What roles and functions have been identified by empirical research for material objects later in life?
Stevens, D. 2018. What roles and functions have been identified by empirical research for material objects later in life? PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Introduction: Moving house later in life can be a major transition. Some studies have identified valued objects may be important to this process however the significance of objects is not well understood and related psychological theory is limited. As such, the present study aimed to build an explanatory model for the significance of valued objects to older adults in the context of a residential transition.
Method: 11 older adults, and 1 care home manager were interviewed about the meanings and roles of valued material objects following a residential transition. Older adult participants lived in either their own home, or a care home. Grounded theory method was used to build a theory of the value of objects for older adults following a residential transition.
Results: The theory proposes valued objects are associated with at least one of five key constructs; properties of objects, emotions, memory, connection, and legacy. The model also depicts the process of residential transition which is characterised by making decisions about objects.
Conclusion: Valued objects have important meanings and roles for older adults following a residential transition. Losing objects can result in emotional pain and potentially separate people from making use of objects to adjust and reflect on their move. Clinical recommendations include providing information to support people with making decisions about objects when moving house, and exploring the topic of valued objects with older adults when working therapeutically.
|Keywords||Material objects; transition; moving house; ageing; possessions; later life|
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|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||22 Feb 2019|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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