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Title: An exploration of relocation decision-making and experience : wellbeing and chronic stress outcomes for older under-occupying homeowners
Author: Lincoln, G.
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2020
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This largely qualitative research used thematic analysis and some contextual quantitative data to supplement qualitative findings. It explored the decisions, experience and efficacy of 39 female homeowners, living alone in or near London, around downsizing to retirement housing. The focus was on wellbeing and chronic stress for participants who moved or did not. The timespan was: (1) ‘decision-making’ five months before the move, (2) just after moving, (3) ‘settling-in’ five months later. ‘Mover’ and ‘Non Mover’ cohorts were in two age groups 60-75; 76 and over. Structured interviews explored person-environment fit, quality of life, support networks and personal views and characteristics at Times (2) and (3) together with hair samples, for hair cortisol concentration (HCC) analysis of chronic stress. Depression, anxiety and stress measures were also taken retrospectively for Time (1). Two from each cohort had semi-structured interviews at Time (3). There were three ‘Overarching Themes’ and thirteen sub themes. Impediments and motivators to move were reported as either functional (practical) matters or ‘meaningful’ (emotional) matters, which had more influence for those disinclined to move. The inclination to move was dependent upon lifetime characteristics, beliefs, experience and self–efficacy, not age per se. Older Movers struggled with cognitive aspects and pressure to move from family, which was uncomfortably high in the research. Role diminishment within the community or family, and levels of autonomy, affected desire to move, the acceptance of help and time taken to settle-in. HCC results for chronic stress were interpreted using contextualised biographical material. This qualitative approach was essential in revealing individual delayed reactivity and different lengths/levels of response, depending on perception of ‘stressors’. Future research, policy and practice have been recommended, using richer than previous relocation research, for this growing social group.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available