Age as a predictor of acceptance of housing alternatives among the nonmetropolitan population

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The main purpose of this study was to investigate a model of predictors of acceptance of housing alternatives among the nonmetropolitan population. The study analyzed data from the Southern Regional Research Project, S-141, “Housing for Low- and Moderate-Income Families."

The sample consisted of 1,234 households and a subsample of 556 over age 55. The independent variables for this study were: housing situation, housing satisfaction, concept of home, and demographics, including age. The dependent variable was acceptance of housing alternatives.

The work of Rogers (1962, 1983) and Rogers and Shoemaker (1971) on the adoption process of innovations formed the theoretical framework for this study. The Total Knowledge Index of Weber, McCray, and Claypool (1985), based on the decision stage of the adoption process of Rogers and Shoemaker (1971), was used to measure acceptance of six types of alternative housing: active solar, passive solar, apartment/multifamily, earth-sheltered/underground, manufactured/mobile home, and retrofitted/energy-improved.

Multiple regression was used to test the first hypothesis that the age of the respondent would explain more variation in acceptance of housing alternatives than could be explained by given set of independent variables. Age did not significantly add to the amount of variation in acceptance that could be explained by the model of predictors. For the subsample over age 55 the addition of age significantly increased the amount of variation in acceptance. More of the variation in acceptance was explained by the model of predictors with the over age 55 subsample than with the entire sample.

The second hypothesis involved regressing the set of predictors, excluding age, on each of the three age independent groups (under 55, 55 - 64, and age 65 and over). The set of predictors explained significantly more of the variation for the age defined groups of 55 to 64 and those age 65 and over than it did for the group under 55. Therefore, it appears that age is important in the prediction of acceptance of housing alternatives with the set of independent variables in this study, particularly for individuals over age 55.