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Conceptions of Learning, Well-being, and Creativity in Older Adults

Rosa Cera, Carlo Cristini, Alessandro Antonietti


The goal of this study is to investigate the conceptions of learning shared by older adults and to assess the relationships of such conceptions with creativity and satisfaction with life. A sample of 322 older adults (mean age = 72 years) attending Universities of the Third Age were administered the shortened version of a questionnaire aimed at capturing opinions and feelings associated to learning, a task from the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Age, gender, schooling, occupation, marital status, and hobbies of the participants were taken into account. Factorial analyses showed that different conceptions of learning can be identified and that some of them are affected by age, gender, and the hobbies practised by the respondents. Older participants and women considered learning as an interpersonal and focused process to a larger extent. Older participants expressed negative feelings about learning, whereas women expressed positive feelings. Satisfaction with life changed according to marital status with married people scoring higher. Creative skills decreased with age and were influenced by gender, level of education, marital status, and hobbies practiced. Associations between conceptions of learning and satisfaction with life and creativity emerged. Implications for interventions addressing older adults’ well-being are discussed.


Ageing; Conceptions of learning; Creativity; Satisfaction with life; Well- being.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2018-018-cera


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Giuditta Alessandrini - Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi