Older Adults’ Core Values in Recreational Activities as Predicted by Developmental Psychology with Emphasis on Cultural Disparities


by : 
Jessica Z. and Sarah B.


For older adults, aged 65 to 95, recreational activities are essential to maintain a healthy mental and physical state. Through analyzing the study of developmental psychology, the common core values of older adults were identified. Using these values, a hypothesis of older adult satisfaction of existing recreational activities was surveyed to test predictions. We then passed out a survey, gaining insight of older adult enjoyment, particularly with comparisons between Chinese and American cultures. Ultimately, the goal is to pinpoint older adults’ views on recreational activities in terms of motivation and enjoyability, while also identifying the impact of cultural disparities.

Personal Statement

Volunteering at a local senior living facility made me realize that some facilities lack outlets for creativity and friendships, as well as lacking a stimulating environment. Observing these gaps in the facility made me wonder what could be done to better the setting, and my mind went to providing better, more fulfilling recreational activities for older adults in senior centers. Finding common ground with my partner, Sarah Bao, was difficult, but we found that we had similar interests in psychology and older adult welfare. By combining the two, we decided to study psychology of older adults and how it affects their attitudes towards certain programs. With this topic, we know that we're simultaneously researching an interesting topic and impacting senior centers across our community.
When I first entered AAR class, I knew that I wanted to do a project focused on making a positive impact on my community. After volunteering at a local senior residential home and playing piano for the older adults there, I realized that recreational activities (e.g. listening to music) are an important aspect of older adult happiness. Following that, I realized that I wanted to specifically focus my project on fulfillment in the lives of the older adults in my community. In the end, my partner, Jessica Zang, and I decided to explore the psychological values and needs of older adults in a recreational setting.