Self-transcendence and mental health in oldest-old adults

Nurs Res. Jan-Feb 1991;40(1):5-11.


Patterns of self-transcendence that older adults report as being important to their emotional well-being are described in this study, and the relationship between self-transcendence and mental health symptomatology in oldest-old adults is investigated. The sample consisted of 55 independent-living older adults, 80 to 97 years old. Methodological trianglulation was used whereby qualitative data together with quantitative findings were examined. Four patterns of self-transcendence, congruent with the investigator's definition, were identified by the participants as being important to their sense of well-being: Generativity, Introjectivity, Temporal Integration, and Body-Transcendence. Results of Pearson correlation analysis and matrix analysis of data supported a relationship between self-transcendence and mental health found in previous research, thus demonstrating the importance of the expansion of self boundaries in older adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over / psychology*
  • Attitude
  • Family
  • Female
  • Helping Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Self Concept