Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Eyal Gringart

Abstract

One of the proposed solutions to Australia's ageing population (12% aged over 65 years in 1997 to 22% by 2031; Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, 2000) and the perceived burden on the economy, is for older adults to remain in paid employment longer. The present study explored the perspectives of older adults concerning employment and working beyond the age of 65 years. A qualitative methodology was employed and data was collected through the use of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 11 participants aged between 60-75 years of age. Thematic content analysis was performed in order to identify core issues and themes. Four underlying themes of opportunity continuum, continuity, contribution and social engagement demonstrated older adults' need for flexibility in their work roles. Older adults' perspectives of the factors that attract older workers or inhibit their participation in employment are also discussed. The findings indicate that older adults want to participate in meaningful roles, however many current work options are dissatisfying and may even impede healthy developmental processes. As well as adding the perspective of older adults to the knowledge base, these findings inform policy makers, identify areas for future research, and could identify a more positive approach to maintaining older workers in employment.

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