Outdoor environmental supportiveness and older people's quality of life: a personal projects approach

Type of content
Journal Article
Thesis discipline
Degree name
University of Canterbury. Geography
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Curl, A.
Ward Thompson, C.
Alves, S.
Aspinall, P.

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.

Curl, A., Ward Thompson, C., Alves, S., Aspinall, P. (2016) Outdoor environmental supportiveness and older people?s quality of life: a personal projects approach. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 30(1), pp. 1-17.
personal projects, outdoor activity, quality of life, elderly
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
Fields of Research::44 - Human society::4403 - Demography::440305 - Population trends and policies
Fields of Research::42 - Health sciences::4203 - Health services and systems::420301 - Aged health care
Field of Research::11 - Medical and Health Sciences::1117 - Public Health and Health Services::111705 - Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
Field of Research::11 - Medical and Health Sciences::1117 - Public Health and Health Services::111716 - Preventive Medicine
Fields of Research::33 - Built environment and design::3304 - Urban and regional planning::330411 - Urban design
© Angela Curl, Catharine Ward Thompson, Susana Alves and Peter Aspinall This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.