Keeping the Aged Engaged: A Quantitative Study of Lifelong Learning

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Steve Paydon, Waseda University; Robert Dilenschneider, Jichi Medical University

In this study we seek to confirm the findings of a preliminary qualitative study. We first discuss the concept of lifelong learning in Japan and self-determination theory (SDT). Second, using SDT as a framework, we present the findings from a qualitative study. Third, we discuss the findings obtained from a quantitative survey and how they build upon the findings of the qualitative study. Overall, the findings reinforce the notion that the three essential psychological needs in self-determination theory—competence, relatedness, and autonomy—are useful in keeping mature learners engaged in lifelong learning activities.