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Article Type: Original Research Discipline / Field: Education

Older Adults Education And Its Relation To Quality Of Life: An Italian Example

LARA GITTO - - - - - - - - - -


Received: 2017-03-25T01:45:22, Accepted: , Published Online: 10.5505/jaltc.2017.87587

Correspondence: Lara Gitto,


Quality of Life (QoL) is a relevant topic for researchers and social policy makers developing educational programs for older adults. Such programs might be aimed at maintaining people’s wellbeing: in fact, when retired, people have more time for activities that may increase their satisfaction in the moment of adaptation to old age. In this perspective, the Universities of the Third Age (UTAs) offer leisure, educational and social activities. The present study was carried out at the Libera Università della Terza Età (LUTE) in the town of Milazzo, Southern Italy, with the objective to evaluate the QoL for the people enrolled and the factors contributing to make such initiative successful. Participants to the study (n = 340) were required to fill a questionnaire asking their generalities and information about the educational initiatives followed. QoL was assessed through the administration of the WHOQoL Bref. The relationship between QoL, socio economic variables and the items of the WHOQoL Bref was tested through the estimation of an ordered logit model. Instead, the individuals’ experiences at the LUTE were the focus of a correlation analysis, that considered specifically the level of satisfaction for the activities performed. The relevance of the results may be appreciated considering that the courses and educational initiatives can count on the contribution offered by volunteers. Hence, a positive outcome in terms of QoL is obtained at null or very low costs. Overall, educational initiatives directed to older adults should be actively promoted, given their implications, both from a social and economic perspective. Key Practitioner Message - The opportunity to attend and to take part of educational and leisure activities may increase individual QoL especially for the older adults. - People joining institutions such as the Universities of the Third Age (UTAs) may be involved in the activities organized by the UTAs both as learners, lecturers and volunteers helping in the course management. - In the case study examined, a positive outcome in terms of quality of life is obtained at very low costs, since the institution relies on the contribution offered by volunteers.