Becoming Older, Being Well An Empirical Study in a Village Community in the English East Midlands

Gray, John Anthony (2021) Becoming Older, Being Well An Empirical Study in a Village Community in the English East Midlands. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Becoming Older, Being Well An Empirical Study in a Village Community in the English East Midlands
PhD Thesis
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Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
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Abstract

The research documented in this thesis, Becoming Older, Being Well : An Empirical Study
in a Village Community in the English East Midlands, was conducted in North Muskham,
the village I have lived in since 1983. The village is referred to throughout the thesis as the
'locale’ (p.80). The research project was presented locally as the ‘Beyond 60’ project
and its shorthand reference, ‘B60’, is used throughout the thesis.
The research set out to answer two top-level research questions:-
Becoming Older, RQ1 What is it like to retire and become older in our village?
Being Well, RQ2 How do we learn from, and feel about, 60+ life?
The research fieldwork was conducted through a single instance case study in which
the principal data collection instrument was a substantial all-households questionnaire.
The 311 village residents aged 60 or over (60+) in 2015 are referred to as the ‘NM60+'
group. There were 101 respondents to the main questionnaire distributed in late 2015.
Of these, 76 (43 women and 33 men) met the twin criteria for inclusion in the study
sample, being resident in one of the village's three Census Output Areas and aged 60 or
over at the time of the questionnaire’s distribution. A majority of this group, referred to
as the ‘B60+’ group, were born during the post-war 'baby boom' years.
Adopting a realist philosophy and aspiring to provide findings of use to the local
community, B60 used qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis tools.
The main dataset was that collected from the 76 B60+ respondents (24% of the 60+
population of the village in 2015), and there were a number of other data sources:
27 follow-up interviews, publicly available ELSA (English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing)
material, and data from a local COVID-prompted subsidiary questionnaire in late 2020,
in which 29 of the original B60+ group participated, with 64 others new to the research.
A number of research hypotheses were tested to arrive at findings linked to RQ1 and
RQ2, revealing a high level of wellbeing across the B60+ group's ‘Young-Old’ (modal age
group 65-69) majority and male/female ratio of 0.72.
Respondents reported enjoying retirement, and generally positive feelings about their
community, but had concerns about housing, mobility and access to support in time of
need. Comparison of CASP-19 scores before and during COVID indicates overall
deterioration in subjective wellbeing during COVID and a change in focus from ‘Pleasure’
to ‘Self-Realisation’ in respondents’ CASP-19 domain level scores.

Keywords:retirement, East Midlands, village community
Subjects:L Social studies > L990 Social studies not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:48455
Deposited On:04 Mar 2022 16:33

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