Abstract

The study of social withdrawal continues to grow among younger samples, including childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood. Little research has addressed socially withdrawn older adults, despite the various losses, declines, and changes experienced by those in later life and their known benefits resulting from social interactions. Shy, avoidant, or unsocial individuals at younger ages may withdraw and possibly miss out on important opportunities; as a result, when they are grown, these same socially withdrawn individuals may experience greater regret and lower fulfillment in later life. Further, socially withdrawn older adults residing in long-term care (LTC) facilities may have more time to reminisce of past regret or fulfillment. Data was collected from 45 older participants (Mage = 83.07) residing in a long-term care facility on O'ahu. The current study used Bayesian linear regression models to examine ways that three subtypes of withdrawal (shyness, avoidance, and unsociability) may relate to regret and fulfillment in later life; with an exploratory qualitative portion assessing withdrawn participant's biggest regrets and accomplishments. Results indicated that higher levels of shyness significantly predicted higher levels of regret, while higher levels of unsociability were related to higher levels of fulfillment. The findings may help us to understand the role of ability to choose in the lives of socially withdrawn individuals, as shy individuals who may withdraw because of fear could be missing out on desired life experiences, while unsocial individuals appear able to participate in their desired activities.

Degree

PhD

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Rights

https://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2020-07-02

Document Type

Dissertation

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd11362

Keywords

shyness, unsociable, regret, fulfillment, later life

Language

english

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