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Title: A sociological analysis of old age in Aberdeen
Author: Lynch, G. W.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1964
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Consideration was given to the likelihood of earlier experiences influencing attitudes in old age, and for the purpose of examining such associations, a structured interview schedule was devised to collect data, related to the youth, maturity and old age of the respondents. An open-ended schedule of questions was adopted to avoid certain limitations thought to "be inherent in the multi-choice form of questionnaire. The sample was balanced for age within each sex and other social criteria such as civil state followed randomly after these divisions. The sample was randomly selected from the medical records of six practices in the City of Aberdeen. Records were extracted at regular intervals according to the size of the practice and the names, and addresses were noted of all who qualified by age, The final list from each practice was then classified by age and sex and a balanced sample approximating to one-sixth of the sample was obtained from each practice, The sample from each subsequent practice was adjusted to make good any deficiencies through refusals or withdrawals which, may have occurred in the preceding sample. In order to albw this procedure to be carried out, the overall sample was not drawn before the commencement of the field work. Once a practice batch had been drawn, field work was started and when the interviews were nearing their end and sample losses were known, work was started on the next practice sample * Socio-economic standards in the family of origin Respondents gave their impressions of living standards in their families of origin and these impressions were then associated with certain objective criteria. Occupation was one such criterion and an operational classification of occupations was employed to avoid anomalies which might arise from the application of the E.G. social class index to late nineteenth century occupational status. Each respondent was classified by- the occupational level he or she had attained at the end of training or by the late 'teens. When this classification was related to that of the opinions given ahout early living standards the association was significant. Those who had thought that their living standards had been satisfactory were associated with the higher occupational levels and low level occupations were associated with low living standards. Educational level was another objective criterion by which impressions of living standards were assessed, and the association between these two sets of data was also significant. Judgements of living standards were further inspected by a weighting system based on the objective criteria of the occupation of the head of the household in the respondent* s family of origin and the number of persons per room in the household. The combination of these two factors gives a more effective measurement of living standards than could be given by either factor on its own. Weights for the tv/o factors were combined into a single index and the rang(c) was classified in upper, middle and lower socio-economic levels. The association between these data was also significant. Finally, two sets of subjeotive data on living standards were associated and found to be significant. These were the impressions of living standards already referred to and impressions of how often the needs of the respondents had "been met in their early years. It was thought that tests of validation such as have been described were of importance insofar as they established a level of integrity on the parts of respondents participating in a study based lax'gely on subjective information. Changes in economic conditions during life Attitudes to living standards in the different stages of life were examined* Opinions about living standards in childhood were already known and further questions sought to discover reactions to living conditions in the subsequent stages of middle age, beyond middle age and retirement. Most of the respondents had been satisfied with their living standards in middle age. More were satisfied among those whose early living conditions had been satisfactory and this was particularly true of retired men in that group. keast satisfaction was found among retired respondents who had started life in unsatisfactory economic circumstances. The period of the last working years prior to retirement was described as "Beyond middle age"t some respondents were in that stage at the time of interview, and most of these were satisfied with their income. Retired respondents looked back on the economic circumstances of their working years just prior to retirement and returned a much lower proportion of those who had been satisfied.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available