Greek migration experiences and later life emotional wellbeing: A qualitative study

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Older people make up a significant part of the Australian population. Due to Australia’s multicultural nature several of these older people are from migrant backgrounds. In the 2016 Australian census it was found that approximately 41,801 older people aged 50 years and above living in Victoria were born in Greece. This research project aims to explore how the experiences of migration and connection to culture impact on an older Greek person’s emotional wellbeing and provides them the opportunity to speak about their experiences in the hope of providing valuable insights which can direct future welfare and health practice. The participants of the study were people aged 60 years and older who had migrated to Australia from Greece, arriving after 1950 and who settled in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria.

A qualitative methodology was used, specifically descriptive phenomenology, with the focus being lived experiences. The decision to utilise this methodological approach was derived from some of the clear limitations found when undertaking the literature review. Descriptive phenomenology was used to address the following research questions:
i) How do individual migrant experiences affect later life emotional wellbeing?
ii) How do the experiences of migration and adaption to Australian culture affect later life emotional wellbeing, particularly in Greek migrants?
iii) How does cultural and social connectivity influence later life emotional wellbeing?

The study used semi-structured interviews, coding and thematic analysis to determine the findings of the research. One key finding was that participants’ experiences of migration played a pivotal role in building resilience in later life. Other key findings included but were not limited to themes such as selflessness, isolation, sense of community and identity around homeland. These findings are explored further in Chapters 4 and 5. The outcomes can inform policy and procedures for health services that work with older Greek people.

Recommendations from this research can be implemented to ensure a culturally appropriate and sensitive service is offered to older Greek people and that policies and procedures can reflect the cultural needs of this population.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Health Science
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Bernoth, Maree, Principal Supervisor
  • Burmeister, Oliver, Principal Supervisor
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2021

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