Outdoor environmental supportiveness and older people's quality of life: a personal projects approach
We present an approach to exploring the role of environmental supportiveness in contributing to older people’s quality of life (QoL), based on Little’s ecological model (2010) in which individual and situational factors influence the personal projects of salience to individuals. Personal projects are self-generated and purpose-oriented activities or goals in which an individual is engaged (Little, 1983). The efficacy with which the pursuit of these activities is achieved depends on the nature of the project and the degree to which it is supported by external factors such as the environment. We explore the relationship between the outdoor environment and QoL, drawing on the concept of “environmental support” as presented by Sugiyama and Ward Thompson (2007a). There is a positive relationship between the number of outdoor personal projects older people participated in and measures indicative of their QoL. The relationship between perceived environmental support and QoL measures was significant in projects involving nature but not for other project types.