Quality of life among elderly nepali women

Open Access
Author:
Shrestha, Srijana
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 10, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Michelle Gayle Newman, Dissertation Advisor
  • Steven Howard Zarit, Committee Chair
  • Michelle Gayle Newman, Committee Member
  • Pamela Marie Cole, Committee Member
  • Carolyn Elizabeth Sachs, Committee Member
  • Jeanne Marecek, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • quality of life
  • aging
  • women
  • culture
Abstract:
Quality of life construct can be used to assess how well an individual’s needs are met or how well his/her needs are being met by the society. In the field of gerontology, quality of life has been defined using a framework that ignores cultural differences that influence how elderly individuals define and assess their quality of life. The present study compares the quality of life as defined by two samples of Nepali elderly women: those who live with their families and those live in old age homes, investigating factors that are associated with quality of life in the two samples. The results show that social and cultural norms, informed by Hindu principles, that prescribe familial elder care impact how quality of life is constructed by both groups of women. It is shown that age and functional mobility are differently and significantly correlated with quality of life in the two groups. The findings are discussed in terms of quality of life as a socially constructed phenomenon.