Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Hums, Mary

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hambrick, Marion

Committee Member

Hambrick, Marion

Committee Member

Choi, Namok

Committee Member

Greenwell, T. Christopher

Author's Keywords

life satisfaction; sport commitment model; sport satisfaction; sport identity; older adults; organized sport activity


People are living longer and the aging population in the U.S. is showing significant growth, but it does mean they are necessarily living healthier lives. Public health representatives recommended people who want to live a healthy lifestyle as they get older need to regularly participate in sport and physical activity earlier in their life because it improves health and psychological and social well-being. However, approximately 80 percent of U.S. adults/older adults are insufficiently active; they participate for fewer than 150 minutes in moderate-intensity physical activity per week. To promote sport engagement, older adult sport and fitness service providers need a better understanding of older adults’ attitudes toward participation in organized sport and physical activity. Activity theory (Havighurst, 1961) proposed successful aging occurs when individuals continue to participate in leisure activities into old age. Snyder (1981) suggested the concept of sport commitment might be incorporated with activity theory to explore the physical participation behavior as people age. Using the Sport Commitment Model and activity theory, this study examined two overarching questions (RQ1: Do the antecedent factors [e.g., sport enjoyment], sport satisfaction, and sport identity predict the level of sport commitment toward organized sport activity?; and RQ2: Is there a significant relationship between the level of life satisfaction and sport satisfaction, sport identity, and sport commitment among older adults who participate in organized sport activity regularly?) to gain a better understanding of participation in organized sport activities among older adults over 55 years of age. The results of multiple regression analyses revealed sport enjoyment, sport satisfaction involvement opportunities and sport identity were significant predictors of sport commitment for the sample of older adults who participated in organized sport activity. Moreover, sport satisfaction was an important factor which contributed not only to sport commitment but also to life satisfaction among older adults. This study expanded and advanced knowledge on sport participation among older adults by addressing the theoretical relationships of activity theory, sport identity, sport satisfaction and the sport commitment model. The findings provide a helpful resource for older adult sport programmers to promoting and increasing organizing sport participation.