Using Self-determination Theory to Understand Challenges to Aging, Adaptation, and Leisure among Community-dwelling Older Adults

John Dattilo, Jacqueline Mogle, Amy E. Lorek, Sara Freed, Margaret Frysinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Self-determination theory was used to help guide a study examining challenges to aging, adaptation, and leisure among community-dwelling older adults. Two focus groups (n = 21) explored perceptions; two follow-up focus groups (n = 8) solicited reactions to initial findings, resulting in revised categories and themes. Participants identified self-determination needs, age-related challenges to satisfying these needs, adaptation strategies, and using leisure engagement to meet these needs. Findings extend research by identifying: (a) challenges with ageism, (b) need to accept challenges before determining coping strategies, and (c) importance of maintaining relationships to compensate for shrinking social networks. Conversations highlighted perceptions about connections between needs and outcomes, challenges, adaptations, and leisure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-103
Number of pages19
JournalActivities, Adaptation and Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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