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Gender differences in approaches to self-management of poor sleep in later life

Venn, S, Meadows, R and Arber, S (2013) Gender differences in approaches to self-management of poor sleep in later life Social Science and Medicine, 79 (1). pp. 117-123.

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Abstract

In this paper we seek to understand the influence of gender on the different approaches to managing poor sleep by older men and women through the conceptual framework of existing theoretical debates on medicalization, healthicization and 'personalization'. In-depth interviews undertaken between January and July 2008 with 62 people aged 65-95 who were experiencing poor sleep, revealed that the majority of older men and women resisted the medicalization of poor sleep, as they perceived sleep problems in later life were an inevitable consequence of ageing. However, older men and women engaged differently with the healthicization of poor sleep, with women far more likely than men to explore a range of alternative sleep remedies, such as herbal supplements, and were also much more likely than men to engage in behavioural practices to promote good sleep, and to avoid practices which prevented sleep. Women situated 'sleep' alongside more abstract discussions of 'diet' and health behaviours and drew on the discourses of the media, friends, family and their own experiences to create 'personalized' strategies, drawn from a paradigm of healthicization. Men, however, solely relied on the 'body' to indicate when sleep was needed and gauged their sleep needs largely by how they felt, and were able to function the following day. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Venn, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Meadows, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Arber, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : February 2013
Identification Number : 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.037
Related URLs :
Additional Information : NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in "Social Science and Medicine". Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Social Science and Medicine, 79(1), 117-123, 2013. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.037
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Feb 2013 16:30
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 20:01
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/761431

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