Discovering a balance: A grounded theory of health and wellness among elderly Thai immigrants
Health Sciences, Nursing.
Health Sciences, Public Health.
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.
AdvisorPhillips, Linda R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe number of elderly Asian immigrants in the United States is steadily increasing. Like all elders, those from Asia need health services; however, little is known about their health care needs or how they maintain health and navigate the health care system in a new land. The purpose of this study was to develop a substantive theory of health and wellness maintenance processes among elderly Thai immigrants based on a synthesis of their verbalized perceptions of (1) health; (2) the impact of the immigration experience on their health and wellness; and (3) strategies they used to manage the migration experience relative to health. Grounded theory, the methodology selected for this study, is a naturalistic and systematic approach to knowledge generation guided by the symbolic interaction perspective. As such, it focuses on the social context and interactional matrix of symbolic meaning and behavior from which basic social processes can be inferred. The results included the core category of "Discovering a Balance", a basic social psychological process that consisted of three phases: Learning the System, Becoming Self-Empowered, and Combining the Two Worlds. "Balance" does not mean only "being stable". Rather, "Balance" is a dynamic and intellectual process, always moving the individual toward the ultimate goal in life. "Discovering a Balance" represents a cyclical and dynamic process that aging immigrants use to gain a balance in their lives by using selective knowledge, skills, and resources from both Eastern and Western perspectives toward health and wellness maintenance. The process can reoccur time after time depending on experiences confronted by aging immigrants. Based on the data in this study, "Balance" can occur if elderly immigrants are surrounded by strong nurturing environments. Understanding Asian elder's complex experiences of immigration and the maintenance of health and wellness as affected by migration, a major life change, is imperative for health care providers to assist them appropriately. Professional caregivers can offer more culturally sensitive clinical interventions to the elderly during and following the transitional migration process. More culturally appropriate health services can be expected to lead to an improved quality of life and decreased cost of health care.
Degree ProgramGraduate College