The rural elderly: personal innovativeness toward housing and acceptance of nontraditional housing types

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Virginia Tech


The major purpose of this study was to determine the factors which affect elderly individuals' innovativeness toward housing and factors which affect the acceptance of nontraditional housing type(s) by elderly individuals. The study analyzed data from the Southern Regional Research Project, 5-194, "Barriers and Incentives to Affordable Housing." The sample consisted of 1,878 respondents over age 55 who resided in 28 communities in seven southern states.

A conceptual study framework was proposed to show the variables and relationships among the variables involved in this study and to test hypotheses. A theory of "diffusion of innovations" developed by Rogers (1983) was used as the theoretical background for this study. Two knowledge continuum indices of Weber, McCray, and Claypool (1985), based on the adoption process of Rogers (1983), were used to measure acceptance of nontraditional housing types: mobile homes, apartments or townhouses, solar houses, earth-sheltered houses, or a combination of these four housing types.