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Research Paper on men in retirement

A Literature Review Regarding Men in Retirement


A literature review of factors that may be predictors of whether a person is likely to succeed in retirement. A successful retirement would be defined as a person who is well adjusted and has lived for no less than ten years after leaving paid employment, enjoys reasonable health, is well adjusted mentally and physically and engaged in activities of daily life.

Factors that could be predictors might include financial security, family history, religious beliefs, culture, attitude to life, age at retirement and relational support. The research indicates a need for a long-term study of this important subject given the possibilities of intervention at either a pre-retirement or post retirement phase of development.


A study in 2000 by Gall and Evans found that changes in physical health, psychological distress, expected income and pre-retirement income were not predictors of long-term quality of life when studying a group 6 to 7 years after retirement. An earlier study by Gall, Evans and Howard (1997) postulated that a person with good health, enough financial resources and a strong social support network would fare better than those experiencing a deficiency in any one of these areas. (see also Palmore, Nowlin and Wong 1985). Despite these hypotheses Australian statistics indicate a rising rate of suicide for males over 70 years of age (ABS 2008).

Possible Factors


In 2005 a survey of 24 people over 100 years of age identified three common themes for this cohort. These were lower stress levels, a sense of purpose in life and resilience in the face of adversity (Kralik, Koch and Power, 2005). Tournier (1971) reported evidence of retired patients being bored because they do not know what to do with their retirement. Purcell (1982) contended that for all stages of life having a “purpose is to the soul, like oxygen to the lungs; an essential ingredient in existence” (Purcell 1982, p28). Sanders (1981) has also suggested that retirement is an opportunity for the soul to engage in service to others and as physical limitations emerge to discover more and more activities for the mind. He emphasises the shift from doing to being and refers to the scriptures illustrating how the Christian life is possibly one of graceful ageing.


Success in retirement is not necessarily defined by level of activity. Fry (1992) suggests psychological needs of people entering old age does not change in the process but most ageing individuals continue to want an active lifestyle. This may mean replacing work with other stimulating pursuits such as hobbies, volunteer work or part time employment. (Havinghurst, Neugarten and Tobin 1968). An energetic and outgoing person could enjoy being active while other adults may find satisfaction in maintaining a few highly important roles, relationships or personally meaningful projects while withdrawing from others and still find their life as meaningful. (Baltes and Cartensen, 2003)

Self esteem

Development theories by Erikson (1982) maintain the major task for later years is dealing with ego integrity versus despair. The older person must maintain the wholeness, the adequacy and meaning of self in the face of stress and loss that can readily bring about despair. Research in 1970 in the USA (Kaplan and Pokorny, 1970) indicated that where disruptive forces exist in someone’s life, where an anticipated standard of living was not realized or where strong fears exist about being isolated or being alone the older person is more vulnerable and less likely to increase their self-esteem in old age. (Kalish, 1975).

Marital status

For women there is a five times greater incidence of the person giving up their work to care for a disabled partner than there would be for a man in similar circumstances (Dentinger and Clarkberg, 2002). Similarly, the type of work of the husband, the division of labour in the home, the social support and pre-retirement factors affect marital quality after retirement (Myers and Booth 1996). When women with an egalitarian ideology retire they tend to invest more time in routine tasks which is not so for men of a similar ideology. Research suggests transitioning to retirement is not a significant event that changes the division of labour in household tasks (Solomon, Acock and Walker, 2004).


Research suggests that a person who is better educated, has enough financial resources and has the capacity to access suitable resources is more likely to be better adjusted as they progress into retirement (Kalish, 1975) (739) While most individuals experience retirement as a positive life transition 32% found the process difficult or somewhat difficult. (Braithwaite, Gibson, and Bosly Crafts, 1986). These retirees complained about financial difficulties, missing friends from work, being bored or having difficulty in adjusting to change. 16% saw nothing good about retirement.

Ekerdt and Bosse (1982) suggested that retirees who expect health problems or other factors may be less anxious if educated on the benign or positive impacts of retirement. In addition to education, cognitive therapeutic techniques would aid those retirees who consistently anticipate the negative while overlooking the positive aspects of the situation.

Post retirement programmes may also be helpful for those people experiencing ongoing or new and unexpected difficulties. (Keating and Marshall, 1980). Ekerdt (1985) and his colleagues found that in the first few months post retirement most people were highly satisfied with life and optimistic about the future. Men who were then retired from 13 to 18 months were found to be somewhat disenchanted and then later still seemed to regain a sense of relative satisfaction. It may be that retirees have different concerns such as their everyday activities, social relationships or the use of time rather than concerns about finances or health (Glass and Grant, 1983).


Although gerontologists advocate the use of longitudinal research very little has been done and with limited duration to determine meaningful trends. Furthermore, there is a lack of comparable studies on factors that influence the quality of life for women in later retirement given the demographic changes in participation rates of women in work. (ABS 2008). Many predictors may be suggested based on this preliminary literature review. These include faith experience, attitude to ageing, education, self-esteem, personal expectations,

financial security, health, marital quality and interventions at either the pre or post retirement stage.


Baltes P. B. & Carstensen L.L. 2003, The process of successful aging: Selection, 

      optimization and compensation. In Staudinger U. M. & Lindenberger U. 

      (editors), Understanding human development: Dialogues with life span 

      psychology, Kluwer Academic Press, Dordecht, Netherlands.

Braithwaite V. A., Gibson D. M. & Bosly-Crafts R.,1986, An exploratory study of 

      poor adjustment styles among retirees, Social Science and Medicine, 23, p.


Dentinger E. & Clarkberg M. 2002, Informal caregiving and retirement among 

      men and women: Gender and caregiving relationships in late midlife, Journal

      of Family Issues, October 2002, Vol. 23, Issue 7, p. 857 to 879.

Ekerdt D. J. & Bosse R.,1982, Change in self-reported health with retirement,

      International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 15, p. 213-223.

Ekerdt D. J., Kosloski K. & DeViney S., 2000, The normative anticipation of 

      retirement by older adults, Research on Aging, 22, P. 3 to 22.

Ekerdt D. J. Bosse R. & Levkoff S. 1985, Empirical tests for phases of retirement: 

      Findings from the normative aging study, Journal of Gerentology, 40, p. 95 to


Erikson E. H., 1982, The life cycle completed: A review, Norton, New York.

Fry P. S., 1992, Major social theories of aging and their implications for 

      counselling concepts and practice: A critical review, Counselling

      Psychologist, 20, p. 246-329.

Gall T. L., Evans D. R. & Howard J., 1997, The retirement adjustment process: 

      Changes in the well being of male retirees across time, Journals of

      Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 52, p. 110-117.

Gall T. L. & Evans D. R.,2000, Preretirement expectations and the quality of life of 

      male retirees in later retirement, Canadian Journal of Behavioural

      Science, Vol. 32, Issue 3, p. 187-197.

Glass J. C. & Grant K. A.,1983, Counseling in the later years: A growing need,

      Personnel and Guidance Journal, 62, p. 210-213.

Havighurst R. J., Neugarten B. L. & Tobin S. S.,1968, Disengagement patterns of 

     aging, In Neugarten B. L. (Editor), Middle age and aging, University of

     Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Kalish R. A. 1975, Late adulthood: Perspectives on human development,

      Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California, USA.

Kaplan H. B. & Pokorny A. D. 1970, Aging and self attitude: A conditional 

      relationship, Aging and human development, 1, p. 241 to 336.

Myers S. M. & Booth A., 1996, Men’s retirement and marital quality, Journal of

      Family Issues, Beverely Hills, Vol. 17, Issue 3, p. 336-358.

Palmore E. P., Nowlin J. B. & Wong H. S., 1985, Predictors of function among 

      the old-old: A 10-year follow up, Journal of Gerontology, 40, p. 244-250.

Purcell W. 1982, The Christian in retirement, A. R. Mowbray & Co. Oxford, UK.

Sanders J. O. 1981, Enjoying Growing Old, Kingsway Publications, Eastbourne,


Solomon C. R., Acock A. C. & Walker A. J., 2004, Gender ideology and 

      investment in housework: Post retirement change, Journal of Family

      Issues, Vol. 25, Issue 8, p. 1050-1071.

Tournier P., 1971, Learning to grow old, SCM Press Ltd, London, UK. (accessed 10th October 2008)

Download Paper here: 1000 words

Trauma Therapy

Looking forward to PACFA conference at the end of the month with the theme of trauma recovery. Having focused on this area in the practice and continuing to develop strategies.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Christians

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Christians.

After completing my Masters degree I began to explore addictive behaviours based on the presenting clients such as gambling, drugs, alcohol and pornography. This led me to urge surfing (Bowen, Chawla and Marlatt, 2011). From there it was a short step into acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) (Hayes, Strosahl and Wilson, 2012). Integrating cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), narrative therapy and solutions focused therapy into a basic theology was how the journey began post graduation. It soon became evident that ACT was even more consistent with my theology and it demonstrated that it is an evidence based therapy that merges well within the basic framework already established. It was my privilege to be a presenter at the annual general meeting of CCAA NSW in 2014 exploring this development. Within the introduction of Hayes text he explains how ACT grew out of his own conceptualizing of Judeo-Christian traditions and the proposition that psychology is only really catching up with these traditions and their explanation of human suffering.

In my life I have had occasion to have an urge to write a book on three separate occasions. This was never more so when considering ACT in the context of a Christian experience. Imagine my disappointment to discover a book already existed called ACT with Christian Clients, A Practitioners Guide (Ord, 2014). I recommend you consider purchasing the pdf version for your library.


  1. Bowen S., Chawla N., Marlatt G. A., (2011) Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviours; A Clinicians Guide, The Guildford Press, New York, USA.

  1. Hayes S.C, Strosahl K. D., and Wilson K. G., (2012) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, The Process and Practice of Mindful Change, The Guildford Press, New York, USA.

3. Ord I. R., (2014), ACT with Faith; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with

Christian Clients; A Practitioners Guide. Compass Publishing, London, UK.


Having completed the training for the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia Ian Parkin is now a supervisor for his colleagues. If you are a counsellor looking for a supervisor please give Ian a call and discuss your needs with him.

Radio programmes

The engagement with other work on a Friday meant that I may have to forego the weekly radio programme on Alive 90.5 FM. At the moment working through the book by Gary Chapman called “The Four Seasons Of Marriage”. Now it seems we can organize to pre-record our sessions on a Thursday morning before the Friday midday sessions are due.

Because of Good Friday this week the first pre-recorded session will be the following week at 12 noon Friday 21st April 2017. We are working through seven strategies to improve relationships for couples. We are about half way through these seven (7) strategies. The hope is that if someone is in a season such as the winter of their marriage they may be able to shift to a brighter season.

Last Radio Programme for Now

Regrettably I am not going to be available for my weekly radio programme after this Friday due to other commitments.

This session will be on the seven strategies suggested by Gary Chapman in his book titled “The 4 Seasons of Marriage”.

So in case you missed it they are 1. Deal with past failures, 2. Choose a winning attitude, 3. Learn to speak the love language of your spouse, 4. Develop the awesome power of empathic listening, 5. Discover the Joy of helping your partner succeed, 6. Maximise your differences, and, 7. Implement the power of positive influence.

So that is it in a nut shell.

Sorry to be leaving but other duties beckon.

Free Literature – Anxiety and depression in older people

Beyondblue put out some amazing booklets. One I have been circulating to as many people as possible has the heading shown above. Research indicates that after the 15 t o 25 age group the next highest risk of suicide is the 70 plus age group. For this reason if you are struggling with feelings that take you to a dark space please seek help or contact Beyondblue, 1300 22 46 36 Lifeline 13 11 14 or this office 0434 355 446 for someone to talk to or to provide free literature.

Strategies for a better relationship

Out of seven strategies the first is dealing with past failures.

The three steps are to first clearly identify past failures then to process confession and repentance and afterwards forgiveness.

Sometimes the hardest part is looking at ourselves to discern how have we failed in the past in this relationship. Maybe we can identify the failures of the other person yet find it hard to look into ourselves and ask “where could I have failed in tis relationship?”.

Rational Parenting

Each week I (Ian) feature on the radio at 12:00 noon Fridays.

The latest conversations have centred around adolescents.

As the audience are mostly in the parent age group the focus is from their perspective.

The lasy two weeks have explored the changes that might be taking place in both the physical, mental and spiritual eleents of a young person.

This week I will be discussing “rational parenting”.

This is more than just tender loving care. The headings to consider include :-

Being true to yourselves.

Staying in touch with empathy.

Listening and hearing.

Owning feelings.

Focusing on the problem at hand.

Willing to risk.

Respecting independence.

Living rationally on a daily basis.

Research Paper on men in retirement

A Literature Review Regarding Men in Retirement Synopsis A literature review of factors that may be predictors of whether …

Trauma Therapy

Looking forward to PACFA conference at the end of the month with the theme of trauma recovery. Having focused on this area …

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Christians

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Christians. After completing my Masters degree I began to explore addictive behaviours …