Gerontology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Fear of crime and design: Exploring the linkages in a seniors' housing complex

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This project explores the influence of environmental factors on older adults' fear of crime. Based on the crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) model, four environmental domains were examined: natural access control, natural surveillance, territoriality and maintenance. These are linked to fear of crime using person-environment theory. The data used in this study was based on a questionnaire comprised of structured questions provided to a sample (n=102) of older residents living in an age-heterogeneous housing complex in Vancouver, British Columbia. Respondents evaluated environmental features linked to the CPTED model and reported on self-perceptions of crime and their surrounding neighbourhood. Findings suggest that fear of crime is significantly correlated with gender and social disorder variables. It is concluded that, in terms of fear of crime, neighbourhood context variables have limited explanatory power based on this pilot project, but further research is necessary to establish more definitive results.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Organizational and physical environmental correlates of bathing-related agitation in dementia special care units

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

Both the organizational and physical environments of long-term care facilities are believed to influence agitation levels among cognitively impaired residents. This thesis explores the relationship between selected organizational and physical characteristics of the facility bathing environment and bathing-related agitation. Findings are based on survey data obtained from 47 of the 90 Special Care Units in British Columbia. Of the 1,565 baths conducted during the study period, 46.8% involved some form of agitation. While the provision of initial and additional staff training reduced the likelihood of bathing-related agitation, the presence of a bathing policy and a dedicated bath team actually increased the likelihood of bathing-related agitation. Of the physical environmental features, only the provision of privacy was found to reduce the likelihood of bathing-related agitation. In order to enhance the quality of the bathing experience for residents, facilities are encouraged to direct their resources to improving the organizational bathing environment.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Beers criteria-based review of medication appropriateness in British Columbia seniors living in residential care

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

A study was conducted to explore the prevalence and predictors of inappropriate prescribing, as defined by the 2002 Beers criteria, in a sample of nursing home residents in British Columbia, Canada (n=,449). Medication-related data were extracted from residents' medication review letters. The overall prevalence of inappropriate prescribing was 29.4 percent. The prevalence rates for the three sub-types of inappropriate prescribing, namely unconditionally inappropriate prescribing, inappropriate drugdisease combinations, and inappropriate doses or durations, were 16.9, 12.4, and 5.1 percent, respectively. The likelihood of inappropriate prescribing was increased with the total number of prescription medications and the number of prescribing physicians. The single most commonly prescribed inappropriate medication was anticholinergics, for residents with cognitive impairment. Clinicians need to be extra vigilant to distinguish between the central nervous system effects of anticholinergic medications and the effects of the underlying disease.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Examining key factors and influential actors involved in the decision to relocate into assisted living: A sample funding proposal

Date created: 
2013-01-14
Abstract: 

This capstone project presents a conceptually grounded, methodologically appropriate and logistically feasible Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding proposal. By examining key factors and influential actors involved in the decision to relocate into an assisted living facility (ALF), the proposed study will provide insight into and a rich description of the decision making process as it unfolds. Presented in the format of a CIHR pilot study grant, the proposal details a qualitative research plan utilizing pre-move observations and post-move interviews to examine relocation into two public and two private ALFs in Vancouver. A project budget and justification is included along with materials related to the research protocol (informed consent forms, observation guide, interview questions, research timeline, etc). To provide context, preceding the CIHR proposal is a chapter with an extended literature review focused on later life relocation and a chapter on methodology highlighting the salient points of the different methods selected for this study.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Atiya Mahmood
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Development and initial validation of the Gay Men's Physical Attractiveness Scale

Date created: 
2012-12-12
Abstract: 

Young and older gay men from 40 countries rated the importance of 258 body features in judging the physical attractiveness of other men (N = 3,600). Exploratory factor analyses using two separate, independent samples suggested four factors underlying male same-sex physical attractiveness: Facial Attractiveness; Muscularity/Body Shape; Body Fat/Overall Appearance; and Intimate Regions. Twenty items representing the four dimensions were selected. Confirmatory factor analytic models using two other separate, independent samples supported the viability of a hierarchical structure with four first-order attractiveness factors mapping onto a higher-order Attractiveness construct. Responses to the scale exhibited strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability (r = .73 over an average period of 16 weeks). In addition, the hierarchical structure of responses appears to be time- and age-invariant. Results are discussed in the context of evolutionary theory.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Norm O'Rourke
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Predictors of enjoyment in older and middle-aged adults engaged in episodic volunteer work

Date created: 
2012-11-08
Abstract: 

Background: As the baby boomer generation begins to exit the full-time workforce, the pool of older volunteers is expected to increase dramatically. There are also recent trends in research and practice towards episodic volunteering. Purpose: This study’s purpose is to determine factors associated with enjoyment in older and middle-aged episodic volunteers and to provide insight into their perceptions of this work. Methods: A mixed methods approach was used. Questionnaire data from the 2010 Olympics Older Volunteers Project was examined using quantitative analyses (n=255). Follow-up telephone interviews were subsequently administered with a sub-sample of participants (n=10). Results: For both age groups, perceived skill utilization predicted enjoyment, whereas individual factors had no effects. Qualitative interviews revealed how volunteering may be viewed as a generative act, and how episodic volunteerism can be connected to identity as one ages. Results provide information to organizations benefiting from the involvement of older and middle-aged episodic volunteers.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrew Wister
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Age differences in volunteering experiences: an examination of generativity and meaning in life

Date created: 
2012-08-20
Abstract: 

The purpose of this thesis is to examine differences in volunteering experiences between middle-aged and older aged persons participating in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Erik Erikson’s (1959/1994) concept of generativity is applied in order to test hypotheses pertaining to age-related associations between a pre-existing community volunteer role and meaning, self-esteem and meaning as well as sense of belonging and meaning. Data were utilized from the Older Olympic Volunteer Project which contained a dataset on aspects of volunteering experiences before and after an intensive and episodic volunteering event among 282 middle-aged and older adults. It was found that the association between a pre-existing community volunteer role and meaning in life was significant only for older adults, the association between self-esteem and meaning in life was discovered to be stronger for middle age adults, whereas the association between sense of belonging and meaning in life was found to be more robust among older adults. The results are discussed with respect to the concept of generativity and meaning in life.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrew Wister
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Exploring the role of social capital on quality of life among South Asian Shia Muslim immigrant older adults in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-04-11
Abstract: 

The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the role that social capital has had on the quality of life reported by South Asian Shia Muslim immigrants from East Africa. Social Capital is based on two phenomena: social support networks and involvement in traditional culture. Eight members of this community were chosen and in depth interviews were used. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and common patterns were deduced. Codes were thencreated, and like codes were categorized into themes. The data analysis revealed five main themes, each containing two codes: (1) Community Bonding; (2) Support for Settlement; (3) Centrality of Faith; (4) Community Engagement and (5) Faith for Health. These themes identify the factors for quality of life among members of this South Asian Shia Muslim community in Vancouver. The results are beneficial for understanding the needs of ethnic immigrant communities and providing an environment conducive to successful aging post immigration.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Habib Chaudhury
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

The effect of family and work transitions on mid-later life satisfaction domains

Date created: 
2011-12-14
Abstract: 

This study examined the role of work and family transitions on parental, marital, financial, and leisure satisfaction among mid- and older-aged parents of young adult children (aged 17-35). Guided by the life course perspective, this research, employed a mixed-methodological approach, which entails the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative analysis was conducted on a subsample of 391 married participants (mean age of 55) from the Vancouver-based Parenting Project dataset. In-depth qualitative interviews were also conducted with 12 parents to elucidate key quantitative findings. Findings showed that work and family transitions influence different satisfaction domains, but that these associations depend on the family and work contexts (i.e., presence of children, work/retirement status). Results can be used to assist in the development and implementation of workshops to assist families experiencing concurrent family and work transitions.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Barbara Mitchell
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Acculturation as a predictor of depressive symptoms and life satisfaction among older Iranian immigrants in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-05-16
Abstract: 

Limited acculturation of older ethnic immigrants in Canada may adversely impact their psychological well-being. When older adults are equipped with effective means of communication and are familiarized with the services and resources of their host country, they can expand their networks to foster service use and buffer them against isolation. As the existing literature suggests, there could be an association between health behaviour and acculturation. For this thesis, it was hypothesized that less acculturated Iranian-born older adults in Canada experience reduced psychological well-being. Demographic characteristics of this population also may account for variability in both acculturation and indicators of mental health; these were also examined as predictors of psychological well-being thesis. The results of this thesis indicated that acculturation predicts life satisfaction but not depressive symptoms among older Iranian immigrants residing in Metro Vancouver.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Norm O’Rourke
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.