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Methodological appendix

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2022

Torbjörn Bildtgård
Affiliation:
Stockholms universitet Institutionen för socialt arbete
Peter Öberg
Affiliation:
Högskolan i Gävle, Sweden
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Summary

The results in this book are based on two Swedish family gerontological studies. The first research project, ‘New Relationships in Later Life – Changing Forms of Intimacy in Late Modernity’, was a qualitative interview study, financed by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte 2009-0720) and carried out between 2010 and 2011. The second project ‘New Relationships in Later Life – A Quantitative Survey’, was a nationwide postal survey, financed by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and the Social Sciences (P11: 0909–1) and carried out in 2013.

The purpose of both projects was to study:

  • • attitudes to initiating new intimate relationships in later life (for example union form);

  • • expectations of what a new intimate relationship will offer the individual (for example emotionally, sexually, socially, financially and in terms of informal care);

  • • experiences of new intimate relationships in later life and the forms these relationships take (for example marriage, cohabitation, LAT, dating, casual meetings) and the impact of new relationships in later life on the experiences of ageing and life satisfaction.

Below we describe the methodology of the two studies in detail.

The qualitative interview study

The qualitative interview study had an explorative character, focusing specifically on experiences of repartnering in later life. For the study 28 participants, aged 60–90, were recruited who had initiated a new relationship after the age of 60, or who were actively searching for one. Interviewees were approached through advertisements, articles in the media and educational conferences arranged by retirees’ organisations. For the recruitment we used what Patton (2002, p 243) refers to as a purposeful sampling strategy, or more specifically ‘maximum variation sampling’; that is, purposefully considering a wide range of informants who could potentially provide rich information about the research question (see also Plummer, 2001). To guarantee maximum variation volunteers were selected using a predefined structured sampling framework that assured representation from men and women, youngold and old-old people, and different forms of intimacy – singles, LATs, cohabitants and marrieds – in order to capture the full diversity of the phenomenon of late life repartnering.

The qualitative interviews had an average length of two hours (ranging from 1h 05m to 3h 16m).

Type
Chapter
Information
Intimacy and Ageing
New Relationships in Later Life
, pp. 181 - 186
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2017

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