Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

James Dudeck

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The study investigated the relationship between reported likelihood of participation in a continuing education course and the importance of obstacles and supports to participation as perceived by 238 adults. The research instrument, a questionnaire developed by the author, was mailed to 1,000 residences in the county of Waterloo, Ontario. Previous research and theoretical positions on obstacles to participation in continuing education were examined. It was hypothesized that obstacles and supports related to concern with academic ability would be significantly correlated with Likelihood of participation. The Pearson Product-Moment statistic was utilized to test the hypothesis. No significant correlations between the dependent variable, likelihood of participation, and the obstacles and supports related to concern with academic ability were found. A regression and analysis which included all of the obstacle, support and socio-demographic variables yielded a model with little predictive value. A post-hoc analysis was performed utilizing level of education as a moderating variable. The analysis revealed a significant correlation between one hypothesized obstacle, “Having been away from school too long”, and the dependent variable among respondents with less than a grade twelve education. The “theory of reasoned action” (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) was considered as a possible explanation for the lack of significant findings. The exact nature of the interaction between the decision to participate in continuing education and obstacles and supports to participation remains unclear. However, the research did provide some data which may be of value to continuing education providers seeking ways to increase participation in continuing education.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season