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Cessation of Driving in Later Life May Not Result in Dependence

Buys, Laurie R. & Carpenter, Lorelei (2002) Cessation of Driving in Later Life May Not Result in Dependence. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 21(3), pp. 152-155.

Abstract

For most young adults, obtaining a drivers licence represents an important step towards achieving independence. The correlation between driving and independence appears to strengthen as we grow older, so that we do all we can to retain our licence. The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the cessation of driving in later life leads to a reduction of perceived independence of older adults. Design and methods: The respondents are 26 individuals over the age of 70 years living in the Brisbane, Australia metropolitan area. Half of these are current drivers with the remainder having surrendered their licence within the past two years. Semi-structured, qualitative, telephone interviews were used to gather data. Results: the data reveal that older drivers insist that the cessation of driving would result in the loss of their independence and reduce their ability to conduct activities in the community. However, the stories of ex-drivers directly challenge these strongly held assumptions. The ex-drivers report that relinquishing their drivers licence was a struggle, but this struggle concluded in them re-defining their use of transport in order to maintain their desired life style. Implications: We argue that this process of struggle represents another of life’s rites of passage which may not lead to a loss of independence.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
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4 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 491
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: elderly drivers, driving, Rite of passage, Independence
ISSN: 1741-6612
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Counselling Welfare and Community Services (160702)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com.
Deposited On: 28 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 19:44

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