A study of the relationship between resilience and personal constructions of the experience of moving to congregate housing among older adults
Dr. Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN
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- Zeta Eta at-Large
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This study explored personal constructions of the experience of moving into a congregate housing facility as one component of individual adaptation to a life transition. The life span construct served as an organizing framework, suggesting examination of the dynamics of both continuity and change. A central research focus was the role of resilience, an enduring personal characteristic, in the process of adaptation to relocation and personal change. A naturalistic approach was taken that included in-depth interviews and participant observation in a new congregate housing facility. Quantitative data were used to stratify the narratives according to adaptational outcomes and level of resilience. Theoretical sampling yielded a sample of 21 new relocatees ranging in age from 72 to 96 (71% female). Using constant comparative analysis, the process of moving was described and included four phases: deciding to move, preparing to move, making the move, and settling in. Revision of the life span construct (past, present and future self-conceptions) comprised the overriding adaptational process. Adaptational outcomes were identified at two levels: general adjustment, indicated by life satisfaction social functioning, depression, and a cohesive sense of self; and, situational adjustment (feeling at home), indicated by a sense of interpersonal warmth, physical comfort, investment of energy in the home, and freedom to be yourself. Stratified comparison of the narratives elucidated differences in the personal constructions of the moving experience according to level of resilience. Highly resilient participants were able to integrate the experience into their self-conceptions and to retain a sense of personal continuity in the face of change while participants with low levels of resilience had more difficulty placing the move into the context of their total life experience and managing the demands of the situation.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9131730; ProQuest document ID: 303961322. The author still retains copyright.
This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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