Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kevin E. Geoffroy


This study focused on female elders living in age-segregated communities. It investigated the direction and strength of the relationship of Openness to Experience and Neuroticism to the resolution of Erik Erikson's Trust and Integrity stages, and to a Total Resolution score. The 62 volunteer subjects, age 67 to 99, lived in eleven retirement and/or assisted care facilities in Richmond, Virginia.;Personality domains were measured by the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI). The Measures of Psychosocial Development (MPD), an instrument based on Erikson's theories, was used to assess resolution.;It was hypothesized that Openness to Experience would show a significant positive correlation with each of the resolution scores. Additional hypotheses stated that there would be a significant inverse relationship between Neuroticism and each resolution measurement.;Data from the study were submitted to product-moment correlations to test the hypotheses. In addition, step-wise multiple regression was used, to determine the extent to which personality and demographic variables explained the resolution variables.;Results indicated no significant relationship between Openness and Resolution of Trust or Resolution of Integrity. There appeared to be a statistically significant positive correlation between Openness and Total Resolution. However, subsequent regression equations revealed that Openness did not add significantly to Neuroticism in explaining the variance in Total Resolution.;Correlation data showed that Neuroticism demonstrated a significant, apparently meaningful inverse relationship to each of the three resolution scores. The Neuroticism hypotheses appeared to be confirmed in this study. Other than Neuroticism, no demographic (age, education, marital status) or personality variable helped explain the variance in the resolution scores.;The study's data and observations, combined with the results of previous research, suggested three areas of application: counseling implications, promulgation of information about elders, and the importance of intergenerational contacts. It was posited that the study results could be generalized to other female elders living in age-segregated communities. A number of suggestions for further study were included.



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