Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date



General motivation to be active and general perceived barriers to activity may help to explain the overall activity patterns of older persons in the second half of the life course. We report on a project designed to develop and refine measures of motivation and perceived barriers that can be used to examine the relationships between activity motivation, activity barriers, and several forms of actual activities. Four specific activities were considered: working, volunteering, exercising, and taking classes. An opportunity sample of 192 middle-aged and older persons from eastern Massachusetts responded to a questionnaire concerned with motivation, perceived barriers, and activities. Reliable measures of both general and activity-specific motivation and perceived barriers to activity were developed. The measures were examined for construct validity purposes. This analysis demonstrates that general activity motivation and perceived barriers are helpful in understanding patterns of activity among older people.


Working Paper.



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