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Title:Life moves on: An exploration of motivation in elderly women
Author(s):Moore, Alinde J. Mitchell
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hill, Jacquetta
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education, Educational Psychology
Psychology, Developmental
Abstract:This research explores late-life adaptation in six elderly women attempting to remain relatively independent in their own homes. Over a 6-year period, participant observation, interview, and the collection of life histories served to identify the achieving nature of the women's lives. They demonstrate major accomplishment in maintaining continuity of lifestyle in the face of ongoing changes associated with aging and within the restrictions of health and financial limitations. Orthodox achievement motivational models, however, would not identify these behaviors as achievement. An alternative model of person/environmental interaction is drawn from developmental, motivational, and environmental perspectives and provides a conceptual handle for grasping the dynamics of goal-directed behavior. When personal meanings of options, consequences of actions and self-expectations as expressed in life themes are explored in relation to the parameters of old age (i.e., health, income, and social support), they serve to identify the shape and form of the women's achieving and describe a role for achievement-related behavior in late-life adaptation.
In general, the women's achieving behavior is shaped by life circumstance. In poor health and with little income, the women live on the edge of loss, and just "getting by" represents achievement. Primarily, their personal meanings are characterized by pragmatism about circumstance and age. This alters the foci of their behavior from acquiring to maintaining, from self to others, and from the future to the present. They manage risks, accept challenge, focus on short-term goals, achieve in various ways through social relationships, and hold standards of excellence with respect to relationships. And, for the most part, these behaviors appear to contribute to successful adaptation. However, the women's success is individually defined in relation to their construction of highly valued goals, and as changes occur, successful adaptation is also related to their reconstruction of those goals.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Moore, Alinde J. Mitchell
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9010960
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9010960

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