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Appears in:
Pages: 1852-1863
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIRD AGE UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS, DEGREE OF SATISFACTION DURING RETIREMENT AND QUALITY OF LIFE

C. Vilaplana Prieto

Universidad de Murcia. Facultad de Economía y Empresa (SPAIN)
In last decades, the nature of the elder cohort has changed due to different retirement patterns, longer life expectancies and better social programmes. Many Third Agers are still mental and physically alert, looking for opportunities to continue learning and keep their minds active. The idea of the Third Age University Programs (3AUP) was born at the University of Toulouse in 1973, and spread quickly throughout the world. The number of Spanish Third Age learners has increased from 15.378 in the course 2004-05 to 21.581 in 2006-07, which represents an increase of 40.33%. Moreover, according to the Eurobarometer about “Family life and needs of an ageing population” 77% of individuals who are currently working would like to perform some type of educational course when they get retired.

To analyze the characteristics of Third Age learners we use the Elders’ Living Conditions Survey (IMSERSO, 2006) which gathers information for +65 year Spanish people. Third Age learners show some distinguishing characteristics: mainly women, living in municipalities with more than 10.000 inhabitants, better self-reported health status, more worried about loosing mental abilities and higher preference for reading, doing sport and using the computer. Besides that, only 8% of older students consider that most days are dull as compared to 20% for non-students. However, there still exists lack of information about these programs because only 58.82% of interviewed people reported some knowledge about them.

For the subsample of retired people, we estimate a bivariate probit model for the variables “participating in 3AUP” and “being satisfied with retirement situation”. We observe that the probability of being satisfied with one’s life conditioned on participating in 3AUP is higher (0.473) than when he does not participate (0.397). Afterwards, we propose to study the effects of 3AUP over quality of life for the whole population. We apply the Quality of Life Scale for Older People developed by Chang et al. (2004) (Social Indicators Research 69, 279-301). The percentage of third age students with very high quality of life is 47.95% compared to 34.92% for non-students. Moreover, there is not any student with bad quality of life. We estimate an ordered bivariate probit model and observe that the probability of enjoying very good quality of life conditioned on participating (0.4972) is higher compared to non-participation (0.3337). On the other hand, being older than 80 years always or living alone always has a negative effect over quality life but with smaller size in the case of participation

Benefits derived from 3AUP are not only intellectual (knowledge received, keeping up-to-date), but also recreational (entertainment, stimulation, less pressure than in earlier education), social (making new friends, participation in the learning group) and psychological (personal development, self-esteem increase). In fact, the values of third age learners are valid for all ages and all educational levels, and 3AUP can be seen as a compensatory movement between the concept of economic welfare of a country and the welfare of the individual as an informed party of the society. Finally, given than the participation in social and leisure activities is positively related to higher levels of health, financial resources spent on active ageing policies not only improve the health of the community but also might help to control health expenditure associated to population ageing.
@InProceedings{VILAPLANAPRIETO2010REL,
author = {Vilaplana Prieto, C.},
title = {RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIRD AGE UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS, DEGREE OF SATISFACTION DURING RETIREMENT AND QUALITY OF LIFE},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1852-1863}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Vilaplana Prieto
TI - RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIRD AGE UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS, DEGREE OF SATISFACTION DURING RETIREMENT AND QUALITY OF LIFE
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 1852
EP - 1863
ER -
C. Vilaplana Prieto (2010) RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIRD AGE UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS, DEGREE OF SATISFACTION DURING RETIREMENT AND QUALITY OF LIFE, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 1852-1863.
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