Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Older people, Self-perception



Physical Description

1 online resource (201 p.)


This study explores the nature of the self-concept in old age. Specifically, the relationship between the self-concept and social relationships and self-concept and living situation (residence in a long term care or residence in one’s own home) are examined. The self-concept was measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale (TSCS) developed by William Fitts in 1965. Data was collected at two stages (over a two to three year period) from a study sample which consisted of twelve individuals who became institutionalized and twelve individuals who remained in their own homes.

Both quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods were used. Analysis indicated that the study sample groups of institutionalized and community residing groups were similar in the amount and kind of social contacts they had with friends, family and relatives. Examination of the self-concept scores revealed that there were virtually no difference between the self-concept scores of the two samples.

This study concludes with a discussion of the need to further longitudinal research into the nature of the self-concept in old age and issues in methods of data collection and analysis.


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A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Sociology

Persistent Identifier

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Gerontology Commons