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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Chinese older adults' resilience to the loneliness of living alone: a qualitative study

Vivian W Q Lou, Jimmy W Ng
Aging & Mental Health 2012, 16 (8): 1039-46
22690832

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate resilience factors that help Chinese older adults living alone cope with senses of loneliness.

METHOD: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted on 13 older adults living alone in the community who did not show severe loneliness. Trained research assistants conducted interviews guided by semi-structured interview guidelines. The analysis followed a five-step interpretive approach.

RESULTS: The primary theme of resilience was found in cognitive competence, self and personality, and social relations. The secondary theme of resilience showed a family-oriented, relationship-focused resilience coping, which is in line with Chinese culture.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that family-oriented and relationship-focused resilience at the cognitive, self and personality, and social relations levels played significant roles in helping the Chinese older adults overcome their high risk of loneliness. Developing and maintaining dynamic daily rhythms that can integrate family-oriented and relationship-focused coping strategies at the cognitive and social levels are recommended.

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