Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



The purpose of this study was to explore and determine the level of readiness for lifelong learning of volunteers affiliated with a 4-H youth development program in the southern United States. Based on a literature review, readiness for lifelong learning was conceptualized as incorporating aspects of response to triggers for learning, self-directed learning readiness, and a readiness to overcome deterrents to participation in learning. The Readiness for Lifelong Learning Survey, a 75 item Likert-type scale, was developed and administered online to 1815 adult volunteers who had provided usable emails in a enrollment database system. The final response count was 277 representing a 15.3% response rate. The overall readiness for lifelong learning score fell within the “high readiness” category on an interpretive scale developed by the researcher. There were significant differences in the overall readiness for lifelong learning mean score based on marital status, yearly net income and preferred format for learning. No significant differences in readiness for lifelong learning mean score was observed based on gender, ethnicity, and highest level of education completed, presence of children at home, employment status, and occupational category, and whether current employment requires continuous certification. A regression model with four demographic variables found that explained a significant portion of the variance in the overall readiness for lifelong learning score. Preference for “web-based/online training” and “divorced” marital status increased the overall readiness for lifelong learning score, while earning “more than $100,000” in yearly net income and being “single never married” reduced the overall readiness for lifelong learning score.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Machtmes, Krisanna