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Korean J Child Health Nurs. 1999 Oct;5(3):292-304. Korean. Original Article.
Park IS , Lee KJ .
Department of nursing, Chungnam National University, Korea.
Department of nursing, Kyungwon College, Korea.
Abstract

The lengthened average span of human life by virtue of recent developments in medicine has caused the population of elders to increase. The development of modern industrial society has transformed family structure from the large family system to that of a nuclear family. Due to the shift in family structure, the problem of support for the aged has surfaced as a nursing problem as well as a social problem. With regard to this problem, this study aims to investigate the adolescent's understanding of elders and aging. By identifying their understanding and classifying their attitude patterns, this study will help the nursing assessment of the support of elders in the family. This study employed Q-methodology, and the research was conducted from December, 1998 to May, 1999. One method of the research included deep interviews with elders, those who are in their 50's, 40's or 30's, and the adolescent. 183 Q-populations taken from literary works such as poems or novels were also formed as another method. Finally, 36 Q-cards were made after consultation with professors of the nursing department. The subjects of the P- sample were 30 high schoolboys/girls - who were in first, second, and third years. The result showed that 3 factors provided an explanation for 59.14% of the whole variables: the first factor, 41.37%; the second factor, 11.49%; and the third factor, 6.28%. These three factors were analyzed and categorized as three types. Twenty subjects out of the 30 were included in Type 1: Respecting Elders. The statements which showed the most positive consent were as follows: "The declining age is a perfect time to prosper completing a worthy life"; "Getting old, one needs financial stability"; and "Elders wish the best for their children." The statements showing the most negative response were as follows: "It is better to die than to live as an older person"; "Elders are insignificant"; and "Getting old is the worst unhappiness that tortures human."Four subjects were included in Type 2: Resenting Elders. The statements which showed the most positive consent were as follows: "Aging is a process of dying that nobody can escape from"; "Elders should be concerned about his health and try to maintain their health"; and "When you get older, you regret about the life in the past." The statements showing the most negative response were as follows: "When you get older, you should stand aloof greed and worldly things"; "When you get older, you become generous and gentle"; and "When you get he gets old, you change to become a comfortable and warm person." Six out of 30 subject were included in Type 3: Caring Elders. The statements which showed the most positive consent were as follows: "Elders should be concerned about his health and try to maintain their health"; "Elders wish the best for their children"; and "Elders deserve to be treated with filial respects." The statements showing the most negative response were as follows: "Elders are insignificant"; "Elders have freedom and plenty of free time."; and "Elders are alienated form and drove out of the society."The above-mentioned results show that most adolescents in Korea recognize aging as the time of fruition and development; it is a time of benefiting and giving back to society. Aging can also be seen as a time of generosity and magnanimity and the time of respect and favorable treatment from society, despite the change of modern society and the ostensible transformation of a family system. Their recognition seems deeply rooted in the traditional confucian values and the dual family system which is peculiar especially to the Korea - one which maintains both the superficial form of nuclear family and the substantial mode of the enlarged family system. In sum, many Korean adolescents attribute the meaning of the elderly and aging to the type of the respect with the elderly and the type of the elderly's caretaking.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.