An exploratory study of the psychological determinants of mobility of older people in Malta




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Peer reviewed



An ageing population is a social phenomenon affecting transport systems in many cities. More attention is being given to how older people travel so as to increase independence in later life but at the same time ensure sustainable mobility. Despite an increasing ageing population, the small island state of Malta still needs improvements in the way ageing is considered in its overall transport policy. Together with an ageing population, Malta also suffers from a very high population density and motorisation rate. This paper seeks to explore the psychological determinants that affect older people’s mobility using Malta as case study. Based on the Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour, data was collected using telephone surveys and analysed using Structural Equation Modelling. The results reveal that older people’s mobility is primarily motivated by their intentions which are predominantly affected by social norms (pressures from specific reference groups). The results also show that cognitive thinking (intentions) has a much higher effect on mobility than habit. Although ranked negatively by older people, transport infrastructure and other road users’ behaviour barely affect the way they travel. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the results on transport policy and infrastructure management.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


psychological determinants, older population, mobility, Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour, Malta


Mifsud, D., Attard, M., Ison, S. (2019) An exploratory study of the psychological determinants of mobility of older people in Malta. Case Studies on Transport Policy,


Research Institute