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Occupational Engagement and Health in Older South Asian Immigrants

TitleOccupational Engagement and Health in Older South Asian Immigrants
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKrishnagiri, SSR, Fuller, E, Ruda, L, Diwan, S
JournalJournal of Occupational ScienceJournal of Occupational Science
Volume20
Pagination87-102
ISBN Number1442-7591
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and Over, California, Communities, Convenience Sample, Culture, Diaries, Emigration and Immigration -- In Middle Age, Emigration and Immigration -- In Old Age, Female, Grounded Theory, Health Behavior, Health Beliefs, Human, Immigrants -- California, Immigrants -- In Old Age, India -- Ethnology, Interview Guides, Leisure Activities, Male, Middle Age, Occupation (Human), Pakistan -- Ethnology, Pilot Studies, Qualitative Studies, Semi-Structured Interview, Task Performance and Analysis
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the elements that shape how healthy active South Asian elder immigrants engage in daily activities to maintain their health. A descriptive grounded theory approach was employed using semi-structured interviews and a daily activity chart. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 12 South Asian elders, 7 males and 5 females, who immigrated after retirement to the South San Francisco Bay area. Open, axial, and selective coding of the transcribed data led to two broad themes, control and interdependence. These themes may be viewed as dynamic and interconnected forces that shape and determine the elder's choice and orchestration of daily occupations. They are mediated by the sub- themes of social dynamics, cultural values, and health. Results indicate that well South Asian elder immigrants have a holistic and pragmatic outlook towards health, accept the constraints of their new environment and find ways to engage in healthy occupations. Their choice and engagement of occupations in turn facilitates adaptation to life in the United States. Barriers to health occur when the interdependent nature of lives and the individual control over occupational choices are out of balance or are disrupted.
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