This quantitative, exploratory study investigated potential differences between East Asian and Caucasian older adults in perceived motivators and barriers to attending exercise classes compared to those who do not attend. A total of 169 participants aged 50 and older were recruited into the study. Bivariate analyses showed statistically significant differences between ethnic groups for most barrier, motivator, and other exercise related variables. The barrier most strongly associated with ethnicity is bad weather, with East Asians more likely to report this than Caucasians. The motivator variable most strongly associated with ethnicity is increased muscle strength, which was reported more frequently by Caucasians than East Asians. Multivariate analyses revealed a persistent effect of ethnicity on the frequency of reporting barriers and motivators even after controlling for demographic, physical health, and activity limitation variables. Findings are discussed in terms of activity program recommendations targeting ethnic minority older adults.
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Thesis advisor: Wister, Andrew
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