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Mary Ann Kluge

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Mary Ann Kluge

This phenomenological study explored the nature and meaning of being physically active from the standpoint of 15 women age 65 and older. The analysis presents a multitextured description of how 15 women maintained a physically active lifestyle for most of their lives. It provides information about why 15 older women value being physically active and how they negotiated a physically active lifestyle throughout their lives. Findings suggest that continuity of a physically active lifestyle was not a luxury these women experienced over the life course. Being physically active was affected by gender socialization, ageist attitudes, and physical challenges. Nonetheless, these long-lived, physically active women hung on to a concept of themselves as physically active; they demonstrated that active is an attitude and moving is a consequence. They have learned to improvise and, now more than ever, have taken control of their lives by being planful about being physically active.

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Jessica Brooke Kirby and Mary Ann Kluge

Older adults are often viewed by society more for what they cannot do than for what they are capable of achieving. This intrinsic case study examined the formation of a women’s 65+ volleyball team at a university for the purpose of better understanding what it was like for older women to learn a new sport and what meaning participating in competitive sport had for those who had not previously been considered athletic. Qualitative methods explored each participant’s experiences through a focus group, individual interviews, observational notes, and written reflections. Resulting team member themes included going for the gusto, belonging to a team, and support from the university. This program is a potential model to engage nonathletic older adults in sport, while forging a new and positive aging framework for aging athletes.

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Mary Ann Kluge, Michelle LeCompte and Lisa Ramel

This study’s mixed-methods design sought to understand how to encourage assisted-living (AL) residents to initiate and continue exercise in a gym setting. Ten residents participated in this yearlong program. Processes developed and perceived benefits were understood through interviews and observations. Changes in active time, lower body strength, and workload were evaluated using direct measures. Findings indicated that AL residents regularly used exercise machines (mean participation = 53.8%) and increased active time and lower body strength (p = .02) when adequately prepared and supported. Participants prioritized gym time and developed pride and ownership in the program. They described themselves as exercisers and developed a sense of belonging to their new home. Friendships with one another, staff, and university partners were nurtured in the gym setting. When provided space, equipment, trained staff, and additional resource support, AL residents’ quality of life and life satisfaction were enhanced in several domains.

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Samuel R. Hodge, Deborah Tannehill and Mary Ann Kluge

This phenomenological qualitative study explored the meaning of practicum experiences for physical education teacher education (PETE) students. Participants were 10 PETE students majoring in teaching and enrolled in an introductory adapted physical education course with an inclusion-based practicum requirement. Data were collected from participants’ self-reflective journals and analyzed using thematic analysis procedures (Giorgi, 1985). Eleven themes emerged that reflected the meaning of practicum experiences for these students. Our findings suggest that journaling provides a medium for PETE students to identify issues, address problems, and think critically about best practices.