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Title: Later-life Learning: A Case Study of YAH! Community College
Keywords: Later-life, Learning, Elderly, Gerontology, Self-efficacy, Singapore
Issue Date: 5-Aug-2010
Citation: CHEANG CHING EE (2010-08-05). Later-life Learning: A Case Study of YAH! Community College. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Global aging is one of humanity?s greatest triumphs and challenges. The `Third Age? being defined as `the crown of life? by Peter Laslett has shed new light and opportunities in later life. In particular, Later-life Learning (LLL) has emerged to be one of the most significant vehicles in the development of human life to achieve an active aging process. Past literature was dominated by the origins of later-life learning institution models for later life learners and the general effects of later-life learning. With little emphasis on the psychosocial aspects of aging, this research aims to examine the effects of a Mandarin-instructed LLL program on a group of older adults? psychosocial aspects of aging namely self-efficacy, perceived social support and happiness level. A sequential mixed methods approach was employed in this research. A quasi-experimental study was conducted with 70 older adults ? 35 participants each in the intervention group and comparison group respectively at two data collection points. One-to-one matching was performed for the comparison group participants who were matched according to the demographic variables of the intervention group in age, gender composition, education level and socio-economic status that is, financial status which have found to be the most consistent predictors of participation in later-life learning. Three focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted two months after the completion of the LLL program with 23 older adults from the intervention group. The intervention group has shown enhanced self-efficacy when compared to the comparison group over the course of three months as demonstrated in the quantitative findings. The qualitative findings have documented an increase in all three research variables namely self-efficacy, social support and happiness levels. The findings of this research have led to a discussion on the research variables with self-efficacy being the most prominent growth, the strength of the research design employed in this research and the therapeutic effects of group work with older adults. The positive research outcomes from this study have direct implications for the social work practitioners and national agencies that promote active aging in Singapore.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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