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How do we understand the relationship between social role and psychological well-being in older women? : a qualitative study.

Litchmore-Dunbar, Michaela (2016) How do we understand the relationship between social role and psychological well-being in older women? : a qualitative study. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Objective: This research investigates how older women understand their social roles, and the part that social roles play in their well-being, to underpin the development of interventions aimed at increasing social role participation in order to improve the well-being of older women in the United Kingdom. Methods: Five focus groups were analysed using Inductive Thematic Analysis. Snowball sampling was used to identify 20 female participants, residing in the United Kingdom, aged 60 and above. Results: The analysis generated four themes: the nature of a social role; social roles support well-being in older age; societal expectations of age and gender lead to role loss; and freedom to choose meaningful social roles leads to well-being. Conclusions: Participants reported that social roles facilitate well-being through the prevention of isolation, increased levels of activity, improved cognitive health through brain activity, and increased confidence and flexibility. Freedom to choose meaningful social roles was reported as having the most positive impact on well-being. Results provide a framework from which to design social role interventions that facilitate choice of meaningful social roles, which can be facilitated through joined-up working with external agencies, including those that provide volunteering opportunities. Appropriate psychological interventions include those that address relationships with others, such as Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects : Psychology, social sciences, older people, social role
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Litchmore-Dunbar, Michaela
Date : 30 November 2016
Funders : n.a
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, Kate
Depositing User : Michaela Litchmore-Dunbar
Date Deposited : 15 Dec 2016 11:51
Last Modified : 07 Feb 2017 10:55

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