The topic of this dissertation was the aging experience of persons of Mexican descent who are at least 60 years of age and who migrated to the United States as adults. This study served to fill a gap in the literature by exploring and documenting their perceptions of aging in a culture dissimilar from their culture of origin and identifying the health, social, and care needs of the ethnic group that is the largest minority group in the United States. Through this work, a better understanding of cultural differences in the experience of aging was gained, allowing practitioners and service providers to meet the needs of this population more effectively, particularly as the population of elderly persons continues to boom as population studies predict. The first research question was, “How do elderly Mexican immigrants describe their experiences of aging in a culture that is dissimilar to their culture of origin?” The second research question was, “How do elderly Mexicans who immigrated to the United States as adults describe their health, social, and care needs?” The research methodology for this study was a generic qualitative inquiry with semi-structured interviews. The population of this study was a rural community in the Pacific southwest that is predominantly Mexican and highly impoverished. The sample included three Mexican females who were 60 years of age or older and who immigrated to the United States as adults. Inductive thematic analysis with constant comparison was performed to uncover three themes for the first research question and two for the second. The predominant themes for the research questions were Family Connections and Relationships and Quality of Life for the first research question, and Love, Attention, Care, and Time for the second. The findings suggested above all else that family is a key component to the aging experience of elderly Mexican immigrants. The findings also demonstrated that general knowledge of an ethnic group is beneficial, but there are exceptions within the group.
|Commitee:||Stewart-Spencer, Sarah , Everson, Blaine|
|Department:||School of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral Sciences, Counseling Psychology, Latin American Studies, Aging|
|Keywords:||Elderly immigrants, Mexican immigrants, The good life, Cultural differences|
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