Culture in the use, care, and control of the aging body


Hennessy C (1989) Culture in the use, care, and control of the aging body. Journal of Aging Studies, 3 (1), pp. 39-54.

Little systematic information exists on how the older adult reacts to normal physical changes with age. The personal perception and treatment of the aging body are particularly significant given the predominantly negative cultural values associated with senescence in American society. This study used a qualitative approach to examine continuity and change in physical self-evaluation and self-care among a group of healthy men and women in their fifties and seventies. Focused interviews were conducted to identify the evaluative criteria that these individuals apply to the aging body and the behavioral outcomes of the self-assessment process. Analysis focused on sex differences, perception of personal control over health and well-being, continuity of approach to the body, and the perception of time left to live. Findings highlighted personal and social resources and common behavioral strategies employed by older persons in managing the aging physical self. © 1989.

Journal of Aging Studies: Volume 3, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/1989