Identify a senior citizen and schedule an hour to talk with him or her face to face. Be sure to tell the person that you are completing the interview as part of a class assignment and that the content of the interview is completely confidential (no names will be used). Conduct an informal interview, focusing on the participant’s developmental history.

Consider the following:

  • Family history and background
  • School environment and educational experience
  • Employment and volunteer work
  • Social relationships
  • Partnerships and parenthood
  • Significant life events
  • Significant life transitions
  • Memorable experiences

In addition to interview data, you may also obtain information from significant others, behavioral observations during the interview, and records (e.g. school reports, family albums, diaries, etc).

Part I: Document the questions you asked and the participant’s responses. This is your interview ‘transcript’ that will be turned in along with your reflective paper.

Part II: Write about 1,050 words reflecting on the interview. In your paper, include information on the following:

  • What were the most notable aspects of the interview? What topics did your interviewee respond strongly to and why?
  • What were the most surprising aspects of the interview? Did any of the interviewee’s responses surprise you? Explain.
  • What stood out as being most important in his/her life? Describe the interviewee’s most significant or meaningful life events.
  • What life transitions did your interviewee discuss? Did he/she disclose any specific strategies for coping with difficult life transitions? Describe the interviewee’s most challenging transitions.
  • Explain what you learned from this experience.

Use the literature in gerontology, wisdom and successful aging to supplement your paper and support your points.

Include at least three references from scholarly sources.

 

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