Religion and Spirituality: A Qualitative Study of Older Adults

Rhonda Shaw, Judith Gullifer, Katie Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Theories of ageing have suggested that many older adults adopt different strategies to enhance the experience of ageing. The current study was designed to explore the perceived role of religion and spirituality as a person ages. Eight older adults, four men and four women, aged from 67 to 80 years, participated in semi-structured interviews. The results from a thematic analysis revealed three manifest themes (defining religion and spirituality, the spiritual journey and being older but not feeling older) and one latent theme (faith). Religion and spirituality can play an important role in guiding the lives of older adults as well as helping them establish meaning in their lives and to cope with adverse situations. The results show that the participants see older adulthood as a period of spiritual growth and development which provides a means of compensating for losses that can result from physical decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-330
Number of pages20
JournalAgeing International
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Development
  • Faith
  • Growth
  • Older age
  • Religion
  • Spirituality

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