Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Wartime experiences and their implications for the everyday lives of older people

Sixsmith, J., Sixsmith, A., Callender, M. and Corr, S. (2014) Wartime experiences and their implications for the everyday lives of older people. Ageing and Society. 34(9), pp. 1457-1481. 0144-686X.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: Past research has documented the influences that 'traumatic’ memories of war have on older people's mental health (e.g. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). However, fewer studies have explored the longer-term implications of wartime experiences for older men and women's everyday lives. This article explores the impact of Second World War experiences on older men and women living in the United Kingdom (UK), to provide an insight into how such experiences influence how they construct their daily lives. Forty UK-based participants born between 1914 and 1923 were interviewed as part of the ENABLE-AGE project that was undertaken in five European countries. The key concepts underpinning the interview schedule were: home, independence, participation, health and wellbeing, and societal supports. The data were analysed using a grounded theory approach. Participants emphasised how wartime experiences continue to hold significance within their lives and settings some 60 years later. Seven themes emerged from the analysis. Four of these reflect the way wartime experiences remain important influences on participants' present-day social worlds: comradeship, storytelling about the war, community and alienation, and long-term physical effects. A further three themes reflect how skills and personal characteristics defined by wartime experiences are embedded in the way many older people continue to negotiate and structure their practical lives: managing, resilience and adaptability, and independence.
Uncontrolled Keywords: old age, Second World War, wartime experiences, home, social relationships
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R726.7 Health psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV1450 Aged
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ1060 Aged. Gerontology (Social aspects). Retirement
Creators: Sixsmith, Judith, Sixsmith, Andrew, Callender, Matthew and Corr, Susan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Health & Society
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Ageing Research Centre
Research Centres > Centre for Health Sciences and Services
Research Centres > Centre for Physical Activity and Life Sciences
Date: October 2014
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 1457-1481
Journal or Publication Title: Ageing and Society
Volume: 34
Number: 9
Language: English
ISSN: 0144-686X
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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