Content analysis of reminiscences of elderly women


  • Christine R. Kovach

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant professor at the College of Nursing, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
    • College of Nursing, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI 53233
    Search for more papers by this author


The content of reminiscences of 21 cognitively intact elderly women registered in an adult daycare program was examined. Content analysis of transcripts from a semistructured interview was used to discover categories of reminiscence meaning. The interpretations made about past experiences were grouped under two categories: (a) validating reminiscences that involved confirming or verifying that one had lived a fruitful life; and (b) lamenting reminiscences that involved negative interpretations of past events. Validating themes were: positive self-appraisals, choices, social connections, joys, and past to present comparisons. Lamenting themes were: regrets, difficulties, and lacking choice.