This paper attempts to develop a better understanding of the positive solitude (PS) phenomenon and its meaning among age groups, as well as formulate a unanimous definition for PS. A qualitative study (N = 124) was conducted. Participants were gerontology professionals and laypeople. Interviews were conducted and content was analyzed in order to understand the essence of PS, themes, and subthemes. Two major categories were found: the essence and the components of the PS experience. Seven PS content categories and three meta-themes were raised: (1) PS is a matter of choice; (2) PS is satisfying and enjoyable; and (3) PS is meaningful. Differences in PS categories between younger and older adults were found. The meta-themes served as the foundation of a new definition. PS has different attributes in old age. A unified definition of PS may help distinguishing between PS and other forms of being alone. Recognizing and facilitating the PS experience among older adults might be beneficial and contribute to their quality of life.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||International Journal of Aging and Human Development|
|State||Published - Dec 2021|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.
- meaningful activity
- positive solitude
- social isolation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology