Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
Strategies Employed by Community-Dwelling Japanese-American Elders to Maintain Social Participation
Author Affiliations
  • San Jose State University
  • San Jose State University
  • San Jose State University
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
Strategies Employed by Community-Dwelling Japanese-American Elders to Maintain Social Participation
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510211. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO4056
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510211. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.70S1-PO4056
Abstract

Date Presented 4/8/2016

Strategies employed by Japanese-American older adults to maintain social participation could be useful to direct further research and inform the design of culturally relevant occupational therapy interventions to promote the health and well-being of Japanese-American elders.

Primary Author and Speaker: Maxine Ziprin

Additional Authors and Speakers: Marissa Oshige, Megan Chang

Contributing Authors: Mary Corey, Jenny Knowles, Rose Ngo

PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to explore the strategies employed by community-dwelling Japanese-American elders (JAEs) to maintain social participation.
RATIONALE: According to U.S. Census data, the percentage of Americans over the age of 65 is the highest in American history (Werner, 2011). This increase in elders is expected to rise substantially in the coming decades due to aging baby boomers (Passel & Cohn, 2008). As the percentage of elders increases at a greater rate than working-age adults, there will be an increasing need for health care services. This need for health care and support services is expected to soon outweigh the availability (Fernandez-Ballesteros, 2011).
In addition, the United States is also experiencing an increase in cultural diversity, necessitating the development of culturally relevant interventions to ensure that disparities in health care are reduced (Betancourt, Green, Carrillo, & Ananeh-Firempong, 2003). Of particular concern is the projection that the population of JAEs is expected to increase 300% by 2030 (Administration on Aging, 2004), which reveals the need to study strategies that may support health and independence in this population. Hence, focusing on the development of culturally sensitive interventions is needed to support the health of JAEs.
DESIGN: A qualitative study design with narrative interviews was used to explore the strategies employed by community-dwelling JAEs to maintain social participation.
PARTICIPANTS: Ten eligible participants were recruited from the Yu-Ai Kai Japanese American Community Senior Service (YAK). All participants were of Japanese descent, had resided in the United States for ≥20 yr, were retired and community dwelling, participated at the YAK, were healthy per self-report, and were English speaking and able to participate in a 1-hr interview.
METHOD: Data were collected through individual, semistructured interviews that were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Interviews conformed to the following format: 1 hr in length, beginning with self-introduction of interviewing investigator, establishment of rapport, explanation of the interview process, and restatement of participant’s right to withdraw from the study at any time.
ANALYSIS: Field notes were created after each individual interview to ensure consistency of all interviews. Audiotapes were transcribed verbatim and subjected to content analysis. Each transcript was coded and peer reviewed to finalize codes. Codes were then categorized to develop emerging themes relevant to social participation.
RESULTS: Four themes emerged from the data: anticipating and preparing for future changes, maintaining an active and healthy routine, acceptance of age-related changes, and networks of social support.
DISCUSSION: Results indicate that participants may maintain social participation through anticipating and preparing for future changes, maintaining an active and healthy routine, accepting age-related changes, and participating in networks of social support (consisting of reciprocal support and assistance). These networks are family, friendship, and community based. Among the four themes derived from the data, the theme anticipating and preparing for future changes was not found in the literature reviewed and is worth noting.
IMPACT STATEMENT: The study has important implications for occupational therapy practice. The results provide evidence on strategies that Japanese-Americans use to enhance the well-being of JAEs as well as increase awareness of cultural sensitivity, which is essential to achieving the American Occupational Therapy Association Centennial Vision of a more globally connected workforce.
References
Administration on Aging. (2004). A profile of older Americans: 2003. Retrieved from http://www.aoa.acl.gov/Aging_Statistics/Profile/2003/index.aspx
Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., Carrillo, J. E., & Ananeh-Firempong, O. (2003). Defining cultural competence: A practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Public Health Reports, 118, 293–302. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4598855
Fernandez-Ballesteros, R. (2011). Quality of life in old age: Problematic issues. Applied Research in Quality Life, 6, 21–40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11482-010-9110-x
Passel, J. S., & Cohn, D. (2008, February 11). U.S. population projections: 2005–2050. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2008/02/11/us-population-projections-2005-2050/
Werner, C. A. (2011). The older population: 2010 (Issue Brief No. C2010BR-09). Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-09.pdf