All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Nataliya V Ivankova

Advisory Committee Members

Laura E Dreer

Laurie A Malone

Laura K Vogtle

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


HOW OLDER ADULTS WITH AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION LIVING IN A SOUTHEASTERN METROPOLITAN AREA DEVELOP PHYSICAL ACTIVITY SELF-EFFICACY, A GROUNDED THEORY STUDY ABSTRACT This qualitative grounded theory study explored the process of Physical Activity Self-Efficacy development among older adults with age-related macular degeneration in a southeastern metropolitan area. According to the United States Administration on Aging, the population of individuals over 65 will be 88.5 million by the year 2050, doubling its 2010 estimates. As our population ages, so does the prevalence of chronic conditions. One of these chronic conditions, age-related macular degeneration, is the leading cause of vision loss in older adults. Vision loss resulting from age-related macular degeneration limits participation in valued occupations including engagement in physical activity. This is significant in that emerging research suggests that a combination of healthy behaviors, including physical activity, can decrease the risk of development and progression of this condition. Despite a multitude of barriers secondary to vision loss, many older adults persevere and continue to participate in recommended levels of physical activity to maintain and improve health. A primary factor contributing to adherence in physical activity programs is self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a term used to describe an individual's belief that they can put their skills to use, in this case for physical activity, and are capable of controlling their lives despite obstacles and barriers. Although study results identify the importance of self-efficacy in adherence to regular physical activity, researchers know little about how this important factor develops (McAuley et al., 2007; Perkins, Multhaup, Perkins, & Barton, 2008). Currently, there are no existing studies exploring how Physical Activity Self Efficacy develops in older adults with vision loss. This qualitative study explored perceptions of physical activity and personal adherence to activity programs among older adults with age-related macular degeneration living in a southeastern metropolitan area.

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