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    Retirement and Role Discontinuities By Letty G. Kuan


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    Join date : 2010-06-29

    Retirement and Role Discontinuities By Letty G. Kuan - Page 2 Empty Retirement and Role Discontinuities By Letty G. Kuan

    Post  retirementrolemoderators on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 5:41 am

    Sister Letty G. Kuan
    -Has Master’s Degree in Nursing and Guidance Counselling, Major in Guidance Counselling and holds a Doctoral Degree in Education.
    -Professor Emeritus of the University of the Philippines College of Nursing
    -Authored several books giving her insight in the areas of Gerontology, Care of Older Persons and Bioethics.
    -Specialization includes concepts in family relationships and holistic care for patients.

    Retirement and Role Discontinuities
    -Main Proposition
    •Identified the factors that determine a “fruitful” aging process.
    •Emphasis on the challenge of role transition that aging people face.
    •Proposed that when an individual is holistically prepared for the transition, it will become a positive experience for the aging individual.

    -Key Concepts
    Physiological Age is the endurance of cells and tissues to withstand the wear-and-tear phenomenon of the human body.
    Role refers to the set of shared expectations focused upon a particular position. It is also the set of shared expectations from the retiree’s socialization experiences and the values internalized while preparing for the position as well as the adaptations to the expectations socially defined for the position itself.
    Change of Life is the period between near retirement and post retirement years. In medico-physiologic terms, this equates with the climacteric period of adjustment and readjustment to another tempo of life.
    Retiree is an individual who has left the position occupied for the past years of productive life because he/she has reached the prescribed retirement age of has completed the required years of service.
    Role Discontinuity is the interruption in the line of status enjoyed or role performed. The interruption may be brought about by an accident, emergency, and change of position or retirement.
    Coping Approaches refer to the interventions or measures applied to solve a problematic situation or state in order to restore or maintain equilibrium and normal functioning.

    Retirement starts when a person has reached the prescribed age of retirement and ceases his role in work productivity. At this stage, role discontinuity occurs and the person has to adapt to the change. As these life changing events were experienced by the elderly, certain adjustments are necessary that could lead to fruitful aging. There are determinants that were identified that intervene to the adjustment process before attaining a fruitful retirement and aging. These determinants are: Prepared retirement, Health Status, Income, Family Constellation, and Self-preparation. These determinants were identified to have a positive effect on the outlook of the individual on the outcome of his retirement. The expected outcome of implementing the determinants is having a fruitful retirement and aging.

    •The emphasis of the theory is neither on the transition of lifestyle nor the change in career; it is the psychological effect that retirement brings to the individual.
    •The transition from being the bread winner of a family to being dependent brings a psychological burden to an individual.
    •Just like in the last stage of Erick Erickson’s developmental theory which is Integrity VS Despair, where an aging individual struggles to find meaning within his experiences and accomplishments.
    •The last part of an individual’s life should be dealt carefully for it determines the sense of fulfilment.

    Identify the origin of the theory:
    Sister Letty Kuan has Masters Degree in Nursing and Education specializing In Guidance counselling. She also specializes in the concept of family and relationships. Most of her studies focus on Gerontology and care of the elderly.
    Her theory on retirement was based on her interest on the effect of retirement as a phase in ones’ life requiring adjustment and careful planning.

    Examine the Meaning of the Theory
    The theorist defined the determinants of the study as:
    1. Health status dictates the capacities and the type of role one takes both for the present and for the future. It fits for everyone to maintain and promote health at all ages because only proper care of the mind and body is needed to maintain health and old age.
    2. Family constellation is a positive index regarding retirement positively and also in reacting to role discontinuities. When one retires, the shock of the role discontinuities is softened because the family not only cushions the impact, but also offers gainful substitutes, as in providing monetary support.
    3. Income has a high correlation with both perceptions of retirement and reactions toward role discontinuities; since income is one of the factors that secure the outlook of individual.
    4. Work status goes hand in hand with economic security that generates decent compensation. For the retired, it implies that retirement should (not) be conceptualized as a period of no work because capabilities to function get sharpened and refined as they practice it on a regular basis.
    5. Self-preparation which are said to be both therapeutic and recreational in essence pays its worth in old age. This does not only account professionalism or expertise but also benevolent work as in charitable actions with the colleagues. Self-preparation is investing not in monetary benefits but in something that gives them and dignity, enhances their feelings of self-worth and happiness.

    Logical Adequacy
    In the framework of the study, relationships between the variables were identified clearly. The variables were simplified in a sense that they are easily correlated with one another. The way that the variables are shown gives a concrete flow of the variables.

    -The study can be applied not only for the population undergoing retirement process, but also for the population that is undergoing life transitions.
    - The study is easy to understand, wherein most people can relate to the effects of role change.

    Weakness/ Limitations
    - The study focuses too much on the positive determinants. Retirement adjustment is clearly a multidimensional process but the study only used a single indicator which is the positive determinants to retirement.

    - The theory is useful in geriatric nursing where nurses can derive a plan of care to help the patient to have ease of movement through a transitional process
    - If individuals have a better understanding of the retirement process and their new role, they will prepare and adjust better. (Kelly & Swisher, 1998)

    Generalizability and Parsimony (Thriftiness)
    - The study can be applied not only dealing with the people undergoing retirement process, but also with individuals who are experiencing role transition. For example, in a study conducted by Crockett et al(1989), it was identified that the transition from the school age to early adolescent was a challenge for individuals that required psychological intervention.
    - The theory can also be applied in creating programs that are suited for individuals needing adjustments regarding role change.
    - This theory may be applied to individuals near their retirement stage, during retirement stage and post-retirement stage and also to individuals from any developmental stage experiencing life challenge brought by change in role.

    Kuan’s theory possessed simplicity because variables are clearly defined and determinants were clearly known as it relates to the outcome of fruitful retirement and aging.

    Testability of the theory (Empirical Properties)
    A study done by Reitzes and Mutran (2004) in which they proposed that there are psychological process that may contribute to positive changes in retirement adjustments. Self concepts, continuity of roles and bridge identities (such as friend identity) were determined as it can lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling experience. As supported to the theory of Letty Kuan, they only recognized positive determinants that could lead to a fruitful retirement and aging.

    The theory is useful in geriatric nursing where nurses can derive a plan of care to help the patient to have ease of movement through a transitional process

    Guide Questions:
    1. What do you think is the major role of the nurse in the adjustments of retirement and role discontinuities among aging people?
    2. In what ways or nursing interventions can we help the elderly people to perceive retirement as a positive view towards the aging process?
    3. As a nurse practitioner, would you advocate Sister Letty Kuan's theory of retirement and role discontinuities? Why?
    4. What could be the impact of using Kuan's theory to the quality of life among aging people?
    5. Based on your own opinion, is it applicable to apply this theory on our current situation in the Philippines? If not, what modifications would you like to alter in the theory?

    •Crockett , L. J., Peterseny, A. C., Graberz, J. A., Schulenberg, J. E., Ebatayy, A.; School Transitions and Adjustment During Early Adolescence School Transitions and Adjustment During Early Adolescence; Journal of Early Adolescence, Vol. 9, No. 3 (August 1989), pp. 181-210. Copyright© 1989 Sage Publications, Inc.
    •Kelly N.R., Swisher L.; The transitional process of retirement for nurses; J Prof Nurs. 1998 Jan-Feb;14(1):53-61.
    •Peoria Regional Graduate Nursing Program, University of Illinois at Chicago 61656-1649, USA.
    •Reitzes, D.C., Mutran, E.J., The transition of retirement: Stages and Factors that influence retirement adjustment. Int'l J. Aging and Human Development. 2004: 59(1), 63-84

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