Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Holistic Health

First Advisor

Carol Geisler

Department/School

Holistic Health Studies

Abstract

A person’s mind, body and spirit each age at a different pace. Several studies suggest that resilient older adults are happier and tend to report a better quality of life, regardless of actual health status. Studies also suggest that storytelling is one way to build happiness and resilience. We focused on storytelling as an intervention to build resilience in older adults. This study differs from previous studies in that we wanted to know if resilience could be affected in the short-term. The empirical culture of inquiry led us to use a case study method with a quasi-experimental design. We structured five weekly storytelling groups with eight older adults and measured the change in happiness and resilience before, during and after the 5-week program. We used descriptive statistics and thematic analyses. Results suggest that short-term storytelling is effective for increasing characteristics of happiness and resilience. The implications for short-term interventions to increase resilience may be especially useful for transitional care facilities and health crisis centers.

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