Perceived choice, social interaction, and dimensions of morale of residents in a home for the aged


  • Joanne M. Pohl,

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical nurse specialist in primary care nursing at the University Health Center and an adjunct assistant professor in primary care nursing at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
    • 22721 Harmon Street, St. Clair Shores, Ml 48080.
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  • Dr. Sarah S. Fuller

    1. Associate professor in the School of Nursing of Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois
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In a study of 50 residents in a home for the aged, the relationships of health at relocation, choice in relocation, income, perceived choice within an institutional environment, and social interaction to four indices of morale were examined in hierarchical multiple regression designs. The theoretical concept of decisional control (i.e., perceived choice) guided the investigation. Significant multivariate effects were found for all dimensions of morale: agitation, attitude toward own aging, lonely dissatisfaction, and a combined morale index. Choice within the institution and social interaction were the major contributors to these significant multivariate relationships, but income was also influential in analysis of the attitudinal and combined morale indices for a subsample. Retrospective measures of health at relocation and choice in relocation were unstable in their contributions to overall mutivariate relationships. Relationships of age, recency of loss of a significant other, and length of residency to morale were explored and found not to be significant. Results are discussed against the background of theoretical expectations, and avenues for future research are identified.