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Developing a New Perspective in Late Life: The PATH Program
Journal of Adult Development (2018)
  • Valerie Lander McCarthy, University of Louisville
  • Sharon Bowland, Eastern Washington University
  • Emily Nayar, Eastern Washington University
  • Jennifer Connelly, University of Louisville
  • A. Woge, Eastern Washington University
Self-transcendence is a developmental process inherent in late life that shapes one’s perspective on self, others, the material world, and the spiritual or existential dimension. Self-transcendence has been associated with well-being, life satisfaction, coping, depression, self-care, and health-related quality of life, but few interventions designed to promote development of self-transcendence or explore its effects on community-dwelling older adults were identified. This paper reports qualitative results obtained as part of a mixed methods pilot study assessing the Psychoeducational Approach to Transcendence and Health (PATH) Program in 20 older women at two community senior centers. The PATH Program, an 8-week theory-based intervention, combines mindfulness exercises, group processes, and creative projects, reinforced by at-home practice, to cre-ate an experience that is meaningful, emotionally supportive, and cognitively stimulating. The specific aim was to evaluate participants’ experiences of the PATH Program and the meanings ascribed to those experiences. Findings indicated group members gained a new perspective on life and death, discovered personal meaning in past experiences, and found support for positive self-identities, with new options for self-care and personal growth. The study supported the structure and con-tents of the PATH Program and suggested it merits further testing. The PATH Program has the potential to be a practical and affordable intervention available for use in multiple settings where older adults gather such as retirement communities, faith-based groups, adult day centers, and assisted living facilities.
  • Self-transcendence,
  • health,
  • Well-being,
  • Older adult,
  • Community,
  • Low-income
Publication Date
September 20, 2018
Citation Information
Valerie Lander McCarthy, Sharon Bowland, Emily Nayar, Jennifer Connelly, et al.. "Developing a New Perspective in Late Life: The PATH Program" Journal of Adult Development (2018)
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