Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sarah Ferguson


Social Work


Gerotranscendence is a new theory of human development that extends to old age. This developmental process is characterized by a shift in metaperspective from a realistic view of the world to a more transcendent or cosmic perspective. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between age, gender, spirituality, and religiosity on gerotranscendence. Qualitative surveys were distributed to 174 residents of an independent living unit in the Midwest. The survey was used to measure respondents’ age, gender, spirituality, religiosity, and gerotranscendence. The finding did not support the hypothesis that age correlated with level of gerotranscendence. Demographic characteristics of the sample could have skewed the statistics. The relationship between gender and gerotranscendence could not be analyzed due to the lack of responses from males. Both spirituality and religiosity had a significant, positive correlate to gerotranscendence, with spirituality showing a slightly stronger correlation. These results indicate that although both variables are important contributing factors to one’s sense of gerotranscendence, spirituality seems to be the broader concept that incorporates characteristics of religiosity. Implications for developing spirituality and religiosity in the elderly such as staff education, spiritual/religious diversity training, and including spirituality and religiosity as part of a holistic treatment plan, are discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons