Health Promotion and Life Course Dynamics: Transitions of Brazilian Elderly


Background: Understanding life transitions is important to help people to achieve their developmental needs. No studies have examined the patterns of responses to life transitions, eliciting the experiences of growing old of retired Brazilian older adults. Aim: To identify and describe the patterns of responses to life transitions of retired Brazilian older adults. Design: Using a theoretical perspective of transition as a guide, a qualitative, secondary narrative research design was incorporated to obtain data from 11 interviews. Method: Initial data collection took place during a broader study on the influence of people’s working life history. Eleven autonomous and independent persons, 64 - 82 years old, were interviewed at a geriatric outpatient unit in Rio de Janeiro to obtain their perceptions of old age. The secondary, narrative holistic-content analysis focused on the patterns of responses to life transitions. Results: The first turning point was a childhood event and the next was their first job. The third turning point was moving to another place/house or another city, the fourth starting a family, and retirement was the last turning point. Conclusions: While older people may feel environmentally disconnected throughout life, their patterns of response, together with the available resources and prevention/interventions influence the transition process. Health Promotion actions are needed at vulnerable points during the transition process, thereby facilitating the health outcomes.

Share and Cite:

Caldas, C. and Berterö, C. (2014) Health Promotion and Life Course Dynamics: Transitions of Brazilian Elderly. Health, 6, 616-624. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.67080.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Meleis, A.I., Sawyer, L.M., Im, E.O., Messias, D.K. and Schumacher, K. (2000) Experiencing Transitions: An Emerging Middle-Range Theory. Advances in Health Promotion Science, 23, 12-28.
[2] Graefe, S., Van Dyk, S. and Lessenich, S. (2011) Altsein ist Später. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 5, 299-305.
[3] Hochheim, E. and Otto, U. (2011) Das Erstrebenswerteste ist, dass man sich so lange wie möglich selbst versorgt. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 5, 306-312.
[4] Uborsky, M.R., Lysack, C.L. and Van Nuil, J. (2011) Refashioning One’s Place in Time: Stories of Household Downsizing in Later Life. Journal of Aging Studies, 25, 243-252.
[5] Heaton, J. (2004) Reworking Qualitative Data. Sage Publications Ltd., London.
[6] Ritchie, J. and Lewis, J. (2003) Qualitative Research Practice. Sage Publications, London.
[7] Caldas C.P. (1997) Memória, Trabalho e Velhice: Um Estudo das Memórias de Velhos Trabalhadores. In: Veras, R.P., Ed., Terceira Idade: Desafios para o Terceiro Milenio, Relume-Dumará, Rio de Janeiro, 121-142.
[8] Squires, A. (2008) Language Barriers and Qualitative Health Promotion Research: Methodological Considerations. International Health Promotion Review, 55, 265-273.
[9] Arizcum, M.A. (2011) The Right Message. Seprotec.
[10] Lieblich, A., Tuval-Mashiach, R. and Zilber, T. (1998) Narrative Research: Reading, Analysis and Interpretation. Applied Social Research Methods. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
[11] Meleis, A.I. (2010) Transitions Theory. Springer Publishing, New York.
[12] Godfrey, M. and Townsend, J. (2008) Older People in Transition from Illness to Health: Trajectories of Recovery. Qualitative Health Research, 18, 939-951.
[13] Bridges, W. (2004) Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. Da Capo Press, Cambridge.
[14] Chang, S.O., Kim, J.H., Kong, E.S., Kim, C.G., Ahn, S.Y. and Cho, N.O. (2008) Exploring Ego-Integrity in Old Adults: A Q-Methodology Study. International Journal of Health Promotion Studies, 45, 246-256.
[15] Nicholson, C., Meyer, J., Flatley, M. and Holman C. (2012) The Experience of Living at Home with Frailty in Old Age: A Psychosocial Qualitative Study. International Journal of Health Promotion Studies, 50, 1172-1179.
[16] Squires, A. (2009) Methodological Challenges in Cross-Language Qualitative Research: A Research Review. International Journal of Health Promotion Studies, 46, 277-287.
[17] Temple, B. (2008) Narrative Analysis of Written Texts: Reflexivity in Cross Language Research. Qualitative Research, 8, 355-365.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.