New partnerships among single older adults: a Q methodology study
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Abstract Background The social structure is changing with an increase in the ratio of the older population, resulting in a growing number of older people being faced with singlehood. This study identified and described single older adults’ differing perspectives on new relationships. Method We used a Q methodology approach for data collection and analysis, following in-depth interviews with 10 participants. Q statements were developed through content analysis of the interview data, which were then subjected to Q sorts performed by 49 older adults. A factor analysis was then completed on the collected data using PQ Method software. Results Five factors regarding common attitudes toward pursuing a new partner, which accounted for 53% of the total variance, were obtained in the final model: (1) being single, a companion, and already acquainted with the other person/potential partner; (2) high spiritual compatibility and a caring disposition; (3) an emphasis on physical intimacy and companionship; (4) easily influenced by others’ comments and highly concerned about being alone; and (5) physical and financial independence. Conclusions Clustering older adults according to their attitudes can help in acknowledging their expectations about new relationships in later life. Implications Practitioners can engage in successful consultations based on the recognition.
BMC Geriatrics. 2019 Mar 06;19(1):74