Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Older women-Psychology, Spirituality, Older women-Religious life, Aging-Religious aspects, Identity (Psychology) in old age, Women, Elders, Fourth-age, Third-age, Religion, End of life


This study examines whether spirituality plays a role in how older women integrate changes in their identity as they age. The research questions guiding this study are: 1) how do women navigate changes in identity in older adulthood; and 2) what role does spirituality play in the reconstruction of a woman’s identity in older adulthood? Erikson’s stages of development are used as a framework for understanding where participants are in their developmental process. The study was conducted by interviewing six women between the ages of seventy and ninety who self-identified as having an opinion about their relationship to spirituality. It is the hope of this researcher that this study can contribute to a growing body of knowledge about the experience of aging in America. This study aims to highlight the experience of women who no longer fit our culture’s stereotypes of femininity by examining how older women view themselves.




67 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 54-57)

Included in

Social Work Commons