Housing satisfaction of a selected group of older women in Corvallis, Oregon Public Deposited



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  • This research deals with individuals who have remained in independent housing after retirement. The study attempted to describe the physical characteristics of their housing, to study the stated satisfaction and to study the relationship of the satisfaction with housing, retirement, and income. Three main areas were considered: 1) a description of the amount of space in selected living areas, 2) a description of the housing features that were most satisfying, and 3) a measurement of satisfaction with this housing, with retirement, and with present income. All respondents were 1) women, 2) either single or widowed at least a year, 3) retired, 4) maintaining independent housing situations unassociated with specially planned retirement housing, 5) living in the Corvallis, Oregon metropolitan area, and 6) at one time had been employed by Oregon State University or married to someone who had been an employee of Oregon State University. The names of qualified participants were obtained from the office of the Oregon State University President. These women were contacted by a letter which explained the research. An appointment was then made for the author to interview each of them. An interview schedule was used to collect the data. The questions in the interview schedule concerned: 1) personal information, 2) description of past housing and future plans, 3) description of social interests, 4) description of the house, 5) importance of selected living areas, 6) satisfaction with housing, 7) satisfaction with retirement, and 8) satisfaction with income. The respondents ranged in age from 64 through 96. Of this group 55.8% had graduated from college compared to a national average of 4%. 64.7% considered themselves in better than average health. Twenty-seven owned and seven rented the homes they were living in. Six had lived in rented houses for a longer period of time than they had lived in houses they had owned. The average number of rooms for the sample was 5.9 compared to 4.9 for the total United States. All of the respondents had a hobby or collection or both. All of the respondents entertained in some way in their homes, and all except one had overnight guests. When each woman was asked to describe her living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom, 74.3% described these rooms as either "adequate" or "perfect." 13.2% were described as "too small," but none were described as "too large." When asked for suggestions for changes or additions for their present housing, 19 suggestions involved enlarging the area or room. When asked what features they liked most about their houses, the features mentioned were: 1) specific rooms and areas, 2) location of the house on the lot and within the community, 3) physical characteristics such as room arrangement, 4) the whole house in general, 5) spaciousness, 6) circulation or traffic within the house, and 7) the view. When rating the importance of the various areas, the living room was considered important by all respondents, and a dining area outside of the kitchen area was considered important by slightly over two-thirds of these women. Analysis of the responses to the questions on satisfaction revealed 65.6% were satisfied with their housing; 67.7% were satisfied with retirement; 73.3% were satisfied with their income. The relationship between retirement and income was similar to that found in the study by Crabtree (1966). A positive relationship was found to exist between these three items.
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