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The Social and Cognitive Transformation of Older Adult Women: an Analysis of Community Well-Being for a University-Based Lifelong Learning Community

Authors
  • Talmage, Craig A.1
  • Ross, Allison2
  • Searle, Mark S.2
  • Knopf, Richard C.2
  • 1 Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 300 Pulteney St., Stern Hall, Geneva, NY, 14456, USA , Geneva (United States)
  • 2 Arizona State University, School of Community Resources and Development, 411 N. Central Ave. Suite 550, Phoenix, AZ, 85004-0685, USA , Phoenix (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Community Well-Being
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Oct 29, 2018
Volume
1
Issue
1
Pages
11–31
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s42413-018-0003-3
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Lifelong learning is a social and cognitive process that helps individuals build on their knowledge, skills, and abilities throughout their lives. This process is transformational for older adults. This study examines the social and cognitive transformation of older adult women involved in a large lifelong learning institute in the United States. Sense of community and gerotranscendence are used as measures of social and cognitive transformation, respectively. The relationships of these concepts with life satisfaction and quality of life are quantitatively and qualitatively investigated. Findings indicate that sense of community positively relates to life satisfaction and quality of life, while gerotranscendence only relates to life satisfaction. The qualitative findings support these connections as well as demonstrate the transformative effects of lifelong learning. This study concludes that a social and cognitive perspective on transformation will be beneficial to future investigations of life satisfaction, quality of life, and other measures of individual and community well-being.

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