Journal Article

Theatre Involvement and Well-Being, Age Differences, and Lessons From Long-Time Subscribers

Suzanne Meeks, Sarah Kelly Shryock and Russell J Vandenbroucke

Edited by Barbara J Bowers

in The Gerontologist

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 58, issue 2, pages 278-289
Published in print March 2018 | ISSN: 0016-9013
Published online April 2017 | e-ISSN: 1758-5341 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnx029
Theatre Involvement and Well-Being, Age Differences, and Lessons From Long-Time Subscribers

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Gerontology and Ageing

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Activities that provide positive emotions, meaningful social interaction, and psychological stimulation can bolster well-being throughout life. We tested a model of psychological benefit from, and age differences in, adult ticket buyers’ involvement with a large regional theatre.

Research Design and Methods

We sent online surveys to Actors Theatre of Louisville ticketbuyers, measuring involvement with the theatre, satisfaction/enjoyment, social engagement, flow, and sense of belonging while attending, and well-being. Structural models (N = 496) tested a model of well-being and age differences; focus groups of older subscribers (N = 20) elaborated quantitative findings.

Results

As hypothesized, theatre involvement was indirectly related to satisfaction and enjoyment of the theatre, hedonic well-being, and social functioning, through the psychosocial benefits of flow, social engagement, and belonging. Age moderated the model relationships: involvement was more strongly related to benefits for younger than older participants, but there were no age differences in the relationship between benefits and well-being. Focus group participants articulated how theatre contributes to a sense of community and pride of place, connecting individual well-being to community well-being.

Discussion and Implications

Involvement in performing arts organizations may have lifelong benefits. The relationship between involvement and psychosocial benefit may be particularly strong for younger audience members despite the fact that older adults have more involvement. Older adults with long-term involvement appear to benefit even when they reduce their involvement. Our qualitative findings underscore the great richness of experience that younger generations might lose as a result of lower participation.

Keywords: Well-being; Mixed methods; Engagement

Journal Article.  8057 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Biological Sciences ; Psychology ; Care of the Elderly ; Gerontology and Ageing

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.