Vitus Bering Kamchatka State University,
Aging can be viewed as a continuation of development and an active interaction with the environment during which regressive changes are combined with progressive new formations. It is believed that the self-determining nature of subjectivity in the elderly mediates self-awareness and favors self-acceptance as an active agent that determines the outcomes of one’s own life at this age as an autonomous self-regulating subject of one’s own activity. A formative experience proved the efficiency of using art therapy as a method for mobilizing personal resources during aging.
Keywords: subjectivity, personal resources, latent resource of personality, elderly, art therapy
Background. The issue of solitude is fragmentary in gerontological investigations, and is generally interpreted as loneliness: a negative experience of lack of relationships with other people.
Ageing people have many variants of loneliness, often connected with their own prejudices or satisfaction with their social contacts.
In loneliness, opportunities and rights to the sovereignty of one’s life space can be preserved.
Objective. To study loneliness as a fact of life, a multi-dimensional phenomenon, including the feeling of loneliness itself, lack of communication, and ability to be alone. We suppose that senior adults with different levels of psychological well-being are specific in this acceptance of loneliness and ability to find resources in this situation.
Design. The participants comprised 129 residents of Kamchatka Region aged 60–82. In the first stage, using C. Ryff’s “Psychological Well-Being Scale” with mid-values cluster analysis, the respondents were divided into groups with different levels of psychological well-being.
In the second stage, the data of the “Differential Questionnaire on Experiencing Loneliness” and “Subjective Perception of One’s Own Life” questionnaire were used for correlation analysis of interrelations between psychological well-being and the “positive loneliness” subscale, revealing the participants’ ability to find resources in loneliness.
Results. The research shows that experiencing loneliness in the gerontological cohort is non-homogeneous; it is interconnected with personal attitudes towards positive loneliness, with psychological well-being. It changes the activities of the elderly and the extent of experiencing loneliness.
Conclusion. So, there are cultural mitigation of loneliness in gerontological cohorts and their shift from a negative mindset towards an existential one.
Keywords: general loneliness/ positive loneliness/ solitude/ gerontological cohort/ loneliness as a resource for self-cognition and self-development