School for Social Work
Automobile driving-Psychological aspects, Older automobile drivers-Psychology, Older people-Attitudes, Older people-Transportation, Older people-Social networks, Autonomy (Psychology), Older adult driving, Cessation, Geriatric
For many adults the ability to drive a car acts as a crucial link to the outside world. The following study was implemented to gain a more in depth and detailed understanding of community dwelling older adults' experiences of driving cessation as related to cultural gender expectations and to explore the influence of an individual's support network on their experience of driving cessation. The study was quantitative in nature and included data collected from residents at four different retirement/assisted living communities located within the city limits of Seattle, WA. A total of 45 participants were surveyed in person: the sample consisted of 35 females and 10 male participants. The study was designed to test the following research statements: (1) Driving cessation affects males and females differently. (2) External factors influence and shape an individual's experience of driving cessation. The results of this study did not display a significant difference based on gender differences. This may be due to the relatively small sample size surveyed. This data may also suggest that older adults actually display less of a difference in driving cessation behaviors based on their gender. More research that focuses specifically on the relation of gender to the decision to cease to drive and level of comfort on the increased dependence on friends and family is needed. Future research should also explore the significance of an older adult's social network as related to their experience of driving cessation. A better understanding of the factors that contribute to different experiences of driving cessation for older adults may help mental health professionals tailor effective psychological interventions in an effort to provide support during this difficult transition period. The development of this knowledge will also contribute to the establishment of effective policy and laws in the service of geriatric drivers to increasing the safety of the entire population.
Nichols, Jennifer Lee, "Life after driving : older adults' perceptions of driving cessation" (2011). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.