Factors that influence perceived social and health benefits of attendance at senior centers

Tanya R. Fitzpatrick, James McCabe, Richard Gitelson, Kathleen Andereck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Past research has mainly focused on the differences between senior center users and non-users and has examined various socioeconomic and demographic characteristics related to participation. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence perceived social and health benefits of participation. Data were collected at seven Senior Centers in Mesa, Glendale and the Phoenix area of Arizona. We used a self-administered questionnaire among a sample of older participants (N = 1026). Multivariate Analysis (MANOVA) with post hoc Bonferroni t-tests revealed that eating lunch at the center, working for pay at the center and demographic variables such as age, gender, and income were all significantly related to social and health benefits. Results suggest that interventions and activities designed to promote affordable meal programs along with educational health strategies for activity professionals and service providers would more adequately address the specific social and health needs and increase participation among communitydwelling elders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-45
Number of pages23
JournalActivities, Adaptation and Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 9 2006


  • Activities
  • Education
  • Health and activity professionals
  • Meal programs
  • Senior centers
  • Social and health benefits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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