Identity in the fourth age: perseverance, adaptation and maintaining dignity

Lloyd, Liz, Calnan, Michael, Cameron, Ailsa, Seymour, Jane and Smith, Randall (2014) Identity in the fourth age: perseverance, adaptation and maintaining dignity. Ageing & Society, 34 1: 1-19. doi:10.1017/S0144686X12000761

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Author Lloyd, Liz
Calnan, Michael
Cameron, Ailsa
Seymour, Jane
Smith, Randall
Title Identity in the fourth age: perseverance, adaptation and maintaining dignity
Journal name Ageing & Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0144-686X
Publication date 2014-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0144686X12000761
Open Access Status
Volume 34
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract The fourth age remains a poorly understood phenomenon and there is a lack of understanding of the perceptions of those who might be considered to be living in it. This article draws on findings from a study of dignity in later life which examined the day-to-day experiences of participants who were in need of support and care because of failing health. It discusses their accounts of the changes to their sense of self and their identity that came about as a result of their ageing and health problems and looks also at the ways in which the support and care they received helped to shape their adjustment to those changes. The accounts given by participants reveal a great deal about the physical, mental and emotional effort entailed in maintaining a sense of self and highlight the essential role played by social relationships in the maintenance of identity. These findings are analysed by reference to emerging theories of the fourth age.
Keyword Fourth age
Relational autonomy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 06 August 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 21 Oct 2014, 11:22:59 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work