The lived experiences of alcoholism in older women

by Milliard, Sandra, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2006, 128 pages; 3237874


This study examined the virtually overlooked research topic of older alcoholic women (age 50 and greater). As people are now living longer, many health problems such as this have become a concern for those working with the older female alcoholic. This qualitative phenomenological study explores the lived experiences of six women aged 50 years and above. Purposeful sampling was used with semi structured, nondirective interviews. These were conducted to elicit the participants' experiences with alcohol both now and in the past. A small group of five questions served as a guide for the interviews. Data was examined for meaning units and common themes, as performed in phenomenological studies. The results showed the evolution of five major themes, Stigma, Shame, Abuse, Self-Worth, and Spirituality. These themes were then examined in depth to obtain a basis for understanding the personal feelings and lived experiences of the older female alcoholic. Findings may increase awareness of those in the mental health field, who are currently working with older female alcoholics, and potentially serve as a catalyst for future research in this minimally studied group.

AdviserPatricia Wolskee
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsGerontology; Women's studies; Clinical psychology
Publication Number3237874

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