Neighbourhood deprivation and older adults preferences for and perceptions of active leisure
Annear, MJ and Gidlow, B and Cushman, G, Neighbourhood deprivation and older adults preferences for and perceptions of active leisure, Annals of Leisure Research, 12, (2) pp. 96-128. ISSN 1174-5398 (2009) [Refereed Article]
This paper examines the influence of neighbourhood deprivation on older adults' preferences for and perceptions of active leisure participation using an original research approach. A mixed-methods procedure, incorporating Q methodology and semi-structured interviews, was undertaken with 63 elderly residents from high- and low-deprivation neighbourhoods in Christchurch, New Zealand. Analysis of Q sort data and interview transcripts revealed that residents of a high-deprivation neighbourhood had diverse preferences for leisure settings and generally perceived their neighbourhood as a constraint to active leisure participation. In contrast, residents of a low-deprivation neighbourhood showed distinct preferences for attractive, natural leisure settings and perceived that their neighbourhood facilitated active leisure participation. Leisure providers are encouraged to consider how environmental characteristics influence individual perceptions and preferences and potentially affect active leisure participation in high- and low-deprivation neighbourhoods when providing recreational facilities and resources for older adults. As a research tool for leisure studies, Q methodology provides a novel means for researchers to appraise preferences for neighbourhood leisure environments and may be useful in determining the accessibility and efficacy of community leisure provision.