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Resilience, sense of coherence, purpose in life and self-transcendence in relation to perceived physical and mental health among the oldest old.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
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2005 (English)In: Aging & Mental Health, ISSN 1360-7863, E-ISSN 1364-6915, Vol. 9, no 4, 354-362 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 9, no 4, 354-362 p.
Keyword [en]
Adaptation; Psychological, Aged, Aged; 80 and over, Aging/*psychology, Female, Health Status, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Quality of Life, Regression Analysis, Self Concept
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-6673DOI: 10.1080/1360500114415PubMedID: 16019292OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-6673DiVA: diva2:146343
Available from: 2008-01-15 Created: 2008-01-15 Last updated: 2016-02-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Inner strength among the oldest old: a good aging
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inner strength among the oldest old: a good aging
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this thesis is to describe, explore and illuminate inner strength among the oldest old. The thesis has a salutogenic perspective where strengths and health are in the foreground instead of weakness and ill health. The thesis is part of The Umeå 85+ study and comprises four studies with both quantitative and qualitative data.

The aim of Study I was to test reliability and validity of the Swedish language version of the Resilience Scale (RS) in regard to its stability, internal consistency and validity. A convenience sample of 142 participants aged 19 to 85 years answered the questionnaires the first time and 126 on the retest. In Study II scales aimed to measure phenomena related to inner strength, health and development were used. The aim was to describe resilience, sense of coherence, purpose in life, and self-transcendence in relation to perceived physical and mental health in a sample of 125 participants aged 85 to 103 years. Study III aimed to give a more extensive knowledge of resilience among the oldest old. The relationship between resilience and physical health factors, psychological health factors, diseases and social relations were examined among a sample of 192 persons aged 85 to 103 years. In order to deepen the knowledge about inner strength from a life world perspective the aim of study IV was to illuminate the meaning of inner strength as narrated by women and men 85 and 90 years old. The sample consisted of those 18 participants that scored the highest on the scales aimed at measure phenomena related to inner strength.

The findings in study I showed that the Swedish version of the RS was both valid and reliable. Construct validity was established by satisfactory correlations coefficient values between the RS and the Sense of Coherence Scale and the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. A principal component analysis corresponded well to the original version of the RS. Reliability was assured with both satisfactory internal consistency as well as test-retest reliability. The findings in study II showed significant correlations between the scales aimed to measure resilience, sense of coherence, purpose in life and self-transcendence which indicates that the scales reflect some kind of common core, which was interpreted as inner strength. The oldest old scored high on all scales, this indicating that strength can be preserved or perhaps even increased in old age. The finding also showed lack of significant correlations between the scales and perceived physical health but significant correlations between these scales and perceived mental health among the women but not for the men. No significant correlation was found between physical and mental health. In study III a regression analysis showed that a strong resilience among the oldest old was found to be associated with health, mainly represented by absence of depressed mood but also by not being on medication and by the absence of psychological symptoms, but also that raising children in the past gave a meaning to the present by having a family and this produced feelings of feeling safe and secure in facing the inevitable future; that is, being resilient means living in connectedness with one’s past, present, and future. In study IV a phenomenological hermeneutic approach to the interview text disclosed a meaning of inner strength as Life goes on –living it all, meaning that inner strength still makes it possible to live, handle and being open to ones life in many of its potentials. Inner strength means that one can chose to stand up and fight as well as living in reconciliation, a possibility to work hard as well as feeling relaxed, inner strength means having tasks to accomplish as well as feeling content and proud over ones life as well as life itself, it means relying in oneself as well as having faith in others and God (for some), knowing that you as a person is the same as well as accepting and adjusting to changes. It means that one can chose aloneness and still be connected, it is to be living in the present as well as in one’s past and in the future. That is, living in wholeness.

The findings of the studies are discussed in relation to personal strengths and a good aging.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Omvårdnad, 2006. 62 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1065
Keyword
aged, aging, development, health, inner strength, oldest old, resilience
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-902 (URN)91-7264-201-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-11-17, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-10-30 Created: 2006-10-30 Last updated: 2016-03-01Bibliographically approved
2. Äldre människors berättelser om att bli och vara gammal tolkade utifrån genus- och etnicitetsperspektiv
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Äldre människors berättelser om att bli och vara gammal tolkade utifrån genus- och etnicitetsperspektiv
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the five studies that make up this thesis is to elucidate constructions of being old from the perspectives of gender and ethnicity. One of the studies uses quantitative data and four use qualitative data.

The sample in study I consisted of 125 participants from the Umeå 85+ study, aged 85 to 103 years old, who were able to use Likert scales in responding to questions. Studies II and III involved content analysis of interviews with old persons scoring on the extremes of the resilience scale. In study IV, interviews with nine Sami women were analysed using grounded theory. In study V, four interview situations were subjected to discourse analysis.

Study I showed statistically significant correlations between the scales measuring resilience, sense of coherence, purpose in life and self-transcendence. These scales were supposed to measuring a common dimension, which is here interpreted as “inner strength”. There was a significant correlation between women’s “inner strength” and perceived mental health.

The femininities found were associated with “being connected”, “being an actor”, “living in the shadow of others” and “being alienated”. The masculinities found were associated with “being in the male centre”, “striving to maintain the male facade” and “being related”. The femininity associated with “being an actor” and the masculinity associated with “being in the male centre” were pronounced in those participants assessed as having high resilience.

Old Sami woman were found to be balancing within various discourses, including being a reindeer owner versus not owning reindeer, being Sami versus being Swedish, speaking in Sami versus speaking in Swedish, dreaming about the past versus looking to the future, being equal to men versus living in the shadow of the male herders, and changing for survival versus striving to retain uniqueness as a Sami.

Study V revealed that shifts in power between the interviewer and the interviewed can be related to the discourses of age, gender, education, body, ethnicity and ideology.

This thesis presents a complex picture of what it means to be among the oldest old. The ageing, gendered and ethicised selves cannot be seen as socially and culturally fixed. For the women, the femininity expressed in “being connected” involved being satisfied, content and having positive relationships. “Being an actor” involved a stress on the person’s own strength and own choices. The femininities experienced as “living in the shadow of others” and “being alienated” generated narratives about dissociation and loneliness. For the men, it seemed important to relate to themselves and to other men. However, the masculinity expressed in “being related” involved an alternative form of masculinity, focusing on the importance of daily work, new relationships, and reflecting on the meaning of life. The Sami women showed strength in being able to position themselves between various discourses, but their narratives also showed tender sadness when they spoke of their longing for the past and for their mother tongue. The reflection on how narratives are constructed by both the interviewed and the interviewer in relation to their access to various discourses of age, gender, education, ethnicity and ideology in different interview situations can be important for increasing awareness of the role of these discourses. Various ways of constructing femininities and masculinities must be studied if we are to avoid ageism developing in society. Analyzing and reflecting on the importance of age, gender and ethnicity from a constructivist perspective may reduce stereotypical descriptions of the oldest old.

Publisher
55 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1081
Keyword
oldest old, gender, ethnicity, discourse, narratives, content analysis, Grounded Theory
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-974 (URN)978-91-7264-248-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-02-09, Aulan, Vårdvetarhuset, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Available from: 2007-01-22 Created: 2007-01-22 Last updated: 2017-10-27Bibliographically approved

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Nygren, BjörnAléx, LenaJonsén, ElisabethGustafson, YngveNorberg, AstridLundman, Berit

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