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Occasional Paper

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We are engaged in a continuing effort to understand the scope of elder activity and the implications of activity for well-being. We are particularly interested in the forces that encourage or inhibit multiple forms of activity, the ways in which participation in some activities influences participation in other activities, and the cumulative implications of activities for well being. Our interest in multiple forms of activities sets us somewhat apart from Gerontologists who focus on single forms of activity such as volunteering, taking classes, caring for grandchildren, working, or exercising.


This working paper is the third of a series of reports on pilot studies concerned with the motivational basis for the activities of older people. This research on the relationship between motivation and activities is part of a larger research agenda pursued by Jeffrey Burr, Jan Mutchler, and Frank Caro on relationships among productive activities of older people. The pilot studies have sought to provide the basis for a survey of a representative sample of older people. The research that is reported here was conducted drawing solely on the internal resources of the UMass Boston Gerontology Institute and Gerontology Department. We are particularly grateful to the Gerontology Department for making research assistants available to assist with the studies. This paper reports on the research in considerable detail. The aim is to provide a comprehensive picture of the analytic themes that we pursued including those that proved to be less interesting than others.



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