeting

with other older adults. Although this study focused more on the role of activity in life

satisfaction respondents reported that the new friendships they had formed with neighbors and

fellow club members felt like a family. These findings further support work suggesting that as

older adults retire they often form new meaningful friendships and relationships (Connidis, 2001;

de Jong Gierveld, 2004).









How Has Life Satisfaction Changed Since Moving to this LORC?

When respondents were asked if they felt the LORC supported activities increased their

life satisfaction, the overwhelming reaction was that although they were satisfied with life before

moving to the LORC they were more satisfied with life at the LORC because of all the activities.

These findings are consistent with continuity theory and person-environment fit model which

suggests as individuals age if they continue in the same or similar activities in an environment

which provides a good fit this will lead to a maintained or increased life satisfaction. These

findings are in agreement with previous findings suggesting there is a causal relationship

between an increase in activities and an increase in life satisfaction (Havighurst, et al., 1968;

Atchley, 1983; 1989; 1994). The respondents' satisfaction with life scale was in agreement with

these results.

All of the respondents reported although they were satisfied in their previous locations;

they were much more satisfied with life since moving to the LORC. One respondent reported she

did not know she could be so satisfied with life before moving to the LORC. Another stated that

although a lot of the same activities could be done elsewhere the LORC's organization of those

activities really helped improve how satisfied she was with life. Another respondent talked about

retiring to the nearby city of Ocala before moving to the LORC. She mentioned although she was

satisfied living in Ocala; when they moved to the LORC she realized there was so many more

activities she could participate in and although she was busier she was more satisfied. Some

respondents noted that there were so many facilities and activities to choose from that it made it

hard not to participate and gain satisfaction from at least one form of activity. Others reported

that even before moving to the LORC they were very satisfied with life but have remained

satisfied with life since moving to the LORC. All of the respondents reported that in some way

the activities in the LORC had influenced their life satisfaction in a positive way.









Limitations & Strengths of the Study

Replication of this study should allow for a few considerations. Firstly, these responses

and findings are strictly limited to this group of females living in this LORC. One of the central

limitations of this research is the sample. A sample size of twelve although appropriate for

qualitative research, does not provide very much explanatory power outside of the sample.

Therefore, the results of this study cannot be generalized to other women in the LORC or other

women living in an LORC outside of this LORC. It is important to note this sample and therefore

the findings and conclusions of this study, which, incorporated continuity theory as a possible

explanation to activities influence on life satisfaction in an LORC, may not be applicable to older

adults who are disabled (Minkler, 1990).

Secondly, this group of female respondents had a very high life satisfaction score; it

should be noted there was an attempt to find people who were also unsatisfied with life at the

LORC. However, this process was unsuccessful; many of the respondents suggested those who

were not happy with the LORC simply moved very quickly after initially relocating to the

LORC. A third, consideration which should be taken into account in future replications of this

study is the female participant's high self rated health. These findings may be linked to the

sample's socio-economic status. The findings and results found above were on females who

rated their physical health and life satisfaction high in comparison to previous studies. These

findings also suggest another possible limitation, cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is

holding two conflicting ideas at once (Festinger, 1957). For example, a respondent may have

said they were satisfied with their activities and life in the LORC. However, in actuality they

were not satisfied with their activities or life in the LORC, but felt the need to report as such

because of the amount of time or money they spent moving to the LORC. A possible way to









control for this limitation in future replications of this study would be to use an instrument that

measures social desirability

Another consideration researchers should keep in mind is the three types of activities

were introduced to the participants with a definitional framework, for example, "Physical

activities have been defined by previous research as any body movement that requires energy.

How does your definition of physical activities differ?" This definitional framework could be

perceived as introducing a bias into participants' responses about their social, physical, and

leisure activities. However, the definitions were included because during the pilot testing phase

participants felt they needed a stronger base for understanding the questions. Another bias

introduced by the interview questions is the basis the questions had in activity and continuity

theory. It is possible with the basis some of the questions had in continuity theory the responses

in some way were influenced by continuity theory. However, both independent reviewers were

not familiar with continuity theory and found similar categories and themes as me. Also the

responses indicated person-environment fit model explained some of the occurring phenomenon

in the data.

Another consideration of these findings is the limitation of a cross-sectional study. The

cross-sectional study requires participants to remember past events in their lives. Past research

suggests reminiscence often leads to changes in how one views their past life experiences (Bluck

&Levine, 1998). Hence, a future study might use a longitudinal approach to observe the

relationship between activities and life satisfaction. This would help to eliminate the limitation of

reminiscence.

An additional limitation of the sample is the confounding possibility the sample was

more satisfied because of their shift from work to retirement. However, the sample consisted of a









variety of women with various work experiences. Some of the sample worked outside of the

home fulltime, some of the sample worked outside of the home part-time, some of the sample

worked outside of the home before having children, while, others had never worked outside of

the home. The variety of women within the sample helped to lessen the effect of this

confounding variable.

One of the main goals of this study was to determine how LORC sponsored activities

influence life satisfaction. This question provided a unique basis because it has never been asked

before. Previous research on LORCs has focused on demographic information (He & Schachter,

2003), locations and physical aspects of LORCs (Streib, Flots, & Peacock, 2007), themes among

residents in LORCs (McHugh & Larson- Keagy, 2005), and significant life events in LORCs

(Youngblood, 2004). This study focused on two of the main advertised attributes of a LORC,

activities and life satisfaction. The findings utilized continuity theory and person-environment fit

model to explain the relationship between activities and life satisfaction in an LORC. A more in

depth look at these theories within the context of an LORC may help to further explain the

intrigue and popularity of these communities for older adults.

Recommendations

As the baby boomer generation moves towards retirement, and LORCs presumably grow

in popularity their impact on activities and life satisfaction is a key inquiry among many lay

people and practitioners. This research focused on finding out how social, physical, and leisure

activities influenced life satisfaction before and since moving to the LORC. Although, the results

and findings presented above only represent the sample; they do provide a direction for future

research to gain a deeper understanding of the topics discussed above. The findings and

application of these findings also offer a deeper understanding of continuity theory by applying

two constructs from person-environment fit model to explain how older adults are able to









continue activity and derive life satisfaction in the context of an LORC. These findings offer the

first foray into the topic of how LORC sponsored or facilitated activities influence the life

satisfaction of older adults.

The findings suggest, with very minimal exception, the females in this study attributed

their maintenance or increase in life satisfaction since moving to the LORC to their maintenance

or increase in the LORC sponsored or facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities.

Suggesting older females who are looking at the possibility of relocating to an LORC can infer

that community sponsored or facilitated activities can play a large role in their future life

satisfaction. Hence, when an older female adult is examining LORCs as a retirement option with

an end goal of maintenance or increased life satisfaction in mind; the older female should inquire

about the LORC's sponsored or facilitated activities.

LORC developers can imply from these findings that within the context of an LORC

residents appreciate the LORC's sponsored or facilitated activities. LORC architects, developers,

and marketers can infer from these findings their community sponsored or facilitated activities

help to make their community more attractive to part of their target audience, older females.

However, a few suggestions for improvement of a LORC can be inferred from this data.

Older females in this study felt there was different skill sets among the residents of the LORC,

but sometimes little recognition of the different skill sets by the other residents of the LORC.

Many women in the sample chose not to participate in golf or pickleball because of their

perceived lack of skill in that activity. A possible recommendation for LORC developers is to

have different skill levels in activities and at certain facilities around the LORC (such as

beginner golf courses). Another inference that LORC developers can make from this data is the

residents in this sample place a high portion of their life satisfaction as it relates to activities on









the convenience of activities. Many of the women interviewed in this sample placed a high value

on their neighborhood's organized social activities. However, some of the sample lamented

about the fact that their street did not plan or organize social activities. A possible

recommendation to LORC developers is to provide each community with an activity planner in

charge of planning social activities for each street or section of the LORC.

The research also has two significant implications for gerontologists. The first

implication is the impact of LORC's sponsored or facilitated activities on an older female's life

satisfaction. This implies older females particularly enjoy pre-existing activities and social

groups. This sample was characterized by unusually high life satisfaction for this age group

(Diener et al., 1985; McAuley et al., 2006). Further suggesting the LORC's sponsored or

facilitated activities may have played a role in this. Secondly, from a theoretical perspective

these findings imply that there is significance in the personal characteristics and environmental

characteristics of individuals that influence life satisfaction. Further, development of these

constructs as it relates to successful aging and/ or life satisfaction may help to provide

researchers with a better understanding of activities and life satisfaction in the context of an

LORC.









APPENDIX A
INTERVIEWER'S INSTRUCTIONS

Follow these instructions and this script when interviewing participants for the research:
Prior to In-Depth Semistructured Interview:
* 48-24 hours in advance of the In-Depth Semistructured interview: Call Participants to
remind them of their scheduled interview
Remind them of time, date, and location
Thank them again in advance for their participation
* 24 hours in advance call library to confirm room
* Make sure there is room left on the MP3 digital recording device, and that the participant's
recording number corresponds with their participant number
* Make sure that their participant packet is in order
Two copies of informed consent
Background questionnaire
Thank you note for participation
Compensation
* Make sure that study materials are ready for the in-depth semistructured interview
Pens
Batteries are new in MP3 digital recording device
* Greet participants at entrance to library and walk them to private conference room
* Make sure door is closed and that the participant is comfortable

During the In-Depth Semistructured interview:
* Check name on participant log and guide them to their chair
* Remind them that the interview will take roughly an hour and to please silence their phones for
the duration of the interview
* Make sure that informed consents and background questionnaires are filled out and completed
* Check to make sure participant numbers on the top of the informed consent and background
questionnaire match
* Inform the participant when an hour has passed and try to wrap up the interview
Set a cell phone alarm to buzz for when an hour has passed
* Set the MP3 recording device in the middle of the table and remind the participant that they are
being recorded


After the In-Depth Semistructured interview:
* Thank the participant for participating
* Ensure that the participant has their copy of the informed consent
* Hand the participant the thank you note and compensation
* Walk them to their car and thank them again for coming









APPENDIX B
WELCOME, INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD
PROTOCOL, AND INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE


Introduction

Hello, thank you for coming to this interview today. My name is Erin Smith, and I will be
conducting this interview as part of my research on successful aging in Leisure Oriented
Retirement Communities like .

Again today you will be participating in an interview about activities in communities like
B. The whole study may take up to 90 minutes, but you will be compensated for your
time.

Please note that I may look at a script from time to time to ensure that everyone receives the
same set of questions. Also note that there is a small MP3 recording device in the center of the
table because it is impossible to take complete notes while asking the questions.


Informed Consent
The first two papers I will hand you are the informed consent forms. The consent form lets you
know about the precautions, benefits, risks, confidentiality, and compensation that are involved
with this study. All information provided on the questionnaires and during the interview will be
kept confidential. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. Your response to any
question is completely voluntary as well that is you are free not to answer any question. There
are two copies of the informed consent. One is to be signed and returned to me, the other is for
you to take home.

Please read over your informed consent. If you feel comfortable with participating in the study,
please fill out and sign your informed consent. Print your name and date on the first line of the
second page, and sign and date the second line where it says participant. Please be sure to read,
fill out, and sign both copies of the informed consent.

Background Questionnaire
The first questionnaire I will hand you asks for background information. Please take a minute to
look over these questions and ask for clarification if needed.

Give the participant time to fill out the Background Questionnaire.










Clarification on race if asked for:


"White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle
East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as 'White' or report
entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish."
"Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of
Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as 'Black, African Am., or Negro', or
provide written entries such as African American, Afro American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or
Haitian."
'Hispanic or Latino', "a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central
American or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race."
"Asian. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast
Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan,
Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. It includes
'Asian Indian', 'Chinese', 'Filipino', 'Korean', 'Japanese', 'Vietnamese', and 'Other Asian'."
"Some other race. Includes all other responses not included in the 'White', 'Black or
African American', 'Hispanic/Latino', and 'Asian' race categories described above.

SWLS
The next part of the questionnaire is the satisfaction with life scale. I will read the instructions
aloud, and if you have any questions please let me know. Below are five statements that you may
agree or disagree with. Using the 7- point scale below, choose a number that represents your
agreement or disagreement with each statement. Place that number to the left of the statement.
Please be honest in your responses.
7 Strongly Agree
6 Agree
5 Slightly Agree
4 Neither Agree or Disagree
3 Slightly Disagree
2 Disagree
1 Strongly Disagree
After you are done please let me know.









APPENDIX C
SCRIPT FOR IN-DEPTH SEMISTRUCTURED INTERVIEW

In-Depth Semistructured Interview

We are now ready to begin the interview portion of this study. As a reminder you do not have to
answer a question if you do not feel comfortable. I will be recording this interview, but as a
reminder your responses will remain confidential. I will be keeping track of time to make sure
that the interview is on schedule. If any question is unclear please let me know, and I will try to
clarify the question for you. Please try to provide a detailed response to every question. Now we
are ready to begin, before we begin do you have any questions?

Start recording.

This is participant number 's in-depth interview.

1)
Previous research has defined social activities as a set of interactions and relationships between
people. How does your definition of social activities differ?
What are some of these activities?
What are some of your social activities?
How do you think social activities relate to physical and leisure activities?
How would you describe your participation in social activities before you moved to

How often did you engage in these activities?
If they answered did not participate
Why did you not participate?
How did social activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to ?
How would you describe your participation in social activities at ?
How often do you engage in these activities?
If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
How do supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life?
2)
Physical activities have been defined by previous research as any body movement that requires
energy. How does your definition of physical activities differ?
What are some of these activities?
What are some of your physical activities?
How do you think physical activities relate to social and leisure activities?
How would you describe your participation in physical activities before you moved to

How often did you engage in these activities?
If they answered did not participate
Why did you not participate?
How did physical activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to ?
How would you describe your participation in physical activities at ?









How often do you engage in these activities?
If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
How do supported physical activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life?

3)
Leisure activities have been defined by previous research as activities that occur during non-
work time, provide a sense of happiness, freedom of choice to participate in the activity, and a
high level of involvement. How does your definition of leisure activities differ?
What are some of these activities?
What are some of your leisure activities?
How do you think leisure activities relate to social and physical activities?
How would you describe your participation in leisure activities before you moved to

How often did you engage in these activities?
If they answered did not participate
Why did you not participate?
How did leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to ?
How would you describe your participation in leisure activities at ?
How often do you engage in these activities?
If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
How do supported leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life?

Is there anything else you would like to elaborate on or clarify?
Turn the MP3 recording device off

Okay, thank you for your responses. Your input about your life in is very much
appreciated. I am going to tell you a little bit about what this research was about. The questions
and the interview will be used as part of my research for my master's thesis. The principal aim of
this research was to investigate how activities influence life satisfaction among adults who live in
If you would like to know more about this research you can contact me at the
email address or telephone number provided in your copy of the informed consent or on the
thank you note you received for participating in this research.

As a thank you for participating in the research there is a UF envelope with a formal thank you
from me and a $10 gift card to a local grocery store. Again thank you for your help, and I hope
you have a great day.

Collect their study materials. Lock the door to the study room. Then walk the participant to their
car.









APPENDIX D
DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE

Participant ID Number 301
Background Questionnaire
1. Please choose the race that best describes you:

__ White (non-Hispanic)

Black or African- American

Asian

Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish Origin

Other race



2. How would you rate your overall health compared to other people your age:

_Much Better

_Better

_About the Same

Worse

Much Worse



3. What is your relationship status?

Married

Single (Never married)

Divorced

Widowed

Committed Relationship











4. What is the highest level of education you completed?

Some High School

High School

Some College

Undergraduate

Graduate Degree



5. What is the highest level of education your spouse completed (if you answered
Single (never married) to question 3, please move to question 6, disregard this
question)?

Some High School

High School

Some College

Undergraduate

Graduate Degree



6. Do you have grown children?

Yes (If yes, please proceed to question 7.)

No (If no, please proceed to question 8.)












7. How many children do you have? (Only answer this question if you answered yes to
question 6.)

1

2

3

4

5

6 or more

How often do you see them?



8. Check the interval that best applies to the estimated value of your home:

Less than $100,000

$100,001-$200,000

$200,001-$300,000

$300,001-$400,000

$400,001-$500,000

More than $500,001



9. When did you move to ?

Date (Month, Year)



10. Where did you live before moving to ? How long did you live there?









APPENDIX E
SWLS QUESTIONS

Participant ID Number 301
Below are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the 7- point scale below,
choose a number that represents your agreement or disagreement with each statement. Place that
number to the left of the statement. Please be honest in your responses.
7 Strongly Agree
6 Agree
5 Slightly Agree
4 Neither Agree or Disagree
4 Slightly Disagree
2 Disagree
1 Strongly Disagree



In most ways my life is close to ideal.


The conditions of my life are excellent.


I am satisfied with my life.


So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.


If I could live my life over I would change almost nothing.









APPENDIX F
IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

In- Depth Semistructured Interview Questions
1)
Previous research has defined social activities as a set of interactions and relationships
between people. How does your definition of social activities differ?
What are some of these activities?
What are some of your social activities?
How do you think social activities relate to physical and leisure activities?
How would you describe your participation in social activities before you moved to

How often did you engage in these activities?
If they answered did not participate
Why did you not participate?
How did social activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to 1

How would you describe your participation in social activities at ?
How often do you engage in these activities?
If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
How do supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with
life?


2)
- Physical activities have been defined by previous research as any body movement that
requires energy. How does your definition of physical activities differ?
What are some of these activities?
What are some of your physical activities?
How do you think physical activities relate to social and leisure activities?
How would you describe your participation in physical activities before you moved to

How often did you engage in these activities?
If they answered did not participate
Why did you not participate?
How did physical activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to

How would you describe your participation in physical activities at ?
How often do you engage in these activities?
If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
How do supported physical activities contribute to how satisfied you are with
life?












- Leisure activities have been defined by previous research as activities that occur during non-
work time, provide a sense of happiness, freedom of choice to participate in the activity, and
a high level of involvement. How does your definition of leisure activities differ?
What are some of these activities?
What are some of your leisure activities?
How do you think leisure activities relate to social and physical activities?
How would you describe your participation in leisure activities before you moved to U

How often did you engage in these activities?
If they answered did not participate
Why did you not participate?
How did leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to

How would you describe your participation in leisure activities at ?
How often do you engage in these activities?
If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
How do supported leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you are with
life?

4) Is there anything else you would like to elaborate on or clarify?









APPENDIX G
IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS- PILOT TEST

In Depth Semi Structured Interview Questions

1)
How do you define social activities?
What are some of these activities?
How would you describe your participation in social activities before you moved to 1

How often did you engage in these activities?
How did social activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to 1

If they answered did not participate
Why did you not participate?
How would you describe your participation in social activities at ?
How often do you engage in these activities?
If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
How do supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with
life?

2)

- How do you define physical activities?
- What are some of these activities?
- How would you describe your participation in physical activities before you moved to

- How often did you engage in these activities?
- If they answered did not participate
Why did you not participate?
How did physical activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to

How would you describe your participation in physical activities at ?
How often do you engage in these activities?
If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
How do supported physical activities contribute to how satisfied you are with
life?

3)
- How do you define leisure activities?
- What are some of these activities?
- How would you describe your participation in leisure activities before you moved to

- How often did you engage in these activities?
- If they answered did not participate









Why did you not participate?
- How did leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to

- How would you describe your participation in leisure activities at ?
- How often do you engage in these activities?
- If they answered do not participate
Why do you not participate?
- How do supported leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you are with
life?

4)
- Is there anything else you would like to elaborate on or clarify?









APPENDIX H
IRB PROTOCOL

Erin Smith
UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research
Protocol Submission
Title of Protocol:
HOW CHANGES IN SOCIAL, PHYSICAL, AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE LIFE
SA TISAFACTION IN AMONG OLDER FEMALE ADULTS
Principal Investigator (Name, UFID, Title, Department, Address, Email Address, Telephone
Number):
Erin Smith, 6915-9773, Masters Candidate, Family, Youth and Community Sciences, PO Box
110310, Gainesville, FL 32611-0310, Email: erin848e@ufl.edu, Phone: (561) 267-7065
Supervisor- (Name, Title, Department, Address, Email Address, Telephone Number):
Carolyn S. Wilken, Ph.D., Associate Professor- Extension, Family, Youth and Community
Sciences, PO Box 110310,Gainesville, FL 32611-0310, Email: cswilken@ufl.edu, Phone: (352)
273-3542
Date of Proposed Research:
August 1, 2009- June 1, 2010
Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitted ii ih this protocol if funding
is involved):
Self-funded
Scientific Purpose of the Study:
The scientific purpose of this study is to answer the following questions:
(1) Before moving to how did social, physical, and leisure activities
contribute to a woman's life satisfaction?
(2) How do supported social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to a
woman's life satisfaction?
(3) How has life satisfaction changed since moving to ?











Describe the Research Methodology in Non-Technical Language: (Explain what will be
done i i/h or to the research participant.)
It is anticipated the interview will take between 65 to 90 minutes, depending on the level of
conversation. Research interviews will be conducted in a public library at The
participants will be greeted at the door to the library and shown to a small conference room.
After the participants have been given the opportunity to make themselves comfortable; they will
be given two copies of the informed consent. They will be given time to look over and sign both
copies of the informed consent. The participants will be reminded that the last part of the
questionnaire will be recorded, and of the measures that have been taken to ensure
confidentiality and privacy. After completing the informed consent, the participants will be asked
to answer a series of demographic questions. Following this, the participants will be asked to
complete the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) (Diener, 1985). The next portion of the
questionnaire will be recorded so the principal investigator can take notes but also have a
complete record of the participants' responses. A semi-structured interview will be used to
determine how social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to life satisfaction prior to and
since living in Participants will be asked to detail their level and pattern of
participation in these activities. They will also be asked about how their activities impact their
life satisfaction. Hard copies of the instruments are attached.
Describe Potential Benefits and Anticipated Risks: (If risk of physical, psychological or
economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.)
There are no direct benefits for participation in this study, immediate or long term. This research
study involves no more than minimal risk ordinarily encountered in daily life. All participant
identities will remain confidential. Consent forms will be kept in a folder separate from the
demographic questions and SWLS. Both the demographic questions and SWLS will be pre-
labeled with the participant number. The recordings and transcriptions will be kept in a password
protected file saved on a computer. The consent forms, background questions, SWLS,
recordings, and transcriptions will be destroyed after the study is completed. The principal
investigator is the only person who will have access to the original participant list and the
corresponding numbers.
Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited, the Number and Age of the Participants,
and Proposed Compensation:
Participants will be recruited using a volunteer sampling approach. Personal contacts living
inside will provide the principal investigator with names, contact information, and
information about the study to secondary contacts inside This information will be
relayed to these secondary contacts via telephone and email. The potential participants will then
contact the researcher by phone or email to further discuss the project and to arrange a time for
the interview. A total of N=15 participants will be interviewed.
Participants must be residents of between the ages of 60 and 75, and female. Each
participant will be compensated for their time with a $10 gift card to a local grocery store.

Describe the Informed Consent Process. Include a Copy of the Informed Consent
Document:









Two informed consent forms will be given to the participant at the beginning of the study.
Participants will be given time to read a copy of the informed consent and asked to sign the
consent form. Participants will be asked to print, sign, and date their name on the back of the
informed consent. One copy of the consent form will be given to the participant and the other
copy is for the principal investigator's records. The consent form will include: an introduction to
the research and principal investigator, a brief summary of the study, an indication of the amount
of time it will take to complete the study, the risks and benefits of participation in the study, the
compensation associated with the study, the measures that have been taken to provide
confidentiality to the participant, a reminder that participation is voluntary, a reminder of their
rights as a participant to withdraw from the study at any time or not answer any question, contact
information for the principal investigator, supervisor, and IRB, and a indication of what will be
done with the final data.


Principal Investigator Signature Date


Supervisor Signature Date

I approve this protocol for submission to the UFIRB:



Department Chair/ Center Director Signature Date











APPENDIX I
IRB APPROVAL


i Institutional Review Board P) Bo\o 1 225o
UA UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA Camen,villc, Fl 32611-2250
352-392-0433 (Phone)
352-392-9234 (Fa\)
irhb2 fll .ed

DATE: August 24, 2009

TO: Erin Smith
PO Box 110310
Campus

FROM: Ira S. Fischler, PhD; Chai
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board 02

SUBJECT: Approval of Protocol #2009-U-844
How Changes in Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities Influence Life
Satisfaction in : Among Older Female Adults

SPONSOR: None

I am pleased to advise you that the University of Florida Institutional Review Board has
recommended approval of this protocol. Based on its review, the UFIRB determined that this
research presents no more than minimal risk to participants. Your protocol was approved as
an expedited study under category 7: Research on individual or group characteristics or
behavior (including, but not limited to, research on perception, cognition, motivation,
Identity, language, communication, cultural beliefs or practices, and social behavior) or
research employing survey, interview, oral history, focus group, program evaluation, human
factors evaluation, or quality assurance methodologies.

Given this status, it is essential that you obtain signed documentation of informed consent
from each participant. Enclosed is the dated, IRB-approved informed consent to be used when
recruiting participants for the research. If you wish to make any changes to this protocol,
including the need to inci ease the nritum t of)t Pr t.,cipint% authorized. you must disclose your
plans before you implement them so that the Board can assess their impact on your protocol.
In addition, you must report to the Board any unexpected complications that affect your
participants.

It is essential that each of your participants sign a copy of your approved informed
consent that bears the IRB approval stamp and expiration date.


Your approval is valid through August 19. 2010. If you have not completed the protocol by
this date, please telephone our office (392-0433), and we will discuss the renewal process
with you. It is important that you keep your Department Chair informed about the status of
this research protocol.

ISF:d(










Approved by
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board 02
Protocol # 2009-U-0844
Informed Consent For Use Through 08-19-2010
Informed Consent

Please read this document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.

Dear Participant:

Thank you for agreeing to participate in this research project today. This research is being
conducted by Ms. Erin Smith, Candidate for a Master's Degree in Family, Youth and
Community Sciences at the University of Florida. The principal investigator, Erin Smith is under
the supervision of Dr. Carolyn S. Wilken, Associate Professor of Family, Youth and Community
Sciences and Extension Specialist in Gerontology at the University of Florida. The purpose of
this study is to investigate the affects that activities have on your satisfaction with life with
respect to

What you will be asked to do in this study:
You will first be asked to answer basic background questions about yourself. You will then be
asked to respond to five questions on your satisfaction with life. Finally, you will be asked to
answer a series of questions about your life prior to and while living in and your
pattern and level of participation in activities. The last portion of the study will be recorded using
a recording device.

Time Required:
Depending on the level of discussion it is expected that the entire study may take between 65-90
minutes.

Risks and Benefits:
There are no perceived risks associated with participating in this study outside of the risk that
you take every day by engaging in normal conversation. At any time you may choose not to
answer a question or end the interview. There is no immediate or direct benefit for participating
in this study.

Compensation:
As a token of appreciation for participating in this study you will receive a $10 gift card to a
local grocery store.

Confidentiality:
Your identity will be kept confidential to the fullest extent provided by law. Your name, email
address, or telephone number will not be linked with your responses. Responses to paper
questionnaires are already labeled using a participant number. The recorded portion of this study
will be transcribed, but your name will not be linked to the transcript, instead I will say
"Participant 301" at the beginning of the recording. Your name will not be disclosed in any
written reports or presentations that may result from this information. The consent form will be
kept in a separate file folder from your background information and satisfaction with life
questionnaires. The consent form, background information questionnaire, and satisfaction with











life questionnaire will be kept in a locked drawer in the principal investigator's office. The
recording and transcription will be saved in a locked file, and will be destroyed once the study is
completed. The principal investigator is the only individual with access to these files.

Voluntary Participation:
As a participant in this study your participation is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for
not participating.

Right to withdraw from the study:
You have the right to leave this study at any time, or to not answer a particular question. There is
no penalty for leaving or not answering.

Questions or Comments regarding the study:
If you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding the study please feel free to contact, the
principal investigator, Erin Smith or the supervisor of this study, Dr. Carolyn S. Wilken, or the
University of Florida Institutional Review Board at the telephone number, email address or street
address provided below.

Ms. Erin Smith Dr. Carolyn S. Wilken
erin848e@ufl.edu cswilken@ufl.edu
(561) 267-7065 (352) 273-3542
P.O. Box 110310 P.O. Box 110310
Gainesville, FL 32611-0310 Gainesville, FL 32611-0310

University of Florida Institutional Review Board
IRB02 Office
Box 112250
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-2250
(352) 392-0433.

Agreement:
By signing the line below you are voluntarily agreeing to participate in the research study
described above. Your responses will be used to draw conclusions about leisure activities and
their impact on life satisfaction in a "you would like a copy of the final results
please contact Erin Smith. The results wiii 6' .,ared with University of Florida students and
faculty, at professional conferences, and in professional publications.


Participant: Date:

Principal Investigator: Date:

Faculty Supervisor: Date:

Approved by
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board 02
Protocol # 2009-U-0844
For Use Through 08-19-2010










APPENDIX J
CATEGORIES

Defining Social Activities

"First of all to me social activities means you are with other people. And of course you
have to interact with a lot of different personalities."

"I think of social activities as gathering groups of friends or acquaintances for either a
structured evening or a casual evening of impromptu type activities- be it eating, playing
games, going to the movie that sort of thing."


Classifying Social Activities

"Well my social activities are tennis, golf, traveling- we meet a lot of people when we
travel."

"I mean there are probably some days where you don't do something for a couple of
days, but then I had days last week three things in the same day."


Neighborhoods

"And we still haven't gone to all the restaurants there are 70 some restaurants here. And
we have access to I think ten country clubs and its always interesting to go."


"We were extremely fortunate with the neighborhood we got into. We have a tremendous
I call most of them family that we have become friends with and made acquaintances
with."


Changes in Social Activities

"Well we have slowed down quite a bit."

"You kind of establish your friendships and kind of go with that. You don't seek as much
or something."


Comparisons between the LORC and previous home

"My activities here are much better then they were before."

"Absolutely." (on comparison between here and previous home)









Thoughts on Spouse

"And he just loved it down here. And he was right it was a good move."

"He probably has increased the number of activities, social activities he is has ever
done..."

How the three types of activities interact

"Pretty well meshed really. A lot of our sports activities are social."

"I think they keep you active so that you are always bouncing ideas off of other people."

Negative Aspects of the LORC

"Very much so it so intimidates me."

"A lot of times people are here a year and then a year later, the second year they have to
revamp, and sit back and say okay what is really important."

Social Activities before moving to the LORC

"So my social life really was built around my employer."

"A lot of time was spent going to kids games and things like that."


How social activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC

I socialized to the point where I was happy."

"Well as time wore on I really wasn't that satisfied with life up there."

Neighbors

"And we look after each other and it's a family."

"It is amazing how close you get to people when you are 1200 miles away from the rest
of your family."

Defining Physical Activities

"Various forms of exercise."

"No, and I love that it isn't just exercise. Because I do yard work, and so I hope that is a
little bit of physical activity."









Classifying Physical Activities
"You know swimming, golf, tennis, I guess those kind of things."

"I would say probably moderately because a lot of people play pickleball and golf."


Physical Activities before moving to the LORC

"Cause six at least six months out of the year it is too cold to get outside."

"In some ways probably a little more."

Negative Aspects of Physical Activity in the LORC

"And I took some exercise classes up there. I haven't found one I like here that I have
stuck with."

"I have to do it before it gets hot."

How physical activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC

"You know I was very happy, but physical activities never entered my mind."

"I am sure it contributed. Because when you feel good about yourself it reflects to other
people."

How the LORCs physical activities influence life satisfaction

"A great deal. I am sure that if we had to go somewhere else to do it then because it is so
available we just do it."

"I think I would be satisfied with life even without the physical activities, but it definitely
helps."
Defining Leisure Activities

"For me leisure is fulfilling your time with something you enjoy doing."

"Usually they are less active"

Classifying Leisure Activities

"Like sitting and listening to music."

"We get together with friends frequently, a lot of church activities, we go to the movies, I
read every minute I can get my hands on."









Involvement in leisure activities at the LORC

"Everyday. I am always doing something."

"At least weekly. You know. Sometimes daily, it depends what the week is like."

Leisure Activities before moving to the LORC

"We did a little bit."

"It was not as active because I was working."

Leisure activities before moving to the LORC

"I would say once a week, my husband and I would go out to eat and to a movie."

"Every once and a while my husband and I would host a party."

How leisure activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC

"You know I enjoyed being busy all the time."

"I thought they were satisfactory."

How leisure activities influence life satisfaction in the LORC:

"I think it makes a huge difference. I just think they do everything so well."

"Well I think they contribute a lot because of offering the opportunities..."










APPENDIX K
THEMES

Continuity in involvement in social, physical, and leisure activities:
Defining social activities
Classifying social activities
Defining physical activities
Classifying physical activities
Defining Leisure Activities
Classifying Leisure Activities

The importance of neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood:
Neighborhoods
Neighbors

Freedom of choice in activities and people you want to participate with:
Changes in social activities
Involvement in leisure activities at the LORC

Feeling not skilled enough to participate:
Negative Aspects of the LORC
Negative aspects of physical activity in the LORC

Convenience of facilities:
Comparisons between the LORC and previous home
Thoughts on partner

Convenience of activities:
How the three types of activities interact
Involvement in leisure activities at the LORC

Became more involved with one activity:
Social Activities before moving to the LORC
Physical activities before moving to the LORC
Leisure Activities before moving to the LORC

Social contacts:
Changes in social activities
Negative Aspects of the LORC (socially)

Maintained or increased life satisfaction:
How social activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC
How physical activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC
How the LORCs physical activities influence life satisfaction
How leisure activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC









How leisure activities influence life satisfaction in the LORC









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Erin Kate Smith was born in 1986 in Owensboro, Kentucky to Robert E. Smith and

Donnia W. Smith. The older of two children, she has lived in several states and countries:

Kentucky, Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, France, and the Netherlands. She

graduated with an International Baccalaureate Diploma from Suncoast Community High School

in Riviera Beach, Florida in 2004. She earned her B.S. in Finance with a minor in Gerontology

from the University of Florida in 2008. She received a Master's of Science in Family, Youth, and

Community Sciences at the University of Florida in August, 2010. She is currently enrolled as a

Ph.D. student in gerontology at the University of Kansas.





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1 HOW CHANGES IN SOCIAL, PHYSICAL, AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE LIFE SATISFACTION IN LEISURE ORIENTED RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES AMONG OLDER FEMALES By ERIN KATE SMITH A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Erin Kate Smith

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3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank the members of my supervisory committee, Dr. Larry Forthun, Dr. Carolyn S. Wilken, and Dr. Susan Bluck, for their help and support throughout this process. Their advice, comments, suggestions, and encouragement throughout the research process have been valuable. I would also like to thank the faculty and staff at the University of Florida who have served as an excellent source of guidance and wealth of information throughout this project. degree requirements have served as a valuable basis for future research endeavors. Thank you to my four initial sources, who put me in contact with the twelve women who would later go on to be the backbone of this study. They were welcoming and helpful t hroughout this process offering guidance and information about the community. I would also like to thank the twelve participants, without their participation this study would not have been possible. Their insight into their lives and their activities was e njoyable and fun to listen too, and this information was vital to this study. I would especially like to thank the two women who served as independent reviewers. Their input and advice on the coding, categories, and themes was extremely valuable. Addition ally, I would like to thank the staff at the Lady Lake Library for the use of their facilities; they were exceptionally kind and welcoming. Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends. My family has helped to support and facilitate this project s ince its inception. My father and mother, Ed and Donnia Smith have been helped make copies and set up folders throughout this process and served as a great encou rager. I would also like to thank Roderik. Without his support and encouragement I would not have been able to finish this project. He has offered insight and shown true patience throughout this process.

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4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 3 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 LIST OF ABBREV IATIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 12 Empirical Basis for Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ 14 Specific Aims ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 17 Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities ................................ ................................ ............ 17 Themes and History of LORCs ................................ ................................ ....................... 18 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 20 Successful Aging ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 23 Theory ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 25 Continuity Theory ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 26 Person Environment Fit Model ................................ ................................ ...................... 31 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 33 Characteristics of Females as They Age ................................ ................................ ................. 34 Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 35 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 38 Design ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 38 Research Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 38 Sampling and Recruitment Procedure ................................ ................................ .................... 39 Sample ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 41 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 41 Procedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 42 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 43 Quantitative Measures ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 44 Demographic questionnaire ................................ ................................ ...................... 44 Satisfaction with life scale ................................ ................................ ........................ 44 Qualitative Measures: In Depth Interview ................................ ................................ ...... 45

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5 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 48 4 STUDY RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 52 Quantitative Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 52 Results of Demographic Questionnaire ................................ ................................ ........... 52 Results of Satisfaction with Life Scale ................................ ................................ ............ 53 Summary of Quantitative Results ................................ ................................ .................... 54 Qualitative Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 55 Coding ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 55 Categories ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 55 Themes ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 56 Central Theory ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 56 Current Actions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 58 Decision Making Processes ................................ ................................ ............................. 60 Adaptive Capacity ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 62 Person Environment Fit ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 65 5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND CONCLUSIONS ................................ .......................... 72 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 73 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 73 Before Moving to this LORC How Did Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities ................................ ................................ .. 73 ................................ ................................ ..................... 75 How Has Life Satisfaction Changed Since Moving to this LORC? ............................... 81 Limitations & Strengths of the Study ................................ ................................ ..................... 82 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 84 APPENDIX A ................................ ................................ .................... 87 B WELCOME, INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD PROTOCOL, AND INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONAIRE ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 88 C SCRIPT FOR IN DEPTH SEMISTRUCTURED INTERVIEW ................................ ........... 90 D DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ .................. 92 E SWLS QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 95 F IN DEPTH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ ............... 96 G IN DEPTH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Pilot Test ................................ .............................. 98

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6 H IRB PROTOCOL ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 100 I IRB APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 103 J CATEGORIES ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 106 K THEMES ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 110 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 112 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 120

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Table illustrating last place of residence before the LORC ................................ ............... 71 4 2 Table illustrating how themes combine to reflect constructs influencing life satisfaction ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 71 4 3 Table illustrating how themes and characteristics combine to reflect constructs of Person Environment Fit Model ................................ ................................ .......................... 71

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Diagram of Disengagement Theory ................................ ................................ ................... 36 2 2 Diagram of Activ ity Theory ................................ ................................ ............................... 36 2 3 Diagram of Continuity Theory ................................ ................................ ........................... 37 2 4 Diagram of Person Environment Fit Model ................................ ................................ ...... 37 4 1 Graph of Self Rated Overall Health ................................ ................................ ................... 68 4 2 Graph of Level of Education and Partners Level of Education ................................ ......... 68 4 3 Diagram of Continuity Theory ................................ ................................ ........................... 69 4 4 Diagram of Person Environment Fit Model ................................ ................................ ..... 69 4 5 Diagram of Continuity Theory with Themes ................................ ................................ ..... 70 4 6 Diagram of Person Environment Fit Model with Themes ................................ ................ 70

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9 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S LORC Leisure Oriented Retirement Community LORCs Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities

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10 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science HOW CHANGES IN SOCIAL, LEISURE, AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE LIFE SATISAFACTION IN LEISURE O RIENTED RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES AMONG OLDER FEMALES By Erin Smith August 2010 Chair: Larry Forthun Major: Family, Youth, and Community Sciences Leisure oriented retirement communities are an increasingly popular trend among retirees with an impact on n umerous aspects of gerontology. The images of leisure oriented retirement communities are that of neighborhoods that facilitate various activities that add to an older ges and advertisements elicit the question of how changes in social, physical, and leisure activities influence life satisfaction in a leisure oriented retirement community. A descriptive research study was undertaken in a leisure oriented retirement commu nity in north central Florida with over 50,000 residents. Twelve female residents were asked a series of questions on activities and life satisfaction before and since moving to the leisure oriented retirement community. Content analysis was utilized to an alyze the data. Through manifest content analysis several themes cont inuity theory and person environment fit model. The findings suggest that the female respondents became more involved with their activities upon moving to the leisure oriented retirement community. Most of the women indicated that, although they were satis fied with their

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11 activities before moving to the leisure oriented retirement community, the community facilitated activities had a positive impact on their life satisfaction. The respondents gave various reasons for their increased involvement in activities and increase in life satisfaction citing the convenience of the facilities and clubs and the variety of social connections made within the community. The convenience of the community facilitated activities and social connections of this leisure oriented r etirement community add to the ability of these women to age successfully. The findings suggest the amenities of leisure oriented retirement communities and their impact on these respondents may warrant further research on how residents of these communitie s age.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION life where one can lounge by the pool for hours, play golf every day of the year, and not have a care in the world. Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities (LORC s ) have redefined the American concept of retirement, and the Baby Boomer generation (1946 1964 ) is latching on to the idea of retiring to a location with numerous social, physical, and leisure activities. LORCs have only recently become a trend in the United States. Before World War II, most people did not survive to retirement, but with the onset of labor unions, healthcare advances, and social security -retirement has become a part of life that most Americans will experience (Moschis, Bellenger, & Curasi, 2005). Improvements in healthcare and financial security have created an environment where many retire at age 65, and can expect to live in health and financial security for another ten to 15 years (U.S. Census, 2000). Traditionally, many Americans chose not to relocate upon retirement. Today a growing number of Americans are choosing to move to an out of state retirement community (Rogers & Raymer, 2001; Golant, 1990). The increasing number of LORC s is changing the way people retire. Vesperi (1985) in her case studies of older adults notes that many retirees flocked to St. Petersburg, Florida in the mid 1950s because of its warm climate and elder friendly policies. At the same time retirement communities in Arizona such as Youngtown and Sun City started to revolutionize the way Americans spent their retirement years; by offering residents numerou s community facilitated activities (Moschis et al., 2005).

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13 Older adults, particularly affluent older adults, can expect to retire with more money and to live longer and healthier lives than any previous generation (Moschis et al., 2005). These retirees a re revolutionizing the way Americans view retirement, and retirement communities across the country are marketing to this new generation of older adults. A drive down any major interstate in Florida or Arizona is not complete without seeing a number of adv ertisements with smiling retirees involved in an activity. Sun City, one of the first LORC s located outside of Phoenix, Arizona has 38,000 residents (U.S. Census, 2000). The popularity of Sun City sparked multiple Sun City communities around Phoenix, an (U.S. Census, 2000). By 2009, The Villages had over 75,000 residents, a 937.5% increase in population (The Villages, 2010). Some studies suggest that retirees move to these communities for: homogeneity, overall esthetic appeal, and safety (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). McHugh and Larson Keagy (2005) have detailed these trends among older adults who have relocated to Sun City. They found Sun City was made up of retirees who were alike with respect to race, religion, and political beliefs. Residents of Sun City relocated there because of the esthetically pleasing grounds and the relati ve safety offered by the gates of Sun City. However, there is no research on whether these gated homogeneous facilities lead to a higher life satisfaction for their residents due to the numerous amounts of community facilitated activities (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005; Youngblood, 2005; Streib, Folts, & Peacock, 2006). Several theories, often competing theories, have been used to explain successful aging and life satisfaction in the aging adult. Although Cumming and Henry (1961) argued that in order for

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14 ol der adults to remain satisfied with their lives they must disengage from society as they age, most agree older adults achieve higher life satisfaction or at a minimum maintain their current life satisfaction by remaining active or becoming more active as t hey age. Two decades later, Atchley (1982) proposed continuity theory theorizing that activities and life satisfaction carry over from mid to late life. Continuity theory suggested that to achieve successful aging one must rn of behavior across the lifespan. Furthermore, person environment fit model added to continuity theory by suggesting that this fit between activities being with r espect to their physical and mental conditions is influenced by aspects of their environment (Cvitkovich & Wister, 2001; Lawton, 1990; Carp & Carp, 1984; Kahana, 1982; Lawton, 1998). Empirical Basis for Questions Previously, researchers have examined LORC s by examining relocation pattern trends, effects of widowhood, and themes in the community (Moschis et al., 2005; Youngblood, 2005; McHugh, 2000; McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). However, there is little previous research on how LORC supported or sponsored a ctivities influence life satisfaction. These activities are a central premise of why individuals relocate to LORCs. The lack of understanding of how the understand ing the benefits of an LORC. This gap elicits the question of how community facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities impact life satisfaction The site used for this research is a LORC that is best described as a middle to upper income indepe ndent living LORC. The growing popularity of LORCs, and the portion of the population that will soon be entering retirement years makes this topic relevant to gerontologists, architects, community planners, and the aging population.

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15 Specific Aims An activ are becoming an increasingly popular option among retirees (Brooks & Adams 2001). Many of the amenities offered in LORCs are neighborhood or community sponsored social, physical and leisure activities. The smiling faces on billboards and commercials seem to portray older adults who are satisfied with their choice in retirement, but we know that those billboards are designed for marketing purposes. This study will ask women (60 7 5) who live in a LORC a series of questions about their social, physical, and leisure activity patterns prior to and since relocating to a LORC and how these activities contribute to their life satisfaction. The study will be conducted in a LORC, locat ed in north central Florida roughly an hour north of both Tampa and Orlando. Restaurants, shopping, healthcare, religious opportunities, and entertainment opportunities help to make this LORC all inclusive. The purpose of this study is to better understand how community supported activities in a LORC relate to life satisfaction. Listed below are the specific questions that this research seeks to answer: Before moving to this LORC how did social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to atisfaction? satisfaction? How has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC? Below is a list of terms used throughout the paper: C OMMUNITY S UPPORTED /F ACILITATED / S PONSORED A CTIVITIES T hese activities are in some way provided or generated by the leisure oriented retirement community. L EISURE A CTIVITIES Leisure activities are activities that occur during non work time, provide a sense of ha ppiness, freedom of choice to participate in the activity, and a high level of involvement.

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16 L EISURE O RIENTED R ETIREMENT C OMMUNITIES Leisure oriented retirement communities are self contained communities where there is an emphasis placed on leisure acti vities through facilities and organized activities. Leisure oriented retirement communities contain these four elements (1) a retirement element residents are no longer in full time employment and this affects their use of time and space (2) a community e lement an age specific population, living in the same geographically bounded area (3) a degree of collectivity which residents identify, and which may include shared activities, interests, and facilities (4) a sense of autonomy with security. L IFE S ATISF ACTION perceive as appropriate for themselves, and compare the circumstances of their life to that (Pavot, Diener, Colvin, & Sandvik 1991 p.150 ). P HYSICAL A CTIVITIES Physical activities are any body movement that requires energy. S OCIAL A CTIVITIES Social activities are the set of interactions and relationships between people. S UCCESSFUL A GING being serves as a guide for future action and adaptation. In addition, many of the comments suggest strategies for successful aging reflecting philosophies that the older person had used earlier in Y OUNG O LD A DULTS Young old adults are adults between the ages of 55 74.

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17 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Throughout th is chapter both research and theory will be evaluated to assist in building a foundation for the three principal research questions: Before moving to this LORC how did acti on?; How do the satisfaction?; How has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC? Several theories have attempted to explain activities as one ages and how this influences successful aging and life satisfaction (Cummings & Henry, 1961; Havighurst, 1963; Atchley, 1982; 1983; 1989; 1994; Lewin 1951). Previous work suggests if one maintains or increases their activity as one ages the causal impact on life sati sfaction is positive. One of the goals of this study is to investigate the findings of this research this chapter will focus on: the history and themes of LORCs, demographics of LORCs, successful aging/ life satisfaction, continuity theory, person environment fit model, and the defining characteristics of females as they age. Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities LORCs gained popularity in the mid part of the 2 0th century. Leisure orientated retirement Folts & Streib 1994; Streib et al., 2006). The LORC is in stark contr ast to the retirement housing options that h ad been common among older adults LORCs offer residents the opportunity to partake in resort style living, offering an abundance of social, physical, and leisure activities to residents. Since the mid 1960s the popularity of these communities has increased dramatically. The growth in these communities is expected to continue as baby boomers begin to retire. One of the central concepts behind LORCs

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18 is the amount and variety of activity in which residents can parti cipate Past research has found that o lder adults enjoy activities a nd this helps promote life satisfaction in older adults as they age (Ross & Drentea, 1998). The amount and variety of activities provide the residents with the ability to participate in an activity that maintains the same vigor residents might have had in their previous professions or before moving to the LORC. LORCs are designed with an emphasis on activities that engage their residents and encourage participation in the community (Streib et al., 2006). Themes and History of LORCs LORCs are defined above as; communities where there is an emphasis placed on leisure activities through facilities and organized activities (Folts & Streib, 1994; Streib et al., 2006). According to brochures from three prominent LORCs in the United States some key activities offered include: golf, tennis, swimming, pickleball and social organizations (Karen Cobalt, Personal Communication, 2009; The Villages, 2009). Grant (2006) found that residents of retirement p. 49 ). LORCs range from small trailer parks with added amenities to large amenity based communities with multi million dollar houses (Streib et al., 2006). Ther e are a variety of retirement facilities for older adults to choose from when considering retirement housing options: assisted living, congregate care, continuing care, and independent living (Biggs, Bernard, Kingston, & Nettleton, 2000). Assisted living, congregate care, and continuing care offer older adults a variety of amenities and a varying degree of support services, such as dining services and skilled nursing care (Biggs et al., 2000). Conversely, independent 650, 2000). This review of retirement housing options will focus on leisure oriented retirement

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19 communities, a form of independent living for older adults. Phillips, Bernard, Biggs, and Kingston (2001) identified four main attributes of retirement communities: (1) a retirement element residents are no longer in full time employment and this affects their use of time and space (2) a community element an age specific population, living in the same geograp hically bounded area (3) a degree of collectivity which residents identify, and which may include shared activities, interests, and facilities (4) a sense of autonomy with security (p. 650). LORCs are comprised of all four main attributes of a retirement community; however, they also offer residents an opportunity to participate in a variety of community facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities. There are a few themes that are not eworthy in LORCs. McHugh and Larson Keagy (2005) identify three themes that emerged during a series of interviews w ith residents of Sun City These themes that emerged include: birds of a feather, idyllic havens, and fortress mentality (McHugh & Larson K eagy, 2005). The theme birds of a feather, refers to the same age, race, and socio economic groups that live in Sun City (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). The second theme was identified as idyllic havens, which was the way the residents interviewed described Sun City (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). The third theme that emerged during the interviews was the fortress mentality, as a way to describe the protective nature of LORCs (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). These trends in Sun City may h elp to explain the ment ality that residents of other LORCs have about their community. unions, and religious groups began buying discounted land in Florida for their retired members ( Mos chis et al. 2005). With the onset of the depression and World War II the popularity of retirement communities decreased (Moschis et al., 2005). Retirement communities did not re emerge in popularity until after World War II, with the development of Young town in 1954 (Moschis et al., 2005). Located in Arizona, its popularity led to the development of Sun City

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20 outside of Phoenix (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005; Moschis et al., 2005). Sun City is a large scale retirement community promoting a variety of social physical, and leisure activities (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). With its opening in 1960, Sun City was in sharp contrast to the norm of aging ideas. Sun City marked the beginning of LORCs in the United States, and consequently led to the growth of the l argest LORC developer (McHugh, 2000; McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005; Moschis et al., 2005). The amenities offered by LORCs have continued to develop as they have become an increasingly popular retirement option among older adults (Moschis et al., 2005). The p redicted demand in growth for LORCs will continue to increase as the population of young old in the United States continues to grow (Townshend, 2002; Moschis et al., 2005). Demographics The population of the United States is rapidly changing, with respect to age and population distribution The U.S. Census predicted that the percentage of the American population over the age of 65 will grow by eight percent over the next 40 years (U.S. Census, 2008). There is no exact number or measurement on the number of LORCs or their residents in the United States. One of the most prominent LORC developers, Del Webb, constructed over 52 LORCs with over 18,000 residential homes built in 2007 (Karen Colbalt, Personal Communication, February 11, 2009). The growing young old adult population is key to demand in new LORC construction (Moschis et al., 2005). Young old adults are defined as older adults between the ages of 55 74 (Kart & Kinney, 2001). In a 2005 study, 1,463 Americans over the age of 55 were interviewed and aske d their retirement plans, 21.4% indicated that they plan on living in a LORC (Moschis et al.). LORCs are marketed to young old adults over the age of 55, and previous research has indicated most young old adults plan to retire between the ages of 63 65 (H aas & Serow, 2002).

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21 This generation spans three decades, and as a result the US population over the age of 65 will grow by 35% between 2010 and 2020 (Kart & Kinney 2001; U.S. Census, 2008). The U.S. Census (2008) estimates that over one out of every four Americans is a Baby Boomer making up the largest demographic group in the United States. Baby Boomers have seven times the purchasing power of later generations ( Generation X & Y ) (Misonzhnik, 2006). Del Webb, the largest developer of LORCs in the United States, reported 18% of survey respondents in the baby boomer generation wish to relocate to a different state when they retire (Del Webb, 1996). Based on the a bove estimates roughly 13,680,000 American Baby Boomers will need a retirement housing option in the next 20 years (U.S. Census, 2008; Misonzhnik, 2006; Del Webb 1996). Some regions, such as the southeastern and western regions of the United States reporte d higher interstate migration for those 65 and over (U.S. Census, 2003). Florida reported the highest interstate migration among older adults 60 and above (Longino & Manheimer 1995; U.S. Census, 2000). Arizona, California, and Texas consistently ranked a mong the top locations for migration in the United State s between 1960 and 1990 (Longino & Manheimer 1995). In 2000, Nevada also reported a high portion of 65 and over interstate migration (U.S. Census, 2000). A report, from the U.S. Census in 2003, indi cates that although Florida had the highest number of 65 and over interstate migrants; Nevada has the highest net migration of those 65 and over (He & Schachter, 2003). The state with the highest number of relocating interstate migrants was New York, with 61,000, out migr ants relocating to Florida from 1995 to 2000 (He & Schachter 2003). Florida also posted the highest gains for individual counties with Palm Beach County reporting one of the highest rates of interstate migration and Sumter County, posting the highest net migration of individuals 65 and over in the United States (He & Schachter, 2003). The three

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22 states with the highest number of out moving interstate migrants were New York, Illinois, and California (He & Schachter, 2003). These findings ar e consistent with more recent findings about two of the most populous LORCs in Florida and Arizona. The samples in two recent studies done in an LORC indicate many of the inter state migrants had relocated to Florida and Arizona from the northeast or mid w estern states (Youngblood, 2005; McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). LORCs can vary dramatically with respect to race. In previous research regarding LORCs researchers have found that these communities are predominantly W hite (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). H owever, recently LORCs targeted towards minority racial and ethnic groups have become more popular. Two of the largest LORCs in the United States, The Villages in Florida and Sun City in Arizona, are analyzed below for racial demographic information. Effor ts have been made to obtain the most recent population information according to the U S Census. The Villages, is spread throughout three counties, Sumter, Lake, and Marion. The 2007 U.S. Census population estimate suggested that Sumter County, home to the larges t part of The Villages was 85% W hite, this is in contrast to the population demographic information provided in the 2000 U.S. Census on The Villages, that shows The Villages to be 98.5% W hite. This is also in sharp contrast to the racial demographic s for Florida which is 80% white (U.S. Census, 2007). Similar statistics are found in Sun City, Maricopa County, Arizona, one of the largest LORCs in Arizona. As of 2007 the U.S. Census indica ted that 96.4% of Sun City was W hite. This is in comparison to t he population demographics of Maricopa County which is 79.1% W hite (2007 ). Arizona as a whole is 76.4% W hite (U.S. Census, 2007). This data on LORCs indicate s a predominance of W hite residents.

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23 LORCs are an increasingly popular retirement option among old er adults. One of the central attractions of LORCs is the abundance of activities and options for retirement. LORCs market an abundance of activities and options for older adults that will help them age. Past research has suggested, residents enjoy the pr istine setting, perceived safety of the community, and the demographic similarities of the residents. Residents are provided a community that encompasses all of their needs as they age. These communities, which provide residents with an abundance of socia l, physical, and leisure activities are expected to gain in popularity as the Baby Boomer generation retires. The popularity of these communities is expected to grow the most in the south eastern and southwestern regions of the United States based on past o lder adult migration trends. One of the principal attractions of an LORC for older adults is the variety of activities (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005; Moschis et al., 2005) which has been shown to influence successful aging ( Havighurst, 1963; Atchley, 1994). Successful Aging S uccessful aging is difficult to define (Tate, Lah, & Cuddy, 2003) For example, nineteen older adults were interviewed and asked their definition of successful aging; the range of responses varied (Fisher, 1992). Fisher (1992), suggests this about their views: S s past and present suggest [s] an orientation to life that serves as a guide for future action and adaptation. In addition, many of the comments suggest strategies for successful aging reflecting philosophies that the older person had use d earlier in life (p.197). Although, the above study did not establish a definitive definition of successful aging; it Older adults not only vary in the way they de fine successful aging, but also in what they think successful aging entails. Rowe & Kahn (1998), defined successful aging as factors which permit individuals to continue to function effectively, both physically and

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24 mentally p.xii). These factors have been identified as: cognitive function, psychological factors, autonomy, aging and social support, bereavement, support and control, and physiological and psychological pathways (Rowe & Kahn, 1998; Rowe & Kahn, 1987). Recent findings re vealed two thirds of older adults agreed successful aging is multidimensional (Phelan, Anderson, LaCroix, & Larson, 2004) Some of the factors that influence successful aging are: exercise a physical factor, being a male physiological and psychological p athways factor, and social contact through activities aging and social support factor (Strawbridge, Cohen, Shema, & Kaplan, 1996; Roos & Havens, 1991). Some of the events that negatively influence successful aging include: having a chronic disease, having poor self assessed health, being depressed, having experienced the death of a spouse, losing mental capability, developing cancer, and being forced to retire or retiring due to health reasons (Roos & Havens,1991). Successful aging varies based on persona l characteristics and past experiences (Rowe & Kahn, 1998; Fisher, 1992). What one older adult defines as successful aging can be drastically psychological compone nts that influence successful aging are past experiences and personal characteristics (Atchley, 1982; 1983; 1994). For many individuals successful aging is measured by life satisfaction (Fisher, 1992; Havighurst, 1961). Havighurst (1961) suggests that for some people the outcome of successful aging is life satisfaction. While, Fisher (1992) found that although successful aging and life satisfaction are not interchangeable terms; some older adults think of life satisfaction as one of the outcomes of successf ul aging. Depp and Jeste (2006) suggested that the biggest contributor to life satisfaction is prevention of disability and maintaining cognitive function. As previous research suggests one of the key factors, which positively influences successful aging is exercise (Rowe & Kahn, 1998).

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25 P hysical activity is suggested to increase health and decrease disability as one ages (Wu, McCrone, & Lai, 2008). This increase in health is linked with higher life satisfaction (Menec, 2003). Maintaining social connections has also increased life satisfaction (Neugarten et al., 1961). More recent findings suggest maintaining social activities helps one to maintain social contacts as they age (Strawbridge, et al., 1996; Roos & Havens, 1991 ). Life satisfaction is one of the c entral components of subjective well being (Diener, Emmmons, Larsen, & Griifin, 1985) and can be More specifically, f or the purposes of this research life satisfaction is define 1991, p.150) Pavot, et al. (1991) go on to suggest that life satisfaction is defined when Successful aging and life satisfaction have been defined in several contexts in the above sect ion. The following section will focus on theories used to explain how activities can influence successful aging and life satisfaction. Theory T heorie s help to understand how activities impact the successful aging and life satisfaction of an older adult. T hese theories have been utilized to explain how activities change over the Continuity theor y suggests that as one ages, one maintain s the same type and time involvemen t i n activity, and as a result one maintain s a consistent or increased level of life satisfaction. Continuity theory was developed as a response to d isengagement theory and activity theory. On the other hand person environment fit model attempts to expla in how one s environment fits their physical, mental, and emotional needs as they age, resulting in a maintained level of life

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26 satisfaction. These theories are relevant in that they offer different e xplanation s of how activities impact life satisfaction i n an LORC. Both of these theories seek to explain how different levels of activity impact successful aging or l ife satisfaction. Continuity Theory Continuity theory suggests that as an individual ages she or he will tend to remain engaged in pervious ac tivities or replace previous activities with new activities that will maintain or increase her or his life satisfaction. Prior to the development of continuity theory both disengagement and activity theory had been proposed to explain the relationship bet ween activities and life satisfaction. However, b oth of these theories were limited in explaining activities and life satisfaction in older adults because the theories assumed older adults wanted to either completely disengage from society or be completely engaged in society. Whereas his or her involvement in activities after retirement. Cumming and Henry (1961) developed disengagement theory age successfully The theory postulates that as older adults age they disengage or withdraw from society in order to fulfill their ideas of old age (Cumming & Henry, 1961). Cumming and Henry (1961) argued disengagement is a process that every older adult eventually goes through in his or her interactions with society. Thus, the eventual consequence of aging is a new relationship between the older adult and society (Cumming & Henry, 1961). In Figure 2 1, there is a diagram of disengagement theory illustrati ng the experimental and outcome variables. According to Cumming and Henry, there are three changes that an older adult goes through as they age. The first is a cha nge in the number of people one engage s in communication with and the amount of time the older adult spends engaged in communication (Cumming & Henry, 1961). According to the theory the substance of an older adult s communication with other age

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27 groups changes as one disengage s from society (Cum ming & Henry, 1961). Additionally, older adults undergo a change in personality that causes decreased involvement in others and more interest in oneself. These findings have recently been reaffirmed by Brown and Lowis (2003), who suggested that as individu als grow old er they spend more time reflecting on their lives and as a result disengage from society. Later research on activities and social connections has utilized many of the same constructs as disengagement theory (Jnson & Magnussen, 2001). Gerotran scendence theory seeks to explain the reason older people change from being more oriented towards possessions, m aterialism, and pragmatism to a more reflective view of their lives (Tornstam, 1997). This more reflective level that one enters into as they ag e is described as: a stage where one feels less involved with the outside world and more in tune with oneself (Tornstam, 1996; 1997; Jnson & Magnussen, 2001). The shift to the transcendent view of the world is accompanied with growth towards wholeness and decreased self centeredness by the individual (Tornstam, 1996; 1997; Jnson & Magnussen, 2001). As with disengagement theory, g erotranscendence theorizes that as individuals age the definition of current activities and relationships and their significance change s evolution in fulfilling his or her ideas of old age. Although, not all aspects of disengagement or gerotranscendence theory are relevant in examining the idea of life satisfaction in an LORC; they do help to understand how one may be often leaving homes and communities they have resided in since birth (McHugh & Lar son Keagy, 2005 ; Youngblood, 2005). The process of relocating to an LORC is a process of disengagement from immediate family, extended family, and friends (McHugh &Larson Keagy,

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28 2005; Youngblood, 2005). Although many individuals in an LORC maintain cont act and visit with immediate family on a regular basis; they usually do not see their immediate family as often as where they lived pre relocation to the LORC (Youngblood, 2005). The process of disengagement or gerotranscendence is more evident in contact s and visits with extended family and friends (Youngblood, 2005). Activity theory arose as an alter n ative explanation to disengagement theory to help to understand how activities influence the way people age Activity theory posits that activity pattern a nd level, maintaining an equilibrium, and adapting to role loss, as one ages helps to increase life satisfaction. Activity theory consists of three constructs: activity (maintaining a es), and adapting to role loss (maintaining a similar role as one ages) (Havighurst, Neugarten & Tobin, 1968; Schulz, 2006). One of the key constructs identified in activity theory, Figure 2 2, is activity. Activity is s influenced by two dimensions, level and pattern. (Schulz, 2006, p.10). Level of activity can be viewed as how involved an individual is in an activity; pattern of activity is how often an individual completes an activity Older adults often experience a change in their level and pattern of activity o ver their life span (Duke Leventhal, Brownlee, & Leventhal, 2002; Strain Grabusic, Searle, & Dunn 2002). Many factors contribute to an older adult changing their activity (Chen, 2000; Duke et al., 2002; Str ain et al.,2002). Although, some individuals retire from their professions, complete the child rearing process, or slow down physically, they still remain active by staying engaged in activities. Equilibrium as shown in the diagram of activity theory (Fi gure 2 2) asserts that activity difference between the needs of a middle age and old age adult (Schulz, 2006). This construct

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29 postulates older individuals should acti vely try to maintain their social activities from middle age to old age in order to maintain life satisfaction (Havighurst, 1963; Havighurst et al., 1968 ). Physical health places limitations on a ag ing process (Lennartsson & Silverstein, 2001; Duke et al., 2002; Strain et al., 2002) The third construct, a daptation are often faced with a number of changes ; these changes may include: retirement, relocation, health iss ues, and loss of family and friends to death. Retirement is one of the biggest experiences most adults go through as they age. In adapting to role loss, individuals replace old roles with new roles in society (Havighurst, 1963). P ast research indicates th at those who have the most positive attitudes towards their current jobs are of ten the most likely to have retirement intentions (Adams, Prescher, Beehr, & Lepisto, 2002). The researchers hypothesized that other social r oles were contributing to retirement intentions such as religious roles and par ental responsibilities, and these social roles are a way to adapt to the upcoming role loss of retirement (Adams et al., 2002). For example, if an individual used to be an accountant in middle age he or she may v ). After the bereavement process has been completed, older adults will often embark on new relationships. New friendships and intimate relationships are often formed among older adults (Connidis, 2001; de Jong Gierveld, 2004). Past research indicates increased life satisfaction, among older adults in regards to these n ew friendships and inti mate relationships (de Jong Gierveld, 2004).

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30 Disengagement and activity theory although sometimes relevant in explaining an older adults post retirement behavio change over time. Continuity theory was developed as a response to the growing criticism of disengagement and activity theory (Atchley, 1983; 1989). The diagram, Figure 2 3, illustrates the constructs and outcome of continuity theory. Continuity theory suggests adult development is o ngoing (Atchley, 1983; 1989; 1994). It further suggests participation in an activity during the part of life (Agahi, Ahacic, & Parker, 2006). Co ntinuity theory makes the assumption that older adults have formed goals or a developmental direction for themselves which influences their decision making process es (Atchley, 1994 ). Hence, h uman beings are constantly undergoing changes and adapting to new situations drawing on past experiences that shape their current actions (Atchley, 1983; 1989). These past experiences for m the backbone of patterns individuals use throughout their lives to adapt to changes and reach goals (Atchley, 1994). This adaptatio n process continues as individuals enter late life and subsequently lose physical and mental capabilities (Agahi et al., 2006). This adaptation process forms one of the central tenets of continuity theory, a daptive capacity (Atchely, 1989; 1994). Adaptive capacity is the concept that humans are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and thus humans often make the decision to engage in activities that they perceive themselves to be stronger in (Atchley, 1994 ; 1998). Similar findings about adapting in soci al relationships were found; these findings suggested as people grow older the y seek out relationships that have a positive connotation for them (Cornwell, Laumann, & Schumm, 2008; Cornwell, 2009). Recent research on retired adults in Israel demonstrates adding new activity in old age increases life satisfaction (Nimrod, 2008a). Nimrod (2008a) found that pre retirement occupation

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31 and activities highly influenced re tirement activities in old age. Nimr od describes two groups of people post retirement: innovators and non innovators (Nimrod, 2008a). Nimrod (2008b) notes the main difference between innovator and non innovator groups are pre retirement occupation and feelings on retirement (Nimrod, 2008b). These findings suggest that as older adults age they continue to maintain previous roles and adapt to new situations in the context of a LORC. Although, this research focused on older adults in Israel; these findings do leave room for further research on r etired adults living in LORCs elsewhere such as the United States (Nimrod, 2008a). Current actions, the decision making process, and adaptive capacity in relation to activities e satisfaction. Continuity theory and later work based on continuity theory may offer some perspective about how older adults view their activities before moving to an LORC and their current activities in the LORC. Many older adults in LORCs express great pride in their previous positions in life (Youngblood, 2005). Continuity theory and later work done by Nimrod (2008a; 2008b) suggests these positions would carry over into retirement in some fashion. For example, an accountant may retire from being an acco Continuity theory asserts that this is because if the activities that one engages in earlier in life ge in them as they age (Atchley, 1983; Maddox, 1987). Person Environment Fit Model Researchers in the past have attempte by how well they fit their environment. The idea was first proposed by Lewin (1951). Lewin (1951) t heorized that and physical environment This work was later applied to environmental gerontology by several researchers seeking to explain

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32 how environments influence successful aging and life satisfaction (Lawton & Nahemow, 1973; Kahana, 1982; Carp & Carp, 1984). Person environment fit model, seen in Figure 2 4, proposes four constructs which influence the outcome variables of residential satisfaction and psychological well being. Psychological well being is partially derived from life satisfaction. These four con structs are: personal characteristics, personal preferences, environmental characteristics, and P E Fit (Kahana, Lovegreen, Kahana, & Kahana, 2003). Each construct is influenced by several sub constructs. Personal characteristics are defined by demograph ic characteristics and psychological characteristics. Demographic characteristics are age, gender, race, and education. Psychological satisfaction and psycholo gical well being are personal preferences. Individuals base their personal preferences on what they want in their physical and social domains T he third construct, environmental characteristics, is what they have or what they perceive to have in their env ironment. Environment is loosely defined as the opportunities and obstacles that a person faces in obtaining the optimal activity level (Kelly, 1993). Physical domains, part of personal preferences and environmental characteristics, are based on safety, st imulation/ peacefulness, resource amenities, and physical amenities/ aesthetics; while social domains are based on homogeneity/ heterogeneity, and interaction/ solitude. More recent research suggests when older adults engage in increased outdoor activities there are increased physical and psychological benefits (Sugi yama & Thompson, 2007). The fourth construct P E Fit, is influenced and defined by personal preferences and environmental characteristics. (Kahana et al., 2003; Lawton & Nahemow, 1973; Kahana, 1 982; Carp & Carp, 1984 ). Previous research has shown a casual

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33 connection between life satisfaction and these outcome variables ( Mastekaasa & Moum, 1984 ; Cummins & Nistico, 2002 ). by their social envir onment which is ( Thom se & Broese van Groenou, 2006 ). Kahana et al. (2003) found social participation and social homogeneity are extremely important to older adults in relation to their social connecti ons as they age. The importance of social participation is significant because if one does not participate in activities with others; they will not be able to form social connections. While social homogeneity is significant in forming social connections be cause of the importance individuals place on personal characteristics in forming social connections. This social environment is based on the social connections older adults make as they age; these connections o ften form the backbone of a care group (Kahanah et al., 2003; Thom se & Broese van Groenou, 2006). Social connections are often found in LORCs, where research has shown that older adults seek independence (Kahana et al., 2003; Youngblood, 2005). Summary LORCs present older adults with an envir onment that offers grocery stores, pharmacies, medical care and numerous other amenities T hey also provide residents with numerous social, physical, and leisure activities. The impact that these community facilitated activ ities have on a satisfaction has never been measured. The two theories reviewed above attempt to explain successful aging or life satisfaction through activities. Continuity theory proposes that if one maintains a continuous level of activity as one ages, l ife satisfactio n will remain the same. P erson her or his personal characteristics, personal preferences, and environmental characteristics: it will meet her or his physical, mental, and emotional needs a s he or she ages eventually resulting in a maintained

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34 level of life satisfaction. Both of these theories have been used to explain how activities have a causal relationship with successful aging and life satisfaction among older adults. However, these th eories have not been applied in LORCs. The goal of this research is to utilize the following theories to try to understand how activities influence life satisfaction in a LORC. One of the limitations of previous research on the relationship between activit ies and life satisfaction is gender (Russel, 2007; Wray, 2004; Stanley & Freysinger, 1995 ). Characteristics of Females as T hey A ge Previous research has established that t here is a difference between males and females with respect to participation in a cti vities and successful aging (Russell, 2007). Although, women vary strategies to pursue active lives and remain in control, as they grow This means as wom en grow older they choose the activity in which they participate. Past research on the differences of males and females as they age has found that females enjoy par ticipating in activities more than males (Son, Kerstetter, Yarnal, & Baker, 2007) Further more, these activit ies provide a social network for females as the age. These social networks offer females a set of friends to rely on during significant life events, and they also give females the chance to engage in creative and non binding activities. Russell (2007) and Williamson (2000) found that 2/3 of participants in assisted living activities were female; these s participation in more solitary activities (Russell, 2007). Males showed higher signs of disengagement as they aged. Males became less interested in social connection s and activities (Stanley & Freysinger, 1995). These findings were further confirmed through research on adaptive cap acity in older males (Genoe & Singleton, 2006). They found as older males age they are more likely to give up some activities due to physical limitations; howe ver, they sometimes replace this loss with an activity they already take part in

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35 (they simply increase the amount of time in activity a with a loss in activity b ) (Genoe & Singleton, 2006). In re lation to successful aging females often feel that aging successfully is a choice (Ross en, Knafl, & Flood, 2008). Females attribute successful aging to a successful late life transition (Rossen et al., 2008). Hence, som e studies suggest that older fema les adjust better because they are more likely to accept changes in their physical abilities, relationships and their env ironment (Rossen et al., 2008). Given these differences between males and females as they age it is i mperative to look at how activities in an LORC influence life satisfaction by examining one gender first. Purpose Past research has suggested there are distinct demographic trends that have emerged in LORCs across the country (Townshend, 2002; Moschis et al., 2005; McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005; Longino & Manheimer 1995; He & Schachter, 2003; Youngblood, 2005). Based on this information and past research on continuity theory and person environment fit model, one could surmise there is a positive relationsh ip between successful aging or life satisfaction and activities when healthy older adults move into LORCs (Nimrod, 2008a; Thom se & Broese van Groenou, 2006 ). This research will help to indentify the relationship between activities in an LORC and life sat isfaction. In order to identify activities and how they influence life satisfaction in a LORC, the research will utilize several in depth semi structured interviews. The objective of the interviews is to determine: Before moving to this LORC how did soci al, physical, and leisure activities contribute to satisfaction?; How has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC?

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36 Figure 2 1. Diagram of Disengagement Theory Figure 2 2. Diagram of Activity Theory

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37 Figure 2 3. Diagram of Continuity Theory Figure 2 4. Diagram of Person Environment Fit Model

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38 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The purpose of this study was to determine: (1) Before moving to this LORC how did on? (2) How do the social, physical, and leisure activities contribut (3) How has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC? A demographic questionnaire, satisfaction with life scale, and a quali tative interview were employed to obtain in de pth s feelings and experiences with relation to a ctivit ies in the context of an L OR C. The methodology utilized in the research process is described below. Design This study utilized a cross sectional qualitative approach. This cross sectional approach was selected due to its ability to explain association be tween variables in a relatively short period of time (de Vaus, 2001). The quantitative instruments were used to add a depth of understanding to the results. By utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods the research design employs triangulation, complementarity, and the ability to further expand on results and findings (Greene, Caracelli, & Graham, 1989). Triangulation allows the researcher the ability to establish a level of consistency between the quantitative and qualitative methods (Greene et al., 1989; Yin, 2008). Use of the quantitative instruments allows the researcher to establish complementarity, or clarify, findings in the qualitative portion of the results by utilizing quantitative findings (Greene et al., 1989). By utilizing quantitat ive measures there was a better understanding of the results (Greene et al., 1989). Research Setting The research setting was one of the largest LORCs in the state of Florida. It is located in north central Florida, approximately 55 miles north of Orlando and 25 miles south of Ocala. The

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39 research setting geographically encompasses three counties: Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties. There are several natural areas located throughout the LORC; however, the community has been very well developed. Similar to ot her LORCs, this LORC offers its residents many amenities. Residents of this LORC have access to an onsite medical facility, a wide selection of doctors, shopping, and a wide variety of restaurants. The community is golf cart friendly, resulting in an infra structure that is designed to support the use of golf carts as a main mode of transportation to keep the residents mobile and independent even after they can no longer drive a vehicle. As of 2009, home prices in this LORC ranged from $80,000 for a mobile h ome located in an older section of the LORC to over $1,000,000 for a custom built home in a newer area. The most current U.S census data lists the total population as 8,333 (U.S. Census, 2000). emale and 47.6% male. The LORC has a median age of 66.3 (U S Census, 2003). The Census (2000) listed the population of the community as 98.4% White, and the remaining 1.6% of the population was comprised of Multi racial, Blacks, Asians. American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some other races. Only 5.8% of the population of the LORC reported being foreign born compared to the national average of 11.1% (U.S. Census, 2000). The median value of a home in the LORC was $136,100 compared to the state average in Florida of $105,500 (U.S. Census, 2000). More current data sources state the population was 47,000 in 2004, and the projected population in January 2010 was 78,000 ( The Villages, 2010). Sampling and Recruitment Procedure The research focused on a theoretical population consisting of all females living in any LORC between the ages of 60 75. The theoretical sample of the LORC where this research was conducted was all female residents between the ages of 60 75. This theoretical sample is a good

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40 representation of female residents of an LORC because it is one of the largest LORCs in the United States. T his community accurately represents other LORCs acr oss the United Stat es because of its large population, wide variety of amenities, and vast geographic area. This LORC off ers the same amenities that comprise most LORCs However, the results and conclusions reached in this study cannot be generalized to the theoretical popul ation or theoretical sample due to the limitations of the twelve person volunteer sample. In order to select a sampling frame from the theoretical sample, I contacted four primary sources who lived in the LORC. The four primary sources did not know each other minimizing the possibility of duplication. The four sources were asked to introduce the study topic to four or five residents. The four initial sources were asked to find people of varying experiences and opinions of life at this LORC. The primary so urces provided residents with information researcher via email or telephone. A resident who was interested in participating in the study made direct contact with the researcher. Participants contacted the researcher via phone or email. During the phone and/or email conversations with the potential participants the researcher confirmed that the person met the inclusion criteria: the person was a female, between the ages of 60 75, was a full time resident of the LORC (lived there at least nine months out of the year), and had lived in the LORC for the past twelve months. If the participants met the inclusion criteria they were told more about the project, time commitm ent of one hour to one hour and a half, and compensation for participation in the interview. If potential participants met the inclusion criteria and were interested in participating, an appointment to conduct the research was scheduled. All participants w ere told in advance that they would be compensated for their time commitment in the form of a $10 grocery store gift card.

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41 Sample The sampling frame was comprised of twelve female residents of this LORC. The sample was collected using a volunteer sample. A volunteer sample was selected as the way of recruitment for participants due to the restricted access to the wider population. Steps were taken to minimize the bias introduced by a volunteer sample by selecting participants with a range of experiences an d opinions about living at this LORC. The sampling frame was screened based on gender, age, full time residency, and length of residency. Gender was part of the exclusion criteria due to the impact it has on participation in activities (Russell, 2007; Son et al., 2007; Rossen et al., 2008). W omen are twice as likely to participate in activities than men (Russell, 2007; Son et al., 2007; Rossen et al., 2008). Hence, women have a broader view of the activities provided in their previous communities and an LORC. The sampling frame also used age as a selection criterion. This criteria was established and included to control influences on the differences participants might have with respect to their current lives, gender roles, past experiences, and health changes that normally onset with age. Par ticipants were also screened for full time residency. Full time residency for the purpose of this project was defined as a person who resides in the LORC for nine months or more of the year. This inclusion criteria was established to eliminate outside eff ects such as increased family interaction or differences that might arise that would have a significant impact on an individual. Participants were also selected by when they moved into the LORC. The exclusion criteria eliminated potential participants who had lived in the LORC for less than twelve months. This criteria was established in order to help eliminate the effect of a honeymoon period for new residents of the LORC. Methods The primary data collection method was an in depth semi structured intervie w. All the interviews were conducted by the primary researcher, who was a 23 year old White female. The

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42 in [that] are developed in advance along with prepared probes Unplanned, unanticipated probes maintained flexibility in regards to interview questions using a procedure that sometimes called for modifying or adding additional p robing questions to the interview protocol based on participant responses (Yin, 2008). Subsequent methods used to substantiate data collected in the in depth semi structured interview included a demographic questionnaire and a Satisfaction with Life Scale. Procedure The interview was conducted in a public library located near the LORC. The library was chosen specifically for the amenity of a quiet discussion room and close proximity to the LORC. A library location was selected to enable the participants t o share information in a private, non distracting, and non threatening location. The participants were met at the entrance to the library and escorted to the conference room. There was no one else present in the room except for the participant and the rese archer. The participants were reminded of the topic of the research and were then invited to sit and make themselves comfortable. The participants were given the following information during the interview: the informed consent, a demographic questionnaire, a Satisfaction With Life Scale, and a thank you note with the compensation attached. The participants were told about the key elements of the informed consent: basic information about the study, the amount of time the study required, the interview recordi ng process, confidentiality in regards to their responses, their rights as a research participant to not answer any question or withdraw from the study at any Board. The participants were then given the informed consent. The participants were given time

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43 to read the informed consent. A signed copy was returned to the researcher and participants retained a copy for their records. The first step of the interview i nvolved the completion of a brief paper pencil demographic questionnaire. The second step of the interview was the completion of a five item Satisfaction With Life Scale. When that was finished, the researcher began the in depth semi structured interview. Participants were informed once more that the interview would be recorded. The interviews were recorded using two small MP3 recording devices. Two devices were used to ensure the interview was captured. The recording devices were placed openly on the tabl e to prevent the participants from forgetting the conversation was being recorded. The participants were then asked a series of in depth semi structured interview questions. The in depth semi structured interview ranged from 60 80 minutes. The script and p rotocol were kept structured, and the researcher maintained a professional demeanor when talking wit h participants. In order to maintain a professional demeanor several guidelines were followed, which included: adhering to the one hour to one hour and a ha lf timeline for the interview, the ability of the researcher to Scho enberg, 2002). At the end of the interview the MP3 recorders were turned off. The participants were thanked for their participation and asked if they had any additional questions. They were reminded to take their copy of the informed consent and thank you note with the compensation attached. Instrumentation The methods for this study were a demographic questionnaire, a Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, 1984; Diener, et al., 1985), and an in depth interview. A demographic questionnaire was used to collect background information about the respondents. The

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4 4 S satisfaction. Observations the researcher made on three different visits to the LORC helped to formulate the qualitative interview questions and provide a conte responses. An in depth interview was chosen as the primary method of this research study. It enabled the researcher to ask more in depth questions and get a deeper understanding of the Quantitative Measures Demographic q uestionnaire As part of the interview process the participants were given a demographic questionnaire. All participants were given demographic questionnaires (Appendix D). The questionnaire asked information about: race, self rated health, mar education, parental status, number of children, value of their home, when they moved to the LORC, and where they moved from. Race, marital status, and parental status were identified using a nominal scale. fill in the blank items were used to identify length of residency in the LORC and pr ior location and length of residency at that location. Satisfaction with life s cale The participants were given the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) (Appendix E) The SWLS is a five item Likert scale with potential responses, ranging from 5 to 35 (Dien er, 1984; Diener et al., 1985). life satisfaction. The scale was chosen because it was brief and relatively easy for respondents to answer (Di ener et al., 1985; Rejeski & Mi ha l ko, 2001). The items of the scale ask about the following aspects of overall life satisfaction: (1) I n most ways my life is close to ideal. (2) The

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45 conditions of my life are excellent. (3) I am satisfied with my life. (4) So far I have gotten the important th ings I want in life. (5) If I could live my life over I would change almost nothing. The scale has been extremely well utilized and reliable in measuring life satisfaction among older adults (Diener et al., 1985; McAuley, Blissmer, Marquez, Jerome, Kramer, & Katula 2000; Rejeski & Mihalko, 2001). The reliability coefficient of this scale is .82 (Diener et al., 1985; Rejeski & Mihalko, 2001). The SWLS has a high degree of internal validity among the five items when tested by two different researchers workin g with older females (Diener et al., 1985). The item total correlation for the five item scale is as follows:(1) .81, (2) .63 (3) .61 calculated because the ov erall life satisfaction of this sample was very high resulting in a range of responses that mainly fell between five and seven on a seven point scale. Qualitative Measures: In Depth Interview Interviews provided a targeted and insightful method for obtain ing data (Tellis, 1997). The type of questions asked were open ended and allowed the participants to express their opinion, (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005; Morse, 2002). Observations and informal conversations were utilized to help inform the research several occasions prior to the study. I took a developer sponsored tour of the LORC. During the visits I visited both of the community centers, and drove around the LORC on my own. On these visits I took notes on community facilitated activities and amenities offered by the LORC. Additional information was also gathered about a ctivities and life in the LORC through personal contacts with residents living in the community. These observations were used as a basis for question development in the in depth semi structured interview. In an effort to supplement and

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46 substantiate the int erview data, I visited the LORC on three occasions before conducting the research. These observations also helped form a more holistic view of the participant responses. Activity and continuity theory reviewed in chapter two also provided a basis for the in depth interview questions. and life satisfaction through out their life span. The questions used during the in depth interview asked the participants about their social, physical, a nd leisure activities prior to and since moving to the LORC and how this impacted life satisfaction. These questions were based on the three main research questions. Questions based on research question one and two seek to understand a ties before and since moving to the LORC, and how these activities impacted activities and how this influenced their life satisfaction. These questions were based on the activity theory constructs of: activity level and pattern, maintaining a equilibrium, and adapting to role loss. They were also based on the three constructs of continuity theory: current actions, which are based on past actions, decision making pro developmental direction, and adaptive capacity. Research question three asked participants about how their life satisfaction has changed since moving to the LORC. These questions were based on the outcome variable of lif e satisfaction in both activity and continuity theory. Before the research questions were addressed in the interview, it was important to establish how the respondents defined social, physical, and leisure activities. Respondents were asked if they agreed to an already established definition of the type of activity. For example, respondents were asked this series of questions about social activities: Previous research has defined social activities as a set of interactions and relationships between people. How does your definition of social activit ies differ? Respondents were the n asked if they would list some social activities, and

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47 identify the social activities they participated in. Respondents were also asked if they felt social activities were related t o physical and leisure activities. A similar series of questions was asked about physical and leisure activities. The entire set of interview questions can be found in Appendix F. Research question one asks, before moving to this LORC how did social, phys ical, and respondents were asked a series of questions on their activities and how it impacted life satisfaction before moving to the LORC. For example, responde nts were asked this series of questions about social activities. How would you describe your participation in social activities before you moved to the LORC? How often did you engage in these activities? If the respondent answered did not participate, why did you not participate? How did social activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to this LORC? action? The respondents were asked a series of questions about their current activities (with particular interest in those activities that were in some way facilitated by the LORC) and how they impacted their life satisfaction. For example, respondents wer e asked this series of questions about their current social activities. How would you describe your participation in social activities at this LORC? How often do you engage in these activities? If the respondent answered do not participate, why do you not participate? How do this LORCs supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life? The third research question was, how has life satisfaction changed since moving to this LORC? In order to establish this the respondents were asked t o answer a series of questions about how activities influence life satisfaction. For example, respondents were asked these two

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48 questions about life satisfaction with respect to social activities: (1) How did social activities contribute to how satisfied yo u were before moving to this LORC? and (2) How do this LORC s supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life? The instruments were tested using pilot testing. Three females who were between the ages of 60 75 who lived in a LORC were asked to complete the demographic questionnaire and in depth semi structured interview in the same context as the protocol above suggests. Pilot testing was used to further refine the data collection process and instruments (Yin, 2003; 2008). All of t he women lived in a LORC full time, and had been living there for longer than twelve months. The pilot participants were aware that their responses and interviews would not be used in the study, but only to further refine the data collection process and in struments. Pilot respondents were queried about each question that appeared in the semi structured interview (Appendix G). Responses were examined and questions were eliminated based on the responses and feedback given during pilot testing. Analysis The process of generating a theory to fit the emergent themes is known as grounded theory development. When conducting grounded theory research the researcher engages in a process that includes coding, categorizing, development of themes, and establishing a re levant theory. Grounded theory research is the process by which a researcher utilizes themes developed from the interviews to explain the phenomenon occurring in the data (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). This phenomenon will later be explained by a theory. To dev elop these themes I engaged in a process known as manifest content analysis. Manifest content analysis refers to the process a visibl (Graneheim & Lundman, 2004, p. 106 ). Categories are then developed from coded words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. A category is when words, phrases, sentences, and

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49 paragraphs consist of the same characteristics (Graneheim & Lundman, 2004). After establishing a set of categories the next step in grounded theory research is the development of themes. The constant comparison method is when the researcher is constantly asking how this theme, phrase, or sentence fits or what the participant was trying to say (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The themes developed throughout the research process should lead to the establishment of an overarching theory. In this study I utilized the process described above to establish codes, categories, and themes. A theory was used to explain how the themes were connected. The recordings were transcribed and rechecked twice. This was done to ensure no mistakes were made in transcribing the interviews. The transcriptions were then read three times to gain a thorough understanding of the text and its meaning. I used sentences and phrases to achieve manifest content analysis (Feeley & Gottlieb, 1998). Several codes were developed during manifest content analysis. Examples of some of the codes derived from ma nifest content analysis were: ivities here are much better tha After identif ying the codes I grouped the units of analysis together to form a category. I developed some core categories after reviewing the transcripts three times. Based on the data and reviewing the int erview questions I was able to devise categories. The categories were ma de up of sentences and phrases consisting of similar ideas or sentiments about the same topic. A few core categories were utilized at first, but after review ing the material I was able to develop more categories. These categories were constantly utilized with the constant comparison method that was used to develop themes. The themes were eventually used to identify a theory that would help to explain the themes.

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50 In order to ensure reliability and consistency among the codes, categories, and themes two ger ontologists and myself engaged in the constant comparative method. The constant integrating categories and their properties, (3) delimiting the theory, and (4 (Glaser, 1965, p. 439). One gerontologist held an advanced degree in gerontology and had 25 years of work experience in the field. The other gerontologist who served as a reviewer was a ublic health and psychology with a focus on gerontology. Both were given the set of transcripts and categories. The reviewers followed the same steps as the researcher, by reviewing the transcripts, coding, categorizing and developing themes A percent a greement system was used to establish concurrence among the codes, categories and themes The first reviewer and the researcher had a 71% agreement between how the codes were placed into the categories. While the second reviewer and the researcher had a 7 5% agreement between how the codes were placed into the categories. The researcher and categories. These differences were taken into account when finalizing the codes and categories. After constant comparison was used between the researcher and the reviewers the percent agreement between the codes and categories was 91% and 96%, respectively. The researcher also asked the reviewers to place the categories into themes. There was an initial agreement of 85% and 89% respectively; however, after some discussion a percent agreement of 97% and 95% was reached. This process provided a system to check the coding, categories, and themes, which provided a layer of accura cy to the data analysis process (Armstrong, Gosling, Weinman, & Martaeu, 1997). By having two gerontologists review the raw data and categories I

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51 had a better understanding of the findings, and I was better able to control for my own subjectivity (Armstron g et al., 1997).

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52 CHAPTER 4 STUDY RESULTS In depth personal interviews were conducted at the Lady Lake Library. The goal of these interviews was to reach conclusions on the three principal research questions, which were: (1) Before moving to this LORC how did social, physical, and leisure activit ies contribute to moving to this LORC? The interviews lasted 60 90 minutes. Respondents were asked to complete a demographic questionnaire and a Satisfaction with Life Scale. They were then asked a series of questions on activities and life satisfaction. The semi structured in depth interviews were divided into three sec tions based on the type of activity: social activity, physical activity, and leisure activity. Coding and manifest content analysis of the data indicated one central theory that could be used to explain the emergent themes. Quantitative Results Results of Demographic Questionnaire All of the respondents completed the demographic questionnaire. The demographic questionnaire asked the respondents questions about: race, self rated overall health, relationship ble), number of children (if applicable), how many times a year they see their children (if applicable), the value of their home when they purchased it, when they moved to this LORC, where they lived before moving to this LORC, and how long they lived in that location before moving to this LORC. All of the respondents self identified as W hite. This respondent sample is in line with the population of this LORC (U.S. Census, 2000) which is 98.5% W hite. Figure 4 1 depicts how respondents rated their o verall health. As depicted in Figure 4 1 all respondents rated their health

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53 as about the same as their peers, be tter, or much better. R espondents in this study had a very high self rated overall health, however, this is common among older females ( Ferraro, 1980; Larue, Banks, Jarvik, & Hetland, 1979). Past research suggests older females tend to inflate their overall self rated health (Ferraro, 1980; Larue, et al., 1979). Nine of the respondents indicated that they were married, one of the respondents indicated s he was widowed, one respondent indicated she was single (never married), and another respondent indicated she was divorced. Respondents also answered questions about their level and their pa 2 illustrates these findings, blue. Ten of the women recorded that they had one or more children. These women indicated that they saw at least one of their children once a year or more but this varied on how far the adult child lived from the LORC The women also indicated where they had lived before moving to this LORC. Many of the women lived in several different places before moving to this LORC; however, just the last place they lived before moving to this L O RC is displayed in Table 4 1 The women had lived an average of 39 years in their previ ous locations. As depicted in Table 4 1 the majority of the women were from Florida, the Midwest, or the Northeast. This is consistent with demograp hic information for the state of Florida which notes the highest levels of out moving interstate migration of older adults were from the Midwest and Northeast (He & Schachter, 2003). Results of Satisfaction with Life Scale Eleven out of the twelve respondents completed the S atisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). The average summative score on the SWLS was 29.55. The highest possible score was 35. In preliminary testing of the SWLS on older adult females living in various residential s ituations the average score was 25.8 (Diener et al., 1985; Pavok, Diener, Colvin, & Sandvik, 1991) However, one respondent was unable to answer an item on the SWLS. Therefore, the average score and

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54 standard deviation for each item is also displayed: (Item 1) M=6.0833 and SD= .28868, (Item 2) M= 5.833 3 and SD= .38925, ( Item 3) M= 6.2500 and SD= .45227, (Item 4) M= 6.1818 and SD= .60302, and (Item 5) M= 5.2500 and SD= 1.48477 These results are also higher then results found in a previous study of older females that utilized the SWLS average score; the scores on average were approximately one point higher t han the previous study (McAuley Konopack, Motl, Morris, Doerksen, & Rosengren, 2006 ). In comparison to pr evious studies on older females this sample had a very high life sati sfaction score (McAuley, et al., 2006). Summary of Quantitative Results The findings of the demographic results are consistent with pervious findings in LORCs. All twelve of the respondents identified as White, this was consistent with the most recent racial demographic informati on on this LORC, which was 98.5% White (U.S. Census, 2000) These finding are also consistent with past research on other LORCs which suggest s these communities are predominantly White homogenous societies (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). The sample also had high self perceived health; this was consistent with other females in this age group (Ferraro, 1980; Larue, et al., 1979). The sample lived on average 39 years in their past location, and were mainly from the Northeast, Midwest, and Flo rida. These findings are consistent on retirees in Florida (He & Schachter, 2003 ). Additionally, these findings are consistent with past research on LORCs suggesting the residents are mainly from the Northeast and Midwest (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). The SWLS indicated the women in this sample of this LORC had a very high satisfaction with life. Overall, this sample can be characterized as predominantly White with a high self perceived health and satisfaction with life score.

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55 Qualitative Analysis T he reviewers and I identified 4 6 codes through manifest content analysis. These codes were collapsed into 2 6 categories. Ten themes were then identified and these themes were then further refined into three constructs that correspond to a central theory of th is study. The next section will expand on the process that identified these codes, categori es, themes, and constructs helping to explain a central theory of this study. Coding After reviewing the transcr ipts three times the text was coded The coding process identified phrases and sentences that were alike, and portrayed what the author and reviewers identified as the central ideas used to answer the qualitative questions. Examples of some of the vities here are much better than satisfaction before and since moving to this LORC. Categories The 46 codes were then condensed into 2 6 categories. Codes became overall explanations of a phenomenon. Codes such as, We were extremely fortunate with the neighborhood we got into neighborhoods. Some of the other categories included were (See Appendix J for complete list of categories and codes): changes in social activities, comparisons between the LORC and previous home, how the three types of activities interact, negative aspects of the LORC, neighbors, negative aspects of physical activity in the LORC, involvement in leisure activities at the LORC, leisure activities before moving to the LORC, how leisure activities influenced life sa tisfaction before moving to the LORC, and how leisure activities influence life satisfaction in the LORC.

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56 Themes The categories were further collapsed into themes. I identified ten themes that emerged from the 2 6 categories listed above. These themes are : continuity in involvement in social, physical, and leisure activities, the importance of neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood, not being defined by typical definitions of social, physical, and leisure activities, freedom of choice in activities and p eople you want to par ticipate with, feeling not skilled enough to participate, convenience of facilities, convenience of activities, losing contact with friends and family in different locations, became more involved with one activity, social contacts, and maintained or increased life satisfaction. The themes were formed by using categ ories, for example, neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood emerged from the categories: comparisons between the LORC and previous home, negative aspects of the LORC, and nei ghbors. After reviewing these themes with the reviewers losing contact with friends and family in different locations was combined with freedom of choice in activities and people you want to participate with. I decided to combine these themes because they both concerned choice in social connections. Central Theory Upon completion of manifest content analysis I examined several theories that could help to encompass the ten themes identified above. Although the research and in depth interview questions wer e based on activity and continuity theory; t he themes are be st described using two theories: person environment fit model to explain the ecological context of the data and continuity theory which offers an explan ation of the central phenomenon of the study Together these theories offer an explanation of how activities influence life satisfaction in the context of an LORC. past activities and this in turn influences life sa tisfaction. Many of the themes in the data seem to indicate the construct of continuity theory. However, t o better understand this theory in the

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57 context of an LORC, person environment fit model seemed to offer an explanation Person environment fit model s In c ontinuity theory there are three constructs that influence life satisfaction These constructs are identifie d in Figure 4 3 Current actions are one of th e three constructs that influence life satisfaction (Atchley, 1983; 1989). Current actions are defined as activities one is past experiences and life event s (Atchley 1 983; 1989) Decision making proc ess is defined as the choices one makes which are influenced by how an individual maintains e older adult ma kes decisions (Atchley, 1994). The third construct identified in continuity theory was adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity is the process in which an older adult continues only in activities he or she perceives himself or herself to be stronger in as the y age. Adaptive capacity influences the maintenance of life satisfaction with the assumption that as one ages one participate s in activities that demonstrate strength and maintain relationships that are more rewarding (Atchley, 1994; 1998; Cornwell, Lauman n, & Schumm, 2008; Cornwell, 2009). Table 4 2 depicts how certain themes combine to illustrate a construct. Person continuation in activities is supported by their fit to their environme nt. When examining some themes I noted how these themes were reflective of two constructs from person environment fit model. These two constructs of person environment fit model assisted me in contextualizing certain constructs of continuity theory. Perso nal characteristics and environmental characteris tics

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58 are helpful in understanding current actions and adaptive capacity in the research context. The diagram shown in Figure 4 4 i llustrates person environment fit model. Current Actions According to Conti nuity Theory, current actions are influenced by past experiences. The construct of current actions in continuity theory suggests participation in an activity during the ity in the later part of life (Agahi, Ahacic, & Parker, 2006). Atchley (1994) further suggests that this continuation in activities from early life to late life shapes how individuals adapt to changes and reach accomplishments. When examining the emergent codes, categories, and themes I noted continuity in involvement in social, physical, and leisure activities, social contacts, and maintained or actions are infl uenced by past experiences. Continuity in involvement in social, physical, and ating to the LORC. Continuation in activities was not limited to any activity but instead encompassed the helped participants determine their current action s. Alice, a retired public school teacher, spoke about how much she loved teaching and stated that after moving to this LORC a great deal of her time had been spent volunteering at a local elementary school. She explained that was part of who she was. She children, and they asked me why I come here, I go because I live in [the LORC] and I

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59 This continuation in activities was not simply found in women who had worke d outside of the home full time, but also in women who had spent most of their adult lives working inside of the home. Cathy, who has been a stay at home mom for most of her adult life before moving to the LORC explained she was always very involved in ac tivities, but the LORC had simply Well I was pretty much the social organizer then as Particip ants also explained that their continuation in activities was not just confined to their social activities but also to their physical and leisure activities. Participants reported they were more involved in physical activities since moving to the LORC. Mos t of the participants noted this was due to the availability and convenience of the activities and having more free time due to retirement. Elizabeth a retiree from the Midwest noted her participation in physical activities had increased due to the amount of activities and the right environment. She stated her Participants also noted their leisure activities had stayed consistent since moving to th e LORC. They said most of their current leisure activities were based on activities they participated in before moving to the LORC. This is consistent with current actions being influenced by past experiences. Many of the residents noted their current activities which were based on their past activities really influenced how satisfied they were with life at the LORC. Mary a former stay at home mom from the Northeast noted that she kept busy raising her children and with social, physical, and leisure activities. She thought she was satisfied, but after moving to this LORC she realized there were so many more options. Mary And having things to look forward to, but because there are so many more options here.

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60 Social contact is one of the themes mentioned above as illustrating current actions. I noted most of the respo ndents gained social contacts after moving to the LORC. Respondents noted these social contacts were often similar to those they had before moving to the LORC. However, many of the respondents noted that these new friends had more in common with them. Many respondents felt this was because the LORC offered such a variety of individuals to be friends with. Opal a retiree from a large city in the Northeast stated she could always find multiple people willing to participate in card games or social outings. A nd if she got tired of one group of people there were several different people who would be willing to participate in card games or social outings. She felt this provided her with numerous options for social contact, and she listed this as one of the main contributors to her life satisfaction. She also said when looking at retirement housing options the availability of social contact was one of the main reasons she moved to this LORC. She stated the abundance of social contact options was in vast contrast t o her past home where she had very little social contact options. This response as well as several other responses mirrored how previous experiences with social contacts can influence current actions. Participants suggested the LORC offered them so much in terms of social contact availability and friendliness that it helped influence their life satisfaction. Cathy, a stay at home mom, who was very involved in civic activities before moving to I think the people make it easy to involve yourself, because everybody seems to be very welcoming when you get involved in a new activity, they are always looking for new people, they are not asurable you want to feel Decision Making Processes The decision making process is driven by established goals or an established developmental direction (Atchley, 1983; 1989; 1994; Figure 4 3). I found : freedom of choice in activities and freedom of choice of people you want to par ticipate with, feeling not skilled enough to participate, and maintained or increased life satisfaction helped to illustrate the

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61 construct of decision making processes. Both freedom of choice to participate in activities and freedom of choice of people you want to parti cipate with and feeling not skilled enough to participate illustrate how one makes a choice based on certain circumstances in their life. Elizabeth noted although she enjoys participating in activities at the LORC sometimes the party atmosphere bothered her. Sometimes she chose not to engage with people or in there is an awful lot of alcohol here and an awful lot of y do some really stu Part of the novelty of this LORC is that there is an abundance of social, physical, and leisure activities and groups to choose from. However, with the abundance of activities and groups some of the par ticipants felt they were not good enough to participate in some activities. This theme relates to the other themes because one may make the choice to not participate in an in that activity. This theme became known as feeling not skilled enough to participate. Respondents often cited not wanting to embarrass oneself or hinder the activity for other people. The theme was made up of categories such as: comparisons between here and previous home, negative theme was especially relevant for most participants when discussing their physical activities. Respondents mentioned feeling that al though they may have had an interest in a particular activity they often found that after trying it they were not good enough to participate. A few of the participants spoke about having an interest in golf, but seeing how quickly other people played or ho w well they played made them nervous about participating, so they chose not to participate. These sentiments were echoed by other respondents when discussing water aerobics, tennis, and pickleball. Alice a retired schoolteacher stated that although she co uld play pickleball in her backyard with her husband. She did not think she could keep up with the people playing then other no I could play

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62 it with him in our backyard, and he could hit it to me. But not the way they play, two Participants often cited the ability to choose from an array of social, physical, and leisure activities as one of the main draws to the LORC. Rachel a former bookkeeper from the upper Midwest reported before moving to the LORC she lived in a nearby town. Her husband and her had decided to move to the LORC because of the amount of activities and the ability to be able to choose what they wanted to do for social, physical, and leisure activities. Other respondents mentio ned the freedom one has in choosing a social group o r social contacts. This freedom gave them the ability to form friendships and social connections with a wide variety of other people living in the LORC Cathy stated one of the nicest parts about living in this LORC was when she found a gro up of individuals that she did not She was able to make a decision to find another group that had the same intere sts but was composed of different people. Cathy explained that this made it easier to achieve her goals of staying active because there was such a variety and abundance of people. Respondents reported the ability to choose their activities and who they p articipated with helped to make them more satisfied with their lives Most of the respondents felt that the variety of activities and the ability to choose from these activities led to a higher satisfaction with life. Several respondents even cited this as the reason they had moved to this LORC. Most respondents felt that their ability to be able to choose who and what they wanted to participate in helped them to lead a more satisfying life because they were able to make the decisions, which shaped their id ea of aging. Adaptive Capacity Adaptive capacity postulates humans are sensitive to their strengths and weaknesses, and hence, humans often make the decision to participate in activities where they perceive themselves to be stronger (Atchley, 1994; 1998). These findings were also releva nt in social relationships; suggesting, as people age they engage in relationships that have a positive

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63 association for them (Cornwell, et al., 2008; Cornwell, 2009). Themes that illustrated adaptive capacity were: the importance of neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood, convenience of facilities, convenience of activities, became more involved with one activity, and the subsequent maintenance or increase in life satisfaction. These themes combine to represent the construct of adaptive capacity. Together these themes suggest one focuses on relationships that are convenient and beneficial to oneself and activities that one is strong in, enjoys doing, and finds convenient to do. Many of the participants who were interviewed stated their neighbors had becom e like family for them. The respondents stated a lot of their social, physical, and leisure activities involved their neighbors. These social contacts were so important to the respondents because they provided a convenient and positive group of people to s ocialize with; who had gone through many of the same experiences they had. The respondents noted their neighbors had often moved to the LORC at the same time they did. These experiences to many of the respondents were part of the reason they placed such a high emphasis on these relationships. Irene noted her neighbors were like family to her, and even before her neighbors had moved in she was thinking about what they would be like. When she finally met her neighbors she could not be more thrilled. She stat our extended family. It is amazing how close you get to people when you are 1200 miles away from the rest of your family. And a lot of people here are in the same boat. You know they are hundreds of miles away from thei r families so we have become one and Respondents described facilities at the LORC as very convenient, abundant, and easily accessible. These responses formed the basis for the theme convenience of facilities. By creating facilities that were convenient, abundant, and easily accessible the LORC developers made it easy for older adults to adapt to their environment as they aged. The amenities the LORC provided and facilitated for residents helped to increase the re

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64 environment. Respondents cited numerous community facilities which increased the convenience of the community. Some respondents felt the golf cart paths made the community very convenient. There were numerous reasons given for the convenience of the golf cart paths license. Many of the respondents felt this amenity along with the relative proximity of hospitals, pharmacie s, and grocery stores gave them the ability to remain independent longer as they aged. Many of the respondents also cited the entertainment and dining options as a reason the LORC was so convenient. Many respondents felt their entertainment and dining opti ons were as good or better than the ones they left behind in their previous home. Opal stated that the shows, musical performances, and restaurants in this LORC provided as good of entertainment and dining experience as the major northeastern city she liv ed in before moving to the LORC. She listed these amenities as her favorite aspects of the LORC. Many of the respondents cited the convenience of activities as one of the primary contributors to their life satisfaction. Respondents stated the LORC tried to make activities fun and accessible keeping in mind the participants in the activities were older. The respondents found the activities easy and accessible to do, and therefore had a sense of perceived strength in the activity. Many of the respondents fe lt the LORC paid attention to their needs by tailoring Alice a former teac they are excellent teachers and the people really love doing it. Because you can do it a few times. It is not like you have to be perfect. Also they know that we are older. So it is not like they think that we are Most of the respondents interviewed noted that their sch edules were quite full wi th social, physical, and leisure activities. They noted the convenience of the activities made them try things they had never tried before.

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65 Elizabeth noted since moving to the LORC she had tried so many new activities. She stated, Dominoes or games that they play. I had never heard of these things, but I am having a Most of the respondents noted the convenience of the activi ties helped contribute to their satisfaction with life and the LORC. Many of the participants noted as the amount of time they lived in the LORC increased they slowly paired down the amount of activities they participated in. This suggests as one ages th ey select activities they excel in. Many of the respondents stated when they first moved to the LORC they participated in a lot more social, physical, and leisure activities. Cathy remembered when she first moved to the LORC her realtor recommended to not do too many activities when she first moved in because she would become burned out with the amount of activities. Many of the respondents noted they had started off with more activities and now only participated in a few. Some respondents even mentioned they were not so busy as to have to take a break from their busy schedules. Person Environment Fit Person environment fit model is composed of four constructs (see Figure 4 4) and results in the outcome variables of psychological well being and residentia l satisfaction (Kahana et al., 2003). Multiple themes emerged from the c odes and categories to explain how continuity theory worked in the context of the LORC. However, t he themes could also be explained by person environment model which provides an under (activity preferences) and environment (LORC) can lead to increased life satisfaction For example, a ge, race, and social contact can be seen as interrela ted personal characteristics (see Table 4 4) Age was oft en cited by participants as one of the reasons why there was such an availability of social contacts. Likewise, a ll of the respondents identified themselves as White,

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66 further confirming prior research which suggested LORCs were predominantly White homogeno us societies (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). One respondent noted that because everyone was retired it just made it easier to find people who were into the same things you were into. These findings further confirm earlier findings about age and the role i t plays in how older adults view friendships in an LORC (McHugh & La rson Keagy, 2005). Convenience of facilities, convenience of activities, neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood, and social contacts all illustrate the construct of environmental chara cteristics. Participants routinely acknowledged that the LORC by organizing social, physical, and leisure activities for residents helped to provide them with a broadened social network and a venue to facilitate these activities. Many of the participants often cited this as one of the main reasons they were so satisfied with living in this LORC. When respondents described their neighborhood they described a neighborhood that let them take advantage of their strengths in a way that suited their needs. Many of the respondents noted their neighborhood offered many social, physical, and leisure activities. Respondents described themed neighborhood parties and outings to local attractions with their neighborhood groups. Dorothy a retiree from Florida found her neighborhood social activities to be a huge contributor in her satisfaction with her neighborhood. She described neighborhood block parties which featured a theme such as Mardi Gras or Halloween, dancing, and a DJ. Another aspect of the neighborhood tha t represented adaptive capacity is the structure of the neighborhood theme. Respondents stated the neighborhood centers which featured neighborhood mailboxes and neighborhood pools really helped to increase their social activity and hence increase their li fe satisfaction. Opal a retired professional from the Northeast said that when she first moved to the LORC she did not like having to get her mail at the neighborhood mailboxes, but then

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67 she noticed that because everyone has to go get the mail. The mailbo xes had become a meeting place. Participants also noted the community influenced their current actions in their participation in activities. The respondents stated part of why they had moved to the LORC was the amount and variety of activities. Respondents overwhelming described themselv es as busy people in their past lives, and so naturally to these respondents this LORC offered them the chance to remain busy. Karen is a semi retired professional living in the LORC. She described the LORC as the perfect mix of activities. She stated bef ore moving to this LORC she was very busy with social, physical, and leisure activities. Since moving to this LORC she has noticed that although she does not participate in exactly the same activities she still spends as much time doing them. Many of the respondents felt the community and its facilities and activities fit what they desired for activities in retirement.

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68 Figure 4 1. Graph of Self Rated Overall Health Figure 4 2. Graph of Level of Education and Partners Level of Education

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69 Figure 4 3. Diagram of Continuity Theory Figure 4 4. Diagram of Person Environment Fit Model

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70 Figure 4 5. Diagram of Continuity Theory with Themes Figure 4 6. Diagram of Person Environment Fit Model with Themes

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71 Table 4 1. Table i llustrating l ast p lace of residence before the LORC State Number Florida 3 Indiana 1 Michigan 3 New Jersey 1 New York 1 Ohio 1 Pennsylvania 2 Table 4 2. Table illustrating how themes combine to reflect constructs influencing life satisfaction Current Actions Decision Making Process Adaptive Capacity Continuity in involvement in social, physical, and leisure activities Freedom of choice and people you want to participate with The importance of neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood More social contacts Feeling not skilled enough to participate Convenience of facilities Convenience of activities Became more involved with one activity Table 4 3. Table illustrating how themes and characteristics combine to reflect constructs of Person Environment Fit Model Personal Characteristics Environmental Characteristics Age Convenience of facilities Race Convenience of activities More Social Contact Structure of the Neighborhood/ Neighbors More Social Contact

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72 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS The female sample interviewed for this study discussed their various social, physical, and leisure activities and how they influenced their life satisfaction. interview questions were e xamined using manifest content analysis. Several themes emerged life satisfac tion. These themes were then examined and two theories emerged, continuity theor y and pe rson environment fit model. These theories were utilized activities in an LORC influence life satisfaction. and since moving to the LORC how these activities influenced life satisfaction and how life satisfaction has chan ged since moving to the LORC Many of the findings of this study are in concurrence with previous findings on activities, life satisfaction, and leisure oriented retirement communities (Atchley, 1982; L awton, 1998; McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005; Cvitkovich & Wister, 2001; Kahana, 1982; Lewin, 1951; Carp & Carp, 1984; Baars & Thomse, 1994; Thomse & Broese, 2006; Ekerdt, 1986; Bosse &Ekerdt, 1981). The respondents in this study indicated that they found th e planned, sponsored, and supp orted activities in the LORC to increase their life satisfaction. This discussion will outline the key findings and how they build on previous findings in the aforementioned fields. The discussion will focus on the respondents social contacts, convenience provided by the variety of options, views on the leisure oriented retirement community, and life satisfaction The discussion will also seek to answer the questions posed at the beginning of the re search: ( 1) Before moving to the LORC how did social, faction? (2) How do LORC

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73 has life sat isfaction chan ged since moving to the LORC ? Demographics The demographic questionnaire and satisfaction with life scale suggest a few characteristics of the respondents of this study. Some of the characteristics of this sample are consistent with earlier work done on LORCs. This sample was entirely White. This is consistent with past research on LORCs, which suggest LORCs are predominantly racially homogenous groups (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). This finding also helped in shaping the characteristics and themes, which seem to be explained by environmental characteristics. The respondents also had high self perceived health. This finding was consistent with past research indicating older females have a high self perceived health (Ferraro, 1980; Larue et al. 1979). The demographic questionnaire further suggests most of the women relocated to the LORC from the Northeast, Midwest, and South. This finding i s also consistent with past research on LORCs in Florida and Arizona (He &Schachter, 2003; McHugh & Larso n Keagy, 2005). The SWLS indicated the women in this sample of this LORC had a very high satisfaction with life. These respondents can be characterized as predominantly White with a high self perceived health and satisfaction with life score. The significa nce of the demographic and SWLS results is that it further suggests that the conclusions reached below are very limited due to the sample size. This limitation and its implications are discussed further in the limitations section. Research Questions Befor e Moving to this LORC How Did Social, Physical, and Leisure Activities Contribute atisfaction? The findings suggest residents replace old activities with new activities or similar activities as they age and this in turn helps to influence a maintained or increased life satisfaction.

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74 are shape d by an Respondents indic ated that before moving to the LORC most of them were very busy with social activities Several respondents identified their job as their primary social activity. Many of the respondents were satisfied with their previous activities or jobs; however, they also noted their new role in the LORC was much more fulfilling. This finding is in accordance with past research suggesting as older adults age they replace old roles with new roles in society (Havighurst, 1963; Atchley, 1994). One respondent stated before moving to the LORC her social activities revolved around her work and co workers. Another suggested that although she went out to occasional dinners and movies with friends, her work was her social life before moving to the LORC, and it consumed her. Both of these respondents reported being very involved in their social activities before moving to the LORC. They stated that although they were not involved in working anymore they were still very involved in their social activities. This role replacement is based on their past experiences (Atchley 1982; 1983; 1989; 1994). life satisfaction. Half of the respondents reported that before moving to the LORC they were involved in some physical activities; most of these respondents indicated these physical activities influenced their life satisfaction before moving to the LORC. Other respondents indicated that although they were not involved in any formal physical activity. They considered their past activities or job to be a central part of their physical activity. Ten of the respondents reported after moving to the LORC they were mo re involved in physical activities. Most of the

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75 respondents indicated before moving to the LORC they had little to no participation in leisure activities due to time constraints. These findings support previous research which suggest as older adults age t hey replace previous activities with current activities in order to maintain or increase their life satisfaction (Atchley, 1983;1989). Continuity theory holds older adults are undergoing changes and adapting to new situations drawing on past experiences th at shape their current actions, much like the respondents in the LORC (Atchley 1983; 1989 ). These findings were furthered by later research strong predictor f Later research suggested as individuals age their personal characteristics influence their behavior (Nimrod, their behavior had remained consistent from pre to post retirement. The responses of some of the respondents are in c ongruence with findings about continuity theory and innovation theory that suggest past experiences impact current actions How W s Life S atisfaction? The respondents social, physical, and leisure activities within the context of the LORC could be explained by all three constructs of continuity theory that were used to understand the themes identified in the interviews As already noted, r satisfaction. Also, r e spondents indicated that before moving to the LORC they had developed goals or a developmental direction, which influenced their decision making process and in turn led to a maintained or increased life satisfaction. Respondents further suggested they focu sed on

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76 activities and relationships they were stronger at and had more strength in, which is reflective of the third construct of continuity theory adaptive capacity These constructs were expressed in the interviews when respond ents indicated that although they were busy in a different way than they were before moving to the LORC, they were still occupied with activities. The activities of the respondents usually were some type of social or leisure activity. Some of the respondents had taken a more active role in a club or activity since moving to the LORC. Many of the respondents reported spending more time gardening, reading, being active in clubs, and exercising. The majority of the women interviewed described an active and involved social life. These findings are in agreement with previous research which found social participation and social homogeneity are extremely important to an older adults satisfaction as they age (Kahana, Lovegreen, Kahana & Kahana, 2003). The self reported high level of life satisfaction the women reported, was influenced by activities and organizations (be it social, physical, or leisure activities). These findings are in consensus with earlier research by Thom se and Broese who found that an older adult s life satisfact ion is heavily influenced by their social environment. The respondents also reported one of the primary reasons they moved to the LORC was that they were able t o have a social life separate from their children. These findings were later confirmed by Baars and Thom se (1994) who suggested older adults seek independence in sele cting their housing options. One respondent said although she does not work anymore she now takes classes and volunteers with the same intensity that she did before moving to the LORC ( while she was working). Although, these women had a change in their activity, they still maintained the same level and pattern of involvement in a new activity. Many of the respondents stated that although

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77 they had formed new friendships they continued to do many of the same social activities they had always participated in such as cards, dinners, plays and movies. This also coincides with results in applying the se finding to previous research on adaptive capacity is that the respondents were female, but the female respondents in this research seem to confirm the previous findings (Genoe & Singleton, 2006). Genoe and Singleton (2006), found that as older males age although they may give up some activities they simply replace these activities with activities they already are involved in (they just allocate more time to this activity). Although, many of the respondents reported initially maintaining the same level of activity when moving to the LORC, they also indicated that the level of commitment o r time spent doing certain activities had decreased some since moving to the LORC. R espondents reported although they initially were very involved in a physical activity; they had found that the physical activity was not for them and they no longer participated in that physical activity. However, these respondents still reported high levels of satisfaction with their physical activities. These findings are in line with late r work done on activity and the decision making process (Kelly, 1993 ; Atchley, 1982; 1983; 1989; 1994 ). The decision making process is influenced by goals and developmental direction. The findings above suggest some respondents felt certain activities did not fit their developmental direction and therefore decided not to participate in them. The facilities and amenities made the community a better fit for th physical abilities. Many of the respondents mentioned that although they had never g olfed, played card games, played tennis, line danced, or participated in watching polo they were able to do this in the LORC. Respondents mentioned there w ere beginning classes for leisure activities such as language classes They emphasized the instructor s made every effort to accommodate

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78 participants. The respondents talked about personal experiences where an instructor had taken extra time to teach them or someone they knew how to kayak or line dance. The majority of respondents indicated this was part o f what made the social, physical and leisure activities so enjoyable. Others mentioned the surroundings were ideal for participating in social, physical, and leisure activities. One respondent discussed how the location of the mailboxes in a central locat ion enabled her to meet people who she now engages in activities with. Another respondent stated the town squares really provided the perfect opportunity to meet people. Some respondents indicated although they usually would go to the town square to watch line dancing; they always would end up meeting new people. Other respondents mentioned that the bike and running paths and free golf made it extremely easy to participate in physical activities. They noted that the physical fitness classes were designed wi th older adults in mind. Respondents also noted the closeness of neighborhood pools contributed to their participation in physical activities. Other respondents reported that the restaurants and entertainment provided or facilitated by the LORC made it pos sible to enjoy activities in a way that is unlike other retirement communities. Many of the respondents stated that they chose to move to the LORC because of the amenities and ability to engage in social, physical and leisure activities. Another aspect fit their environment (Lawton & Nahemow, 1973; Kahana, 1982; Carp & Carp, 19 84). In early work on person environment fit model, Lewin (1951) result of their personal experiences and physical environment Later research attempted to explain how environments influence aging (Lawton & Nahemow, 1973; Kahana, 1982; Carp & Carp, 1984). Respondents stated part of the reason they enjoyed living in the LORC was the

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79 amenities and facilities within the LORC. One respondent noted the bike and running trails make it much easier to get out an exercise. St ill others noted that the many available classes and social organizations kept them active and involved. Most of the respondents credited the LORC with providing the activities and social opportunities for residents. One of the respondents stated when she first moved to the LORC the activities director would contact her to participate in activities and organizations. She stated knowing she was involved and in a community that met her needs really contributed to her satisfaction with life. These findings are in concurrence with earlier work on living arrangements of older adults (Kahana,1982; Carp & Carp,1984). Many of the respondents noted the LORC offered ideal surroundings for aging. These findings add to previous work done on person environment fit model All of the respondents noted some feature or amenity of the LORC made living there convenient. Past research on person environment fit model has indicated older adults enjoy a higher level of satisfaction when in an environment where their needs are met (Kahana et al., 2003; Cvitkovich & Wister, 2001). Many of the respondents talked about how they viewed the LORC as somewhere they could age in place. Some respondents talked about the convenience of travel by golf cart throughout the community. One respon dent noted that it was convenient because you had the ability to get to grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, and entertainment facilities. Another to drive a golf cart. The amenity of travel by golf cart created a sense of convenience for the respondents. The respondents also noted it was very easy to become part of a social network and this influenced their life satisfaction. Respondents noted tha t upon moving to the LORC they joined social organizations, met neighbors, and took classes. They felt the social connections they made in many ways were stronger than their social connections before moving to the LORC. The

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80 respondents talked about how the ir new social activities involved others who were like them. The interactions that people had were of their choosing, and if they did not like one group of people there were several other groups that would have more similar interests. Although all of the r espondents emphasized they were individuals; they all seemed to place a high level of value on the social connections they made in the LORC. Some of the respondents compared their neighbors to family members. Overall, the respondents felt the social connec tions they made through social activities greatly influenced their life satisfaction. The respondents also suggest their community increases their life satisfaction. Two of the respondents mentioned the foresight and ingenuity the developers of the LORC ha d in creating a place where there were limitless activities and opportunities. These responses are parallel to findings in previous studies about leisure oriented retirement communities (Youngblood, 2005; McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005). Most respondents rep orted they were less involved and had less contact with children and grandchildren. However, in congruence with pervious findings the respondents tended to stay engaged with a large amount of individuals inside the LORC and in some cases engaged in more co mmunication with more individuals than they did before moving to the LORC (Atchley, 1994). Reasons given for the continuation or increase in communication with others inside the LORC included: more free time, more like minded individuals, and the convenie nce of meeting with other older adults. Although this study focused more on the role of activity in life satisfaction respondents reported that the new friendships they had formed with neighbors and fellow club members felt like a family. These findings fu rther support work suggesting that as older adults retire they often form new meaningful friendships and relationships (Connidis, 2001; de Jong Gierveld, 2004).

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81 How Has Life Satisfaction Changed Since M oving to this LORC? When respondents were asked if th ey felt the LORC supported activities increased their life satisfaction, the overwhelming reaction was that although they were satisfied with life before moving to the LORC they were more satisfied with life at the LORC because of all the activities. These findings are consistent with continuity theory and person environment fit model which suggests as individuals age if they continue in the same or similar activities in an environment which provides a good fit this will lead to a maintained or increased li fe satisfaction. These findings are in agreement with previous findings suggesting there is a causal relationship between an increase in activities and an increase in life satisfaction (Havighurst, et al., 1968 ; Atchley, 1983; 1989; 1994 satisfaction with life scale was in agreement with these results. All of the respondents reported although they were satisfied in their previous locations; they were much more satisfied with life since moving to the LORC. One respondent reported she did not know she could be so satisfied with life before moving to the LORC. Another stated that activities really helped improve how satisfied she was with life. Ano ther respondent talked about retiring to the nearby city of Ocala before moving to the LORC. She mentioned although she was satisfied living in Ocala; when they moved to the LORC she realized there was so many more activities she could participate in and a lthough she was busier she was more satisfied. Some respondents noted that there were so many facilities and activities to choose from that it made it hard not to participate and gain satisfaction from at least one form of activity. Others reported that even before moving to the LORC they were very satisfied with life but have remained satisfied with life since moving to the LORC. All of the respondents reported that in some way the activities in the LORC had influenced their life satisfaction in a posit ive way.

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82 Limitations & Strengths of the S tudy Replication of this study should allow for a few considerations. Firstly, these responses and findings are strictly limited to this group of females living in this LORC. One of the central limitations of this research is the sample. A sample size of twelve although appropriate for qualitative research, does not provide very much explanatory power outside of the sample. Therefore, the results of this study cannot be generalized to other women in the LORC or ot her women living in an LORC outside of th is LORC. It is important to note this sample and therefore the findings and conclusions of this study, which, incorporated continuity theory as a possible explanation to activities influence on life satisfaction in an LORC, may not be applicable to older adults w ho are disabled (Minkler, 1990 ). Secondly, this group of female respondents had a very high life satisfaction score; i t should be noted there was an attempt to find people who were also unsatisfied with life at the LORC. However, this process was unsuccessful; many of the respondents suggested those who were not happy with the LORC simply moved very quickly after initially relocating to the LORC. A third, consideration which should be taken into account in fut ure replications of this study is the female participant s high self rated health. These findings may be linked to the economic status. The findings and results found above were on females who rated their physical health and life satisfactio n high in comparison to previous studies. These findings also suggest another possible limitation, cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is holding two conflicting ideas at once (Festinger, 1957). For example, a respondent may have said they were sati sfied with their activities and life in the LORC. However, in actuality they were not satisfied with their activities or life in the LORC, but felt the need to report as such because of the amount of time or money they spent moving to the LORC. A possible way to

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83 control for this limitation in future replications of this study would be to use an instrument that measures social desirability Another consideration researchers should keep in mind is the three types of activities were introduced to the activities have been defined by previous research as any body movement that requires energy. p physical, and leisure activities However, the definitions were included because during the pilot testing phase participants felt they needed a stronger base for understanding the questions. Another bias introduced by the interview questions is the basis the questions had in activity and continuity theory. It is possible with the basis some of the questions had in continuity theory the responses in some way were influenced by co ntinuity theory. However, both independent reviewers were not familiar with continuity theory and found similar categories and themes as me. Also the responses indicated person environment fit model explained some of the occurring phenomenon in the data Another consideration of these findings is the limitation of a cross sectional study. The cross sectional study requires participants to remember past events in their lives. Past research suggests reminiscence often leads to changes in how one views their past life experiences (Bluck &Levine, 1998). Hence, a future study might use a longitudinal approach to observe the relationship between activities and life satisfaction. This would help to eliminate the limitation of reminiscence. An additional limitati on of the sample is the confounding possibility the sample was more satisfied because of their shif t from work to reti rement. However, the sample consisted of a

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84 variety of women with various work experiences. Some of the sample worked outside of the home f ulltime, some of the sample worked outside of the home part time, some of the sample worked outside of the home before having children, while, others had never worked outside of the home. The variety of women within the sample helped to lessen the effect o f this confounding variable. One of the main goals of this study was to determine how LORC sponsored activities influence life satisfaction. This question provided a unique basis because it has never been asked before. Previous research on LORCs has focus ed on d emographic information (He & Schachter, 2003), locations and physical aspects of LORCs (Streib, Flots, & Peacock, 2007 ), themes among residents in LORCs (McHugh & Larson Keagy, 2005), and significant life events in LORCs (Youngblood, 2004). This s tudy focused on two of the main advertised attributes of a LORC, activities and life satisfaction. The findings utilized continuity theory and person environment fit model to explain the relationship between activities and life satisfaction in an LORC. A m ore in depth look at these theories within the context of an LORC may help to further explain the intrigue and popularity of thes e communities for older adults. Recommendations As the baby boomer generation moves towards retirement, and LORCs presumably g row in popularity their impact on activities and life satisfaction is a key inquiry among many lay people and practitioners. This research focused on finding out how social, physical, and leisure activities influenced life satisfaction before and since mov ing to the LORC. Although, the results and findings presented above only represent the sample; they do provide a direction for future research to gain a deeper understanding of the topics discussed above. The findings and application of these findings also offer a deeper understanding of continuity theory by applying two constructs from person environment fit model to explain how older adults are able to

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85 continue activity and derive life satisfaction in the context of an LORC These findings offer the first foray into the topic of how LORC sponsored or facilitated activities influence the life satisfaction of older adults. The findings suggest, with very minimal exception, the females in this study attributed their maintenance or increase in life satisfact ion since moving to the LORC to their maintenance or increase in the LORC sponsored or facilitated social, physical, and leisure activities. Suggesting older females who are looking at the possibility of relocating to an LORC can infer that community spons ored or facilitated activities can play a large role in their future life satisfaction. Hence, when an older female adult is examining LORCs as a retirement option with an end goal of maintenance or increased life satisfaction in mind; the older female sho uld inquire about the LORC sponsored or facilitated activities. LORC developers can imply from these findings that within the context of an LORC r facilitated activities. LORC architects, developers, and m arket ers can infer from these findings their community sponsored or facilitated activities help to make their community more attractive to part of their target audience, older females. However, a few suggestions for improvement of a LORC can be inferred from t his data. O lder females in this study felt there was different skill sets among the residents of the LORC, but sometimes little recognition of the different skill sets by the other residents of the LORC Many women in the sample chose not to participate in golf or pickleball because of their perceived lack of skill in that activity. A possible recommendation for LORC developers is to have different skill levels in activities and at certain facilities around the LORC (such as beginner golf courses). Another inference that LORC developers can make from this data is the residents in this sample place a high portion of their life satisfaction as it relates to activities on

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86 the convenience of activities. Many of the women interviewed in this sample placed a high value about the fact that their street did not plan or organize social activities. A possible recommendation to LORC developers is to provide each community with an a ctivity planner in charge of planning social activities for each street or section of the LORC. The research also has two significant implications for gerontologists. The first implication is the impact of LORC sponsored or facilitated activities on an o satisfaction This implies older females particularly enjoy pre existing activities and social groups. This sample was characterized by unusually high life satisfaction for this age group ( Diener et al., 1985; McAuley et al., 2006 ). Fu facilitated activities may have played a role in this. Secondly, from a theoretical perspective these findings imply that there is significance in the personal characteristics and environmental characteristics of in dividuals that influence life satisfaction. Further, development of these constructs as it relates to successful aging and/ or life satisfaction may help to provide researcher s with a better understanding of activities and life satisfaction in the context of an LORC.

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87 APPENDIX A CTIONS Follow these instructions and this script when interviewing participants for the research : Prior to In Depth Semistructured Interview: 48 24 hours in advance of the In Depth Semistructured interview: Call Participants to remind them of their scheduled interview Remind them of time, date, and location Thank them again in advance for their participation 24 hours in advance call library to c onfirm room recording number corresponds with their participant number Make sure that their participant packet is in order Two copies of informed consent Backgroun d questionnaire Thank you note for participation Compensation Make sure that study materials are ready for the in depth semistructured interview Pens Batteries are new in MP3 digital recording device Greet participants at entrance to library and walk the m to private conference room Make sure door is closed and that the participant is comfortable During the In Depth Semistructured interview: Check name on participant log and guide them to their chair Remind them that the interview will take roughly an hour and to please silence their phones for the duration of the interview Make sure that informed consents and background questionnaires are filled out and completed Check to make sure participant numbers on the top of the informed consent and background q uestionnaire match Inform the participant when an hour has passed and try to wrap up the interview Set a cell phone alarm to buzz for when an hour has passed Set the MP3 recording device in the middle of the table and remind the participant that they are b eing recorded After the In Depth Semistructured interview: Thank the participant for participating Ensure that the participant has their copy of the informed consent Hand the participant the thank you note and compensation Walk them to their car and t hank them again for coming

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88 APPENDIX B WELCOME, INSTRUCTION S REGARDING INSTITUT IONAL REVIEW BOARD PROTOCOL, AND INSTRU CTIONS REGARDING THE DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTION AIRE Introduction Hello, thank you for coming to this interview today. My name is Erin Smith, and I will be conducting this interview as part of my research on successful aging in Leisure Oriented Retirement Communities like The V illages Again today you will be participating in an interview about activities in communities like The Villages The whole study may take up to 90 minutes, but you will be compensated for your time. Please note that I may look at a script from time to time to ensure that everyone receives the same set of questions. Also note that there is a small MP3 recording de vice in the center of the table because it is impossible to take complete notes while asking the questions. Informed Consent The first two papers I will hand you are the informed consent forms. The consent form lets you know about the precautions, benef its, risks, confidentiality, and compensation that are involved with this study. All information provided on the questionnaires and during the interview will be kept confidential. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. Your response to a ny question is completely voluntary as well that is you are free not to answer any question. There are two copies of the informed consent. One is to be signed and returned to me, the other is for you to take home. Please read over your informed consen t. If you feel comfortable with participating in the study, please fill out and sign your informed consent. Print your name and date on the first line of the second page, and sign and date the second line where it says participant. Please be sure to read fill out, and sign both copies of the informed consent. Background Questionnaire The first questionnaire I will hand you asks for background information. Please take a minute to look over these questions and ask for clarification if needed. Give th e participant time to fill out the Background Questionnaire.

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89 Clarification on race if asked for: "White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as 'White' or report "Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as 'Black, African Am., or Negro', or provide written entries such as African American, Afro American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian." American or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. "Asian. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam. It includes "Some other race. Includes all other responses not included in the 'White', 'Black or s described above. SWLS The next part of the questionnaire is the satisfaction with life scale. I will read the instructions aloud, and if you have any questions please let me know. Below are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the 7 point scale below, choose a number that represents your agreement or disagreement with each statement. Place that number to the left of the statement. Please be honest in your responses. 7 Strongly Agree 6 Agree 5 Slightly Agree 4 Neithe r Agree or Disagree 3 Slightly Disagree 2 Disagree 1 Strongly Disagree After you are done please let me know.

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90 APPENDIX C SCRIPT FOR IN DEPTH SEMISTRUCTURED INTERVIEW In Depth Semistructured Interview We are now ready to begin the interview portion of this study. As a reminder you do not have to answer a question if you do not feel comfortable. I will be recording this interview, but as a reminder your responses will remain confidential. I will be keepi ng track of time to make sure that the interview is on schedule. If any question is unclear please let me know, and I will try to clarify the question for you. Please try to provide a detailed response to every question. Now we are ready to begin, before w e begin do you have any questions? Start recording. depth interview. 1) Previous research has defined social activities as a set of interactions and relationships between people. How does your definition of social activities differ? What are some of these activities? What are some of your social activities? How do you think social activities relate to physical and leisure activities? How would you describe your participation in social activities before you moved t o The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? If they answered did not participate Why did you not participate? How did social activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to The Villages ? How would you describe your pa rticipation in social activities at The Villages ? How often do you engage in these activities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The Villages supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life? 2) Physical activities have been defined by previous research as any body movement that requires energy. How does your definition of physical activities differ? What are some of these activities? What are some of your physical activities? How do you thi nk physical activities relate to social and leisure activities? How would you describe your participation in physical activities before you moved to The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? If they answered did not participate Why did you not participate? How did physical activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to The Villages ? How would you describe your participation in physical activities at The Villages ?

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91 How often do you engage in these activities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The Villages supported physical activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life? 3) Leisure activities have been defined by previous research as activities that occur durin g non work time, provide a sense of happiness, freedom of choice to participate in the activity, and a high level of involvement. How does your definition of leisure activities differ? What are some of these activities? What are some of your leisure acti vities? How do you think leisure activities relate to social and physical activities? How would you describe your participation in leisure activities before you moved to The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? If they answered did not participate Why did you not participate? How did leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to The Villages ? How would you describe your participation in leisure activities at The Villages ? How often do you engage in these a ctivities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The Villages supported leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life? Is there anything else you would like to elaborate on or clarify? Turn the MP3 recording device off. Okay, thank you for your responses. Your input about your life in The Villages is very much appreciated. I am going to tell you a little bit about what this research was about. The questions and the interview will be us this research was to investigate how activities influence life satisfaction among adults who live in The Villages If you would like to know more about this research you can contact me at the email address or telephone number provided in your copy of the informed consent or on the thank you note you received for participating in this research. As a thank you for participating in the research there is a UF envelope with a formal thank y ou from me and a $10 gift card to a local grocery store. Again thank you for your help, and I hope you have a great day. Collect their study materials. Lock the door to the study room. Then walk the participant to their car.

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92 APPENDIX D DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE Participant ID Number 301 Background Questionnaire 1. Please choose the race that best describes you: ___ White (non Hispanic) ___ Black or African American ___Asian ___Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish Origin ___ Other race 2. How would you rate you r overall health compared to other people your age: __Much Better __Better __About the Same __Worse __ Much Worse 3. What is your relationship status? __Married __Single (Never married) __Divorced __Widowed __ Committed Relationship

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93 4. What is the highest level of education you completed? __ Some High School __ High School __ Some College __ Undergraduate __ Graduate Degree 5. What is the highest level of education your spouse completed (if you answered Single (never married) to question 3, please move to question 6, disregard this question)? __ Some High School __ High School __ Some College __ Undergraduate __ Graduate Degre e 6. Do you have grown children? __ Yes (If yes, please proceed to question 7.) __ No (If no, please proceed to question 8.)

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94 7. How many children do you have? (Only answer this question if you answered yes to question 6.) __1 __2 __3 __4 __5 __ 6 or more How often do you see them? ____________________________________ 8. Check the interval that best applies to the estimated value of your home: __ Less than $100,000 __$100,001 $200,000 __$200,001 $300,000 __$300,001 $400,000 __$400,001 $500,000 __ More than $500,001 9. When did you move to The V illages ? Date (Month, Year)__________________________________ 10. Where did you live before moving to The V illages ? How long did you live there? __________________________________________________________________________

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95 APPENDIX E SWLS QUESTIONS Participant ID Number 301 Below are five statements that you may agree or disagree with. Using the 7 point scale below, choose a number that represents your agreement or disagreement with each statement. Place that number to the left of the statement. Please be honest in your responses. 7 Strongly Agree 6 Agree 5 Slightly Agree 4 Neither Agree or Disagree 4 Slightly Disagree 2 Disagree 1 Strongly Disagree _____ In most ways my life is close to ideal. _____ The conditions of my life are excellent. _____ I am satisfied with my life. _____ So far I have gotten the important things I want in life. _____ If I could live my life over I would change almost nothing.

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96 APPENDIX F IN DEPTH INTERVIEW QUES TIONS In Depth Semistructured Interview Questions 1) Previous research has defined social activities as a set of interactions and relationships between people. How does you r definition of social activities differ ? What are some of these activities? What are some of your social activities? How do you think social activities relate to physical and leisure activities? How would you describe your participation in social activities before you moved to The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? If they answered did not participate Why did you not participate? How did social activities contribute to how s atisfied you were before moving to The Villages ? How would you describe your participation in social activities at The V illages ? How often do you engage in these activities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The Villages supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life? 2) Physical activities have been defined by previous research as any body movement that requires energy. How do es you r definition of physical activities differ ? What are some of these activities? What are some of your physical activities? How do you think physical activities relate to social and leisure activities? How would you describe your parti cipation in physical activities before you moved to The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? If they answered did not participate Why did you not participate? How did physical activities contribute to how satisfied you were before mov ing to The Villages ? How would you describe your participation in physical activities at The V illages ? How often do you engage in these activities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The V illages supported physical activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life?

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97 3) Leisure activities have been defined by previous research as activities that occur during non work time, provide a sense of happiness, freedom of choice to participate in the activity, and a high level of involvement. How do es you r definition of leisure a ctivities differ ? What are some of these activities? What are some of your leisure activities? How do you think leisure activities relate to social and physical activities? How would you describe your participation in leisure activities before you moved to The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? If they answered did not participate Why did you not participate? How did leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to The Villages ? How would you describe your participation in leisure activities at The Villages ? How often do you engage in these activities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The V illages supported leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you are with l ife? 4) Is there anything else you would like to elaborate on or clarify?

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98 APPENDIX G IN DEPTH INTERVIEW QUES TIONS PILOT TEST In Depth Semi Structured Interview Questions 1) How do you define social activities? What are some of these activities? How would you describe your participation in social activities before you moved to The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? How did social activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to The Villages ? If they answered did not participate Why did you not participate? How would you describe your participation in social activities at The V illages ? How often do you engage in these activities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The V illages supported social activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life? 2) How do you define physical activities? What are some of these activities? How would you describe your participation in physical activities before you moved to The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? If they answered did not participate Why did you not participate? How did physical activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to The Villages ? How would you describe your partic ipation in physical activities at The V illages ? How often do you engage in these activities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The V illages supported physical activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life ? 3) How do you define leisure activities? What are some of these activities? How would you describe your participation in leisure activities before you moved to The Villages ? How often did you engage in these activities? If they answered did not participate

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99 Why did you not participate? How did leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you were before moving to The Villages ? How would you describe your participation in leisure activities at The Villages ? How often do you engage in these activities? If they answered do not participate Why do you not participate? How do The Villages supported leisure activities contribute to how satisfied you are with life? 4) Is there anything else you would like to elaborate on or clarify?

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100 APPENDIX H IRB PROTOCOL Erin Smith UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protocol Submission Title of Protocol: HOW CHANGES IN SOCIAL, PHYSICAL, AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES INFLUENCE LIFE SATISAFACTION IN THE VILLAGES AMONG OLDER FEMALE ADULTS Principal Investigator (Name, UFID, Title, Department, Address, Email Address, Telephone Number): Erin Smith, 6915 9773, Masters Candidate, Family, Youth and Community Sciences, PO Box 110310, Gainesville, FL 32611 0310, Email: erin848e@ufl.edu Phone: (561) 267 7065 Supervisor ( Name, Title, Department, Address, Email Address, Telephone Number): Carolyn S. Wilken, Ph.D., Associate Professor Extension, Family, Youth and Community Sciences, PO Box 110310,Gainesville, FL 32611 0310, Email: cswilken@ufl.edu Phone: (352) 273 3542 Date of Proposed Research: August 1, 2009 June 1, 2010 Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitted with this protocol if funding is involved): Self funded Scientific Purpose of the Study: The scientific purpose of this study is to answer the following questions: (1) Before moving to The V illages how did social, physical, and leisure activities contribut (2) How do The V illages supported social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to a (3) How has life satisfaction changed since moving to The V illages ?

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101 Describe the Research Methodology in Non Technical Language: ( Explain what will be do ne with or to the research participant. ) It is anticipated the interview will take between 65 to 90 minutes, depending on the level of conversation. Research interviews will be conducted in a public library at The V illages The participants will be greete d at the door to the library and shown to a small conference room. After the participants have been given the opportunity to make themselves comfortable; they will be given two copies of the informed consent. They will be given time to look over and sign b oth copies of the informed consent. The participants will be reminded that the last part of the questionnaire will be recorded, and of the measures that have been taken to ensure confidentiality and privacy. After completing the informed consent, the parti cipants will be asked to answer a series of demographic questions. Following this, the participants will be asked to complete the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) (Diener, 1985). The next portion of the questionnaire will be recorded so the principal in vestigator can take notes but also have a structured interview will be used to determine how social, physical, and leisure activities contribute to life satisfaction prior to and since living in The V illages Participants will be asked to detail their level and pattern of participation in these activities. They will also be asked about how their activities impact their life satisfaction. Hard copies of the instruments are attached. Describe Potential Benefits and Anticipated Risks: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.) There are no direct benefits for participation in this study, immediate or long term. This research stu dy involves no more than minimal risk ordinarily encountered in daily life. All participant identities will remain confidential. Consent forms will be kept in a folder separate from the demographic questions and SWLS. Both the demographic questions and SWL S will be pre labeled with the participant number. The recordings and transcriptions will be kept in a password protected file saved on a computer. The consent forms, background questions, SWLS, recordings, and transcriptions will be destroyed after the s tudy is completed. The principal investigator is the only person who will have access to the original participant list and the corresponding numbers. Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited, the Number and Age of the Participants, and Proposed Compe nsation: Participants will be recruited using a volunteer sampling approach. Personal contacts living inside The Villages will provide the principal investigator with names, contact information, and information about the study to secondary contacts inside The Villages This information will be relayed to these secondary contacts via telephone and email. The potential participants will then contact the researcher by phone or email to further discuss the project and to arrange a time for the interview. A total of N=15 pa rticipants will be interviewed. Participants must be residents of The Villages between the ages of 60 and 75, and female. Each participant will be compensated for their time with a $10 gift card to a local grocery store. Describe the Informed Consent P rocess. Include a Copy of the Informed Consent Document:

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102 Two informed consent forms will be given to the participant at the beginning of the study. Participants will be given time to read a copy of the informed consent and asked to sign the consent form. Participants will be asked to print, sign, and date their name on the back of the informed consent. One copy of the consent form will be given to the participant and the other e: an introduction to the research and principal investigator, a brief summary of the study, an indication of the amount of time it will take to complete the study, the risks and benefits of participation in the study, the compensation associated with the study, the measures that have been taken to provide confidentiality to the participant, a reminder that participation is voluntary, a reminder of their rights as a participant to withdraw from the study at any time or not answer any question, contact infor mation for the principal investigator, supervisor, and IRB, and a indication of what will be done with the final data. ___________________________ ______________ Principal Investigator Signature Date ___________________________ ________ ______ Supervisor Signature Date I approve this protocol for submission to the UFIRB: _____________________________________ ______________ Department Chair/ Center Director Signature Date

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103 APPENDIX I IRB APPROVAL

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104

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106 APPENDIX J CATEGORIES Defining Social Activities First of all to me social activities means you are with other people. And of course you have to interact with a lot of different personalities. I think of social activities as gathering groups of friends or acquain tances for either a structured evening or a casual evening of impromptu type activities be it eating, playing games, going to the movie that sort of thing. Classifying Social Activities Well my social activities are tennis, golf, traveling we meet a lot of people when we travel. days, but then I had days last week three things in the same day. Neighborhoods 70 some restaurants here. And we have access to I think ten country clubs and its always interesting to go. We were extremely fortunate with the neighborhood we got into. We have a tremendous I call most of them family that we have become friends with and made acquaintances with. Changes in Social Activities Well we have slowed down quite a bit. or something. Comparisons between the LORC and previous home My activities here are much better then they were before. Absolutely.

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107 Thoughts on Spouse nd he just loved it down here. And he was right it was a good move. e probably has increased the number of act ivities, social activities he is has ever done How the three types of activities interact retty well meshed really. A lot of our sports activities are social. I think they keep you active so that you are always bouncing ideas off of other people. Negative Aspects of the LORC Very much so it so intimidates me. A lot of times people are here a year and then a year later, the second year they have to revamp, and sit back and say okay what is really important. Social Activities before moving to the LORC So my social life really was built around my employer. A lot of time was spent going to kids games and things like that. How social activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC I socialized to the point where I was ha ppy. Neighbors It is amazing how close you get to people when you are 1200 miles away from the rest of your family. Defining Physical Activities Various forms of exercise. little bit of physical activity

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108 Classifying Physical Activities You know swimming, golf, tennis, I guess those kind of things. I would say probably moderately because a lot of people play pickleball and golf. Physical Activities before moving to the LORC Cause six at least six months out of the year it is too cold to get outside. In some ways probably a little more. Negative Aspects of Physical Activity in the LORC stuck with. I have to do it before it gets hot. How physical activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC You know I was very happy, but physical activities never entered my mind. I am sure it contributed. Because when you feel good about yourself it reflects to other people. How the LORCs physical activities influ ence life satisfaction A great deal. I am sure that if we had to go somewhere else to do it then because it is so available we just do it. I think I would be satisfied with life even without the physical activities, but it definitely helps. Defining Leisure Activities For me leisure is fulfilling your time with something you enjoy doing. Usually they are less active Classifying Leisure Activities Like sitting and listening to music. e get together with friends frequently, a lot of church ac ti vities, we go to the movies, I read every minute I can get my hands on.

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109 Involvement in leisure activities at the LORC Everyday. I am always doing something At least weekly. You know. Sometimes daily, it depends what the week is like. Leisure Activities before moving to the LORC We did a little bit It was not as active because I was working. Leisure activities before moving to the LORC I would say once a week, my husband and I would go out to eat and to a movie. Every once and a whi le my husband and I would host a party. How leisure activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC ou know I enjoyed being busy all the time. I thought they were satisfactory. How leisure activities influence life satisfaction in the LORC: I think it makes a huge difference. I just think they do everything so well. Well I think they contribute a lot because of offering the opportunities

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110 APPENDIX K THEMES Continuity in involvement in social, physical, and leisure activities: Defining social activities Classifying social activities Defining physical activities Classifying physical activities Defining Leisure Activities Classifying Leisure Activities The importance of neighbors/ structure of the neighborhood : Neighborhoods Neighbors Freedom of choice in activities and people you want to participate with: Changes in social activities Involvement in leisure activities at the LORC Feeling not skilled enough to participate: Negative Aspects of the LORC Negative aspects of physical activity in the LORC Convenience of facilities: Comparisons between the LORC and previous home Thoughts on partner Convenience of activities: How the three types of activities interact Involvement in leisure activities at the LORC Became more involved with one activity: Social Activities before moving to the LORC Physical activities before moving to the LORC Leisure Activities before moving to the LORC Social contacts: Changes in social activities Negative Aspects of the LORC (socially) Maintained or increased life satisfaction: How social activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC How physical activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC How the LORCs physical activities influence life satisfaction How leisure activities influenced life satisfaction before moving to the LORC

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111 How leisure activities influence life satisfaction in the LORC

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112 LIST OF REFERENCES Adams, G. A., Prescher, J., Beehr, T. A., & Lepisto, L. (2002). Applying work role attachment theory to retirement decision making. International Journal on Aging and Human Development, 54 (2), 124 137. Agahi, N., Ahacic, K., & P arker, M. G. (2006). Continuity of leisure participation from middle age to old age. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 61 (6), S340 S346. Armstrong, D., Gosling, A., Weinman, J., & Marteau, T. (1997). The place o f inter rater reliability in qualitative research: An empirical study. Sociology, 31 (3), 597 606. Atchley, R. C. (1982). Retirement as a social institution. Annual Review of Sociology, 8 263 287. Atchley, R. C. (1983). Aging, continuity and change Belmo nt, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub. Atchley, R. (1989). A continuity theory of aging. Gerontologist, 29 183 190. Atchley, R. C. (1998). Activity adaptations to the development of functional limitations and results for subjective well being in later adulthood: A q ualitative analysis of longitudinal panel data over a 16 year period. Journal of Aging Studies, 12 19 38. Atchley, R. C. (1994). Social forces & aging: An introduction to social gerontology (7th ed.). Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub. Co. Baars, J., & Thom se, F. (1994). Communes of elderly people: Between independence and colonization. Journal of Aging Studies, 8 (4), 341 356. Biggs, S., Bernard, M., Kingston, P., & Nettleton, H. (2000). Lifestyles of belief: narrative and culture in a retirement community Ageing & Society, 20 649 672. Bluck, S. & Levine, L.J. Reminiscence as autobiographical memory: a catalyst for reminiscence theory development. Ageing &Society, 18, 185 208. Boss, R., & Ekerdt, D. J. (1981). Change in self perception of leisure activities with retirement. The Gerontologist, 21 (6), 650 654. Brooks, S.A. & Adams, R.T. (2001). Retirement communities gain higher acceptance. Managed Care Quarterly 9(2), 55 61. Brown, C., & Lowis, M. J. (2003). Psychosocial development in the elderly: An investigation Journal of Aging Studies, 17 415 426. Carp, F. M., & Carp, A. (1984). A complementary/congruence model of well being or mental health for the community elderly. In I. Altman, J. Wohlwill, & M. P. Lawton (Eds.) Elderly people and the environment (pp. 279 336). New York: Plenum.

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113 Chen, C. (2000). Aging and life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 54 57 79. Chen, C. (2003). Revisiting the disengagement theory with differentials in the determinants of life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 64 209 224. Karen Colbalt, personal communication, February 11, 2009. Connidis, I. A. (2001). Family ties & aging Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications. Cornwell, B. (2009). Network bridging potential in late r life: Life course experiences and social network position. Journal of Aging and Health, 21 (1), 129 154. Cornwell, B., Laumann, E. O., & Schumm, L. P. (2008). The social connectedness of older adults: A national profile*. American Sociological Review, 73 (2), 185 203. Cumming, E., & Henry, W.E. (1961). A formal statement of disengagement theory. In E. Cumming & W.E. Henry (Eds), Growing old: The process of disengagement. New York: Basic Books. Cummins, R.A. & Nistico, H. (2002). Maintaining life satisfact ion: the role of positive cognitive bias. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3 (1), 37 69. Cvitkovich, Y. & Wister, A. (2001) A comparison of four person environment fit models applied to older adults. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 14 (1 2), 1 25. de Jo ng Gierveld, J (2004). Remarriage, unmarried cohabitation, living apart together: Partner relationships following bereavement or divorce. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66 (1), 236 243. de Vaus, D.A. (2001) Research design in social research. London: Sag e Publications. Del Webb. Del Webb Homes http://www.delwebb.com/FaqPopup.aspx?ID=510 Retrieved 10/8/ 2008. Del Webb. Del Webb Homes http://www.delwebb.com/FaqPopup.aspx?ID=510 Retrieved 6/10/ 2009 Del Webb. 2010 Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey http://dwboomersurvey.com/workin g.asp Retrieved 4/12/2010. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Depp, C. A. Jeste, D. V. (2006). Definitions and predictors of successful aging: A comprehensive r eview of larger quantitative studies. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 14 (1), 6 20. Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well being. PsychoL Bull. 95: 542 575.

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120 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Erin Kate Smith was born in 1986 in Owensboro, Kentucky to Robert E. Smith and Donnia W. Smith. The older of two children, she has lived in several states and countries: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, France, and the Netherlands. She graduated with an International Baccalaureate Diploma from Suncoast Community High School in Riviera Beach, Florida in 2004. She earned her B.S. in Finance with a minor in Gerontology from the University of Florida in Commun ity Sciences at the University of Florida in A ugust, 2010. She is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. student in g erontology at the University of Kansas.