Functional wellness among older adults: The interface of motivation, lifestyle, and capability




Carter, Louvenia McGee

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The problem for the study was determination of relationships among health motivation, healthy lifestyle, and health capability in older persons. The effects of age, gender, race, living arrangement, income, education, employment status on motivation, lifestyle, and capability were sought.

A theoretical model was generated. Health motivation was based on Deci's (1980) self-determinism theory and Cox's (1982) Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior Model. Healthy lifestyle was defined according to Pender's health promotion work while health capability was derived from Morris and Buckwalter's (1988) concepts of self-health status assessment.

The sample consisted of 191 literate well older adults in a southern part of the United States. One church and nutrition centers constituted the nine sites used.

Three questionnaires and a researcher-developed data form were used to collect data. The three instruments were: Health Self-Determinism Index (Cox, 1982), Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile (Walker et al., 1987), and the Iowa Self-Assessment Inventory (Morris & Buckwalter, 1988).

Statistical treatment consisted of reliability procedures, zero-correlation, and multiple regression. Frequency distribution and percentages were calculated on the demographics.

Findings of the study were as follows: (1) Twelve percent of the variance was explained by the relationship between health motivation and healthy lifestyle. (2) The relationship between healthy lifestyle and health capability explained 14% of the variance. (3) Seventeen percent of the variance was explained by the relationship between health motivation and health capability. (4) The relationship of health motivation with income, education, and employment, each explained about 9% of the variance. (5) Age and race were significantly correlated to healthy lifestyle. About 4% of the variance was explained by each relationship. (6) The correlation of healthy lifestyle with income and education explained about 6% of the variance of each relationship. (7) There was a significant correlation of age, race, income, education, and employment with health capability. Age explained 4% of the variance. Race and income, each explained over 25% of the variance. Education explained over 16% of the variance and employment status explained 11% of the variance.



Health, Variance, Lifestyle, Motivation, Capability, Relationship, Education, Income