ERIC Number: ED172105
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov-20
Reference Count: 0
Reconstruction of the Personal Past: Differences in Older Women.
Gigy, Lynn L.
It was hypothesized that women in different current life circumstances would emphasize different life content areas in verbal reports of their life histories. A basically homogeneous sample of 30 women (average age = 58.5) was divided into women who had never had children, women whose children had left home, and women who had at least one child living at home. Life history interviews focused on events self-selected by the subjects. The results were coded into 11 content areas derived from the data. ANOVA tests indicated differences for four of the areas. Multiple Range tests showed the empty-nest women as the most likely to mention Family or Procreation, and the non-empty-nest women were the most likely to report Self memories. A t-test showed no difference in interest in children with the empty-nest women, but there was an increase in the importance of the husband which appeared to be at the expense of Self concerns. The subjects were similar in their overall life situations and, in accordance with the hypothesis, showed the same basic pattern in the content of their remembered pasts. However, differences in current life circumstances did create meaningful alterations in memory of the past. (Author/PJC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the Gerontological Society (30th, San Francisco, California, November, 1978)