By 2029, “Baby Boomers” in the United States will be reaching retirement age in
historic numbers (Cruse & Hillman 2012; McLean, et al., 2005b; Colby & Ortman,
2014). Adventure education programs have an opportunity to prepare for the largest
demographic shift in United States history, as the baby boomer generation also prepares
for life after work.
This Secondary Data Analysis study used the data collected for six years over an
eight-year span. The original study collected data from an 801-sample size and had
respondents with an age range of 13-68 years old, with nation-wide representation
(Gilberston & Ewert, 2015). The sample size for this current study is 71, 45 to 68 year
The following questions were asked: “What are the motivations of active older
adult participants who participate in adventure education programming?” “What are the
trends in the motivations of adult populations who participate in adventure education
programs?” and "Is there a difference between genders of adult participants in adventure
Motivations of active older adults differ from that of younger populations. They
are searching for programming that offers active older adults clear, achievable goals, in a
natural setting and programming that they have some influence over. In addition active
older adults find that being part of a group, the excitement of doing something new, and a
chance to build on-or-acquire new skills within adventure education programming are
important motivations to participate.
A field project submitted to the faculty of University of Minnesota by Greg Petry in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Environmental Education, 2016. Committee names: Ken Gilbertson (Chair), Alan Ewert, Nikki Olson. This item has been modified from the original to remove the signature page present.
Motivations and Trends of Active Older Adult Users and How They Influence Outdoor Adventure Education Program Opportunities.
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