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Reminiscence and self-concept in older adults Andersen, Ann Elizabeth


Reminiscence is a complex phenomenon which is theorized in contemporary gerontological literature to serve adaptive functions in successful aging. This study explores the relationship between reminiscence (as measured using the Reminiscence Survey) and one criterion of adaptation: global self-esteem (as measured by the Total P score of the Tennessee Self Concept Scale) in a sample of 40 older volunteers who range in age from 55 years to 95 years and who still live independently in the community. Significant positive correlations were found between the Reminiscence Survey measures and the Total P scores of the TSCS. As well, life-reviewers reported significantly more uses, triggers, and outcomes of reminiscence and had significantly higher self-concept scores than did non-life-reviewers. These findings serve to demonstrate the positive relationship between the pervasiveness of reminiscence and the positivity of self-conception. Implications for the constructive use of reminiscence as a therapeutic intervention strategy in counselling older adults are discussed.

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