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Factors Influencing Older Adults' Patterns of Information Acquisition
A group of 101 older adults (sixty-five years of age and over) who lived independently in three retirement apartment residences in Denton, Texas, were asked about their patterns of reading, television viewing, and radio listening habits for two periods in their lives: (1) at age forty to fifty-five and (2) at the present. Respondents were asked about their use of external information sources (public library, grocery store, newsstand, etc.) and their use of proximate information sources (radio, friends/relatives, television, etc.) They were also asked about access to transportation, income satisfaction, status of general health, vision, hearing, physical mobility and reasons for utilizing various information sources. Four hypotheses relating changes in health, environment, economic status, and education to reasons for reading and use of information sources were tested through the use of t-tests, regression analysis and analysis of variance. Within this group of older adults, use of external information sources decreased from the past to the present. There was, however, no change in the use of information sources located in or near the residence as difficulties in these areas increased. A relationship was found between educational level and reading for pleasure earlier in life. Also, those with higher educational levels reported fewer differences in their reasons for reading in the present and in the past.