J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2014 Apr;18(1):9-18.

The Relationship between Identity and Mental Health for Successful Aging in Old-Aged Women

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry & Institute of Mental Health, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. ahndh@hanyang.ac.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
The aim of this study was to explain what the relationship is between identity and psychological well-being and how these are related to successful aging of old-aged women.
METHODS
The subjects were thirty females above 60 years old in the first study where we interviewed each ten subjects for 2 hours in three groups. In the second study we surveyed 320 old-aged men and women by questionnaire for about 15 minutes.
RESULTS
From focus-group interview we found the freedom from everything in life was perceived as an important change in old-aged women. But their identity was mainly derived from family relationship in aspects of economy and/or care of their grandson/-daughter. The results from analyses of questionnaire survey (n=320) were as follows ; first, women were more positive than men (female 63.1% versus male 56.5%) in the evaluation of their past life. Second, women were also more positive (female 23.7% versus male 15.2%) in the expectation for the future. Third, the successful aging had positive relationships with acceptance for aging, cohabitation with family members, income, female gender and age (65-69 years) ; and negative relationships with stress and loneliness/depression, but no relationships with decreased memory and poor sleep.
CONCLUSION
We concluded that identity for the successful aging in old-aged women is mainly derived from family relationship.

Keyword

Old-aged women; Successful aging; Identity; Mental health
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