Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


Late Life Identity: An Examination of the Relation Between Wisdom and Ethics of Care Enactments in Late Life Open Access

The primary purpose of the current study was to examine the relation between wisdom and ethics of care enactments in an older adult population. Theorists and researchers have shown that finding a largely positive identity in late life calls for a unique combination of ego strengths. The older adult has advantages to obtaining wisdom that come from a life time of experiences in relationships, family matters, and a perspective about the important things in life. Ethics of care enactments are those behaviors that are based upon principled thoughts that promote growth and the best of human development in self and others. The results of this study highlight the significance of wisdom as a strong predictor of ethics of care enactments, which outline two late life ego strengths for late life successful adaptations. Implications for clinical interventions and future research recommendations are discussed. Sixty adult men and women, 65 to 84 years-old, affiliated with one family systems theory training center and a 55 year-old and older neighborhood located on the east coast of the United States were studied. The research design employed linear regressive analysis to test two hypotheses. The wisdom total scores and ethic of care enactment scores were detected as strongly correlated (r = .405, p < .01). The results of the simple linear regression analyses revealed that wisdom was a statistically significant predictor of changes in ethics of care enactments in this population. Wisdom, statistically significantly accounted for 6% of unique variance of the changes in ethic of care scores. The reflective and cognitive dimensions of wisdom were strong significant predictors of changes in Ethics of Care Interview scores when compared to the affective dimensions.

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