Attachment structures of older adults: Theory development using a mixed qualitative-quantitative research design.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/185906
Title:
Attachment structures of older adults: Theory development using a mixed qualitative-quantitative research design.
Author:
Cookman, Craig Alan.
Issue Date:
1992
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This study used a mixed qualitative-quantitative design to describe attachment in a sample of one-hundred fifty-four healthy community-living older adults. Life-span development and attachment theory combined to define the philosophical and theoretical orientation that guided the investigation. The idea of an "attachment structure" was conceptualized by the investigator to frame attachment--an approach that allowed attachment to involve multiple attachment objects from any or all of six different attachment object types (things, ideas, people, groups of people, animals, or places). The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the attachment structure as it presented in, and developed in later life. In phase one of the study, 154 older adults were administered a questionnaire designed to elicit descriptive information about the newly conceptualized "attachment structure". This information was used to guide theoretical sampling in the qualitative, second phase. In phase two, a grounded theory methodology was used to explore the developmental changes that occurred in attachment structures in later life. Sixteen subjects from phase one were selected, based on their responses to the quantitative phase, as those subjects most likely to advance the theory developing focus of this study. Analysis supported the attachment structure as a meaningful representation of socio-emotional development in later life. The existence of multiple attachment objects of multiple object types was supported by both quantitative and qualitative data. Significantly, in addition to close family and friends, subjects reported attachments to ideas like independence and freedom. A grounded process called "reconfiguring" was identified from qualitative analysis that described how older people make changes in their attachment structures to maintain a sense of security in the face of diminishing contact with attachment objects. Two pathways, the structural stimulation pathway and the reconfiguring pathway, describe the dynamics of the attachment structure. The reconfiguring pathway was identified as a developmental resource of aging--a process available to older people to address developmental challenges in aging that affect one's quality and quantity of interaction with attachment objects.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Psychology.; Human Development.; Interpersonal Relations.; Dissertations, Academic.; Object Attachment.; Aged.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Nursing; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Reed, Pamela

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleAttachment structures of older adults: Theory development using a mixed qualitative-quantitative research design.en_US
dc.creatorCookman, Craig Alan.en_US
dc.contributor.authorCookman, Craig Alan.en_US
dc.date.issued1992en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis study used a mixed qualitative-quantitative design to describe attachment in a sample of one-hundred fifty-four healthy community-living older adults. Life-span development and attachment theory combined to define the philosophical and theoretical orientation that guided the investigation. The idea of an "attachment structure" was conceptualized by the investigator to frame attachment--an approach that allowed attachment to involve multiple attachment objects from any or all of six different attachment object types (things, ideas, people, groups of people, animals, or places). The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the attachment structure as it presented in, and developed in later life. In phase one of the study, 154 older adults were administered a questionnaire designed to elicit descriptive information about the newly conceptualized "attachment structure". This information was used to guide theoretical sampling in the qualitative, second phase. In phase two, a grounded theory methodology was used to explore the developmental changes that occurred in attachment structures in later life. Sixteen subjects from phase one were selected, based on their responses to the quantitative phase, as those subjects most likely to advance the theory developing focus of this study. Analysis supported the attachment structure as a meaningful representation of socio-emotional development in later life. The existence of multiple attachment objects of multiple object types was supported by both quantitative and qualitative data. Significantly, in addition to close family and friends, subjects reported attachments to ideas like independence and freedom. A grounded process called "reconfiguring" was identified from qualitative analysis that described how older people make changes in their attachment structures to maintain a sense of security in the face of diminishing contact with attachment objects. Two pathways, the structural stimulation pathway and the reconfiguring pathway, describe the dynamics of the attachment structure. The reconfiguring pathway was identified as a developmental resource of aging--a process available to older people to address developmental challenges in aging that affect one's quality and quantity of interaction with attachment objects.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectPsychology.en_US
dc.subjectHuman Development.en_US
dc.subjectInterpersonal Relations.en_US
dc.subjectDissertations, Academic.en_US
dc.subjectObject Attachment.en_US
dc.subjectAged.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineNursingen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorReed, Pamelaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPhillips, Linda R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBraden, Carrie Joen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9234901en_US
dc.identifier.oclc701394577en_US
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