Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Older people--Recreation; Leisure;


This study will review literature related to leisure and aging. We live in an aging society. People are expected to live healthier and longer. Therefore, there is a need to analyze how older adults are portrayed in leisure textbooks and academic journal articles which are typically used to educate and train recreation professionals. This study explores whether leisure textbooks published in the United States addressed the topic of aging and, if so, to what extent. In addition, any differences between leisure textbooks and specialty leisure and aging textbooks were analyzed. A content analysis of 54 leisure textbooks from six U.S. publication companies and 79 leisure journal articles from four main U.S. leisure journals was conducted. The four journals' titles selected were: Therapeutic Recreation Journal , Journal of Leisure Research , Leisure Sciences , and Journal of Park and Recreation Administration. Journal articles from a 15 year time frame (1994–2008) were investigated to determine whether their articles contributed to the topic of aging and, if so, to what extent. Finally, it was determined whether leisure textbooks met NRPA standards regarding the topic of aging.

The results revealed that out of 16,855 textbook pages only 1.21% of pages (an average of 0.012 pages per book) were dedicated to the topic of older adults. Results also revealed there was an average of 1.3 journal articles per journal each year dedicated to this topic. In comparison to youth literature, older adults were overlooked in both academic leisure journal articles and leisure textbooks. The literature in the selected textbooks and articles did not provide much depth to the theories of aging. Recommendations for future publications are to increase topic information pertaining to theories of aging, leisure education, older gays and lesbians, older adults with disabilities, multigenerational programs and constraints.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Kathleen Scholl, Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Radhi Al-Mabuk, Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (x, 220 pages)



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