The Relationships Among Health Education Learning Projects of Older Adults, Level of Prevention, and Geographic Location

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

W. Lee Pierce

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


Caring for the increasing number of older Americans and keeping them well is a major task for the health care system. Health education is a popular and appropriate approach to health promotion and illness prevention. This study was designed to examine the relationships among health education learning projects of older adults, level of prevention, and geographic location. The goal was to furnish information for health education providers to plan and implement health promotion and illness prevention programs. Data were collected from 105 volunteer, active participants, 60 years old or older, from the membership of three AARP groups. The groups were from diverse geographic locations of small town, small city, and urban areas. The researcher interviewed respondents utilizing Allen Tough's Interview Schedule for Studying Some Basic Characteristics of Learning Projects which was modified to focus on health education. Each learning project was placed in a level of prevention category based on the classification proposed by Leavell and Clark in 1965. Findings revealed that the three groups were relatively similar with regard to demographic and learning project characteristics. Using multiple regression, analysis of variance, and chi square, no significant relationships were identified among the number of projects, the number of hours spent in projects, geographic location, and level of prevention. The typical respondent was 71 years old, white, female, married, retired, and a high school graduate. The average number of projects per respondent was 1.96 projects, and the average number of hours spent in a project was 3.99 hours. The projects were largely self planned, used lecture-type methodology, and occurred in the home. Positive project outcomes were predominant, and most projects were placed in the primary level of prevention.