Late Life Interview for Adult Development and Aging This interview is one of three you may select to complete this assignment. You may add to these questions or alter the wording as you choose. If a question doesn’t seem appropriate for your interviewee, you can drop it and discuss this in your paper. Please read the questions over carefully before you meet with your subject, and adjust the question to fit appropriately with your interviewee’s situation. For example, if your subject has lost her/his spouse, approach this subject sensitively. Take your cues from the subject. If they fall silent, take this as your cue to move on. If your interviewee does not give much of an answer to a question about work, family, retirement, you will need to ask a follow-up question such as, “Can you tell me more about it?” or “And how did that affect you?” Older Adult Interview Questions 1. What would you like to be called in this interview? Hello _____, what is your age and can you describe your living situation? a. How would you describe the stage of life you are currently in? 2. I’d like to ask you some questions about different areas of your life: work, family, and relationships, and health. a. Are you currently employed? Retired? (if retired, skip to next set of questions. b. How long have you worked at your present job? c. What do you find most rewarding or satisfying about your job now? d. What do you find least satisfying or most troublesome about your job now? e. Are you currently making any plans for retirement? Is this something you look forward to? If so, what do you look forward to? 3. (If retired) When did you retire and after how many years were you at your job? a. What was it like in the beginning to leave work? (Was it an easy or a difficult transition? Did you have a lot of adjusting to do, etc.?) b. What activities have you come to enjoy in retirement? Would you say your life has grown in some ways? Has it shrunk in some ways? c. How important are friendships at this point in your life? Do you have a wide circle of friends? Is your circle of friends smaller or larger than it was, say, 10 years ago? d. What advice would you give to someone about retirement? 4. Now I’d like to ask you about your family. Are you living with family members now? (Ask them to describe their living situation and whether it has recently changed.) a. If you have children, can you describe what your current relationship with them is like? (How often do you see them? Is your relationship with your child/children different now that you are older? b. Do you have grandchildren? How often do you see them? How would you describe your role in their lives? c. Do you have a spouse or partner? (If you know the person to have lost their spouse, ask gently how they are getting along in that person’s absence.) How is the relationship benefitting you at this point in your life? What are the challenges? Do you find that you continue to need to work on your relationship with your spouse/partner? 5. How would you describe your current state of health? Have you been dealing with any significant health problems yourself or in someone close to you? (Get details. If the person has an ill spouse or partner, ask the caregiving questions too.) a. What kinds of challenges do you deal with due to this illness? b. Have you received support from others around this illness? Can you tell me what has been most helpful (from medical community, family members, friends)? c. What do you try to do these days to take care of your physical health? 6. Are you a caregiver for someone in your life? a. Can you tell me how that’s been going? Is it a difficult role? If so, what helps you to cope? b. What kind of support do you find that you need as a caregiver? c. Where do you get support? Who/what has been most helpful to you? 7. Thinking back over everything we’ve talked about, how would you describe the challenges that come with being older? a. Conversely, have you noticed any special positive aspects of this life stage – any benefits of being your age now compared to when you were younger? (What about in terms of relationships, family, time to think, etc.) 8. How do you feel at this point in your life about achievements? Do you feel you have achieved your life goals? (describe) a. Other than work and family, are there other activities that are important to you at this stage? If so, tell me about the rewards you get from them. b. What are your goals for the future? What are your hopes and fears for the future as you look ahead in your life? c. Is there anything else you’d like to tell me before we end? Thank you very much for sharing so much with me in this interview. Psych 343 Interview Assignment This assignment requires advance planning, since you will need to recruit a willing interview subject. You will need to review and familiarize yourself with the questions in advance, and you may want to record the interview. Please DO NOT use your parent or grandparent as your subject for this assignment. Instead, try to find an older person or a caregiver to an older person from networking, your workplace, or use a family friend. Three interviews to choose from: a) Midlife Experience: Interview a woman or man between 40 and 65. This person could be a relative or family friend or neighbor, or someone you know in a professional role. b) Older Adulthood: Interview a woman or man 65 or older. This person could be a relative or family friend or neighbor, or someone you know in a professional role. c) Caregiver to an Older Adult: Interview an adult 45+ who is currently the main caregiver for an older adult, or who has recently been in this role. Pointers for a good interview: a. Please use the questions posted on Blackboard for the type of interview you have chosen. Ask questions one at a time, allowing the subject a moment to answer. You may and add your own questions if you wish. You will need to produce a transcript (Q/A format) of the interview, so it is helpful to record it. b. Introduce the assignment to your subject (explain that the assignment is for your Adult Development class, explain that you have some prepared questions but that you want to learn as much as possible about their experience. State that his/her answers will be kept anonymous). Invite them to give whatever additional information they wish. c. Invite your subject to choose an alias if they wish. As then if they would mind telling you their age. d. ASK THE QUESTIONS ONE BY ONE, NOT GROUPED TOGETHER, ALLOWING THE SUBJECT TO ANSWER EACH ONE. As you move through the interview, you can adjust the questions to match what the situation is. e. Be sensitive. Be interested. The interview asks about sensitive topics. If the person shares something painful, don’t just move on to the next question. Say something liked, “I’m glad you shared that.” Or “Was that a difficult time?” or “How did you cope?” f. Pay attention: For example, if the subject tells you his wife died, be sure to adjust the wording of subsequent questions to take this into account. g. ASK FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS. Use these when your subject says something interesting or important and you’d like them to elaborate, OR if you your subject is giving brief answers. Follow up questions include the following: “Could you please tell me more about that?” or “That sounds challenging, what was it like for you?” or “What happened next?” h. Try not to interject your own thoughts or experiences, as this tends to get in the way of the focus on your person. Don’t try to make things light, humorous or casual, just be calm, interested, and straightforward. i. It’s OK to give the subject a moment to answer. Your silence following a question will give them space to think. Part 1: Writing Up the Transcript: Type your interview verbatim in question/answer form (like the script for a play). Type each question you asked, then the participant’s answer. If the interview is long, you can eliminate parts of the dialogue that seem repetitious or unimportant. Do not write the transcript in the third person. Part 2: The Analysis a. Introduce your essay by introducing your subject, her/his age, and how you found her/him. You can add another sentence or two of overview, and then launch into your analysis. b. Analyze the interview by looking through it for themes and concepts that you have learned about in the course lecture, readings, and films. Mention the concept you identify and then find a passage in the text to support your statement, or refer to a specific lecture or documentary. c. Do not summarize or recap the interview. I will read your interview transcript before I look at the analysis, so I’ll be familiar with it. An “A” paper makes specific references to the text, lecture, and films or other course readings and cites appropriate passages or examples from these sources. For your quotes of supporting material, just put the author and page number like this: (Erber, p. 327) d. Reflect upon the particular way your subject’s experience compares with what we’ve discussed/read in this course — maybe their experience is different from what was taught. Maybe the subject showed a new angle or type of experience! e. Discuss the impact of the interview on your thinking: 1. Did you have some assumptions (stereotypes) about this life stage that were confirmed or dispelled because of this interview? 2. What did you learn about this life stage from your interviewee that you might not have understood or known about before?

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