City Research Online

Making it count: Explorations of time limitation and meaning

Samson, Deborah (2016). Making it count: Explorations of time limitation and meaning. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This research explores the lived experience of women living in Britain aged between 59 and 66. Previous research on ageing has produced theories on specific aspects of ageing or particular challenges that face older adults but this study aimed to explore contemporary experiences of approaching or reaching pensionable age through the holistic perspective embraced by counselling psychology. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted on the interviews and diaries of seven women in order to better understand how each individual experienced the themes that appeared to link them together. Findings included recognition of this period as a new and distinctive entity. Participants also displayed a degree of self-knowledge and acceptance connected with age but appeared to be wrestling with a sense of transition that could sometimes leave them feeling vulnerable, particularly to the judgement of others and to fears connected with an uncertain future. Another key finding was the recognition, verbalisation and prioritisation of the activities and behaviours that are perceived as meaningful as well as renewed emphasis on pursuing these. These findings offer insight into what it means to be a woman at the threshold of older adulthood in the world today and may help inform ways in which counselling psychology can help support the emerging cohort of older adults to meet the challenges ahead.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
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