Exploring ego-integrity in old adults: A Q-methodology study

Sung Ok Chang, Ju Hee Kim, Eun Sook Kong, Chun Gill Kim, Soo Yeon Ahn, Nam Ok Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Achieving ego-integrity involves fully accepting oneself and is important in quality of later life, but the concept of ego-integrity in old adults has not yet been well articulated in nursing practice. Objectives: This study aimed to elucidate the concept of ego-integrity in late adulthood in terms of the range of meanings this concept embraces within contemporary Korean society. Design: Q-methodology was applied, which represents a method for measuring subjectivity. Settings: The study was performed in a community setting in the Republic of Korea. Participants: The participants were 26 old adults, aged 65-70 years, living in the community in Korea. Two inclusion criteria were applied: (1) the participants had to be literate and competent to ensure that they were able to sort the cards stating the Q-samples in a forced distributive manner, and (2) the participants were regarded by researchers as having achieved ego-integrity in late adulthood as described in the literature. Methods: Data obtained from June 2004 to December 2004 from a sample of 26 older adults were analyzed by PCQ software (a factor analysis program for the Q-technique) to delineate the factors of ego-integrity in late adulthood. Results: A four-factor solutions for the study subjects indicates that there were differences in the frames of reference in achieving ego-integrity in late adulthood. The frames of reference of the four factors were: (1) a satisfactory connection between the generations, (2) enjoying a peaceful life, (3) peace through acceptance, and (4) achieving a praiseworthy life in spite of adversity. Conclusion: The projected property of ego-integrity in late adulthood is closely related to cultural and psycho-social environmental influences throughout the life span. Culturally sensitive life-reviews methods need to be developed to intervene in the specific ways that individual older adults achieve their own ego-integrity throughout their life experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-256
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Ego-integrity
  • Late adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring ego-integrity in old adults: A Q-methodology study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this