Huang, Su-Fei, Chiu-Mieh Huang, Shueh-Fen Chen, Li-Ting Lu, & Jong-Long Guo (2019, March 6). New partnerships among single older adults: A Q methodology study. BMC Geriatrics, 19(1), art. 74, 11 pp. (Open Access) (doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1091-5) (Link: (Link:

Abstract: Background: The social structure is changing with an increase in the ratio of the older population, resulting in a growing number of older people being faced with singlehood. This study identified and described single older adults’ differing perspectives on new relationships. Method: We used a Q methodology approach for data collection and analysis, following in-depth interviews with 10 participants. Q statements were developed through content analysis of the interview data, which were then subjected to Q sorts performed by 49 older adults. A factor analysis was then completed on the collected data using PQMethod software. Results: Five factors regarding common attitudes toward pursuing a new partner, which accounted for 53% of the total variance, were obtained in the final model: (1) being single, a companion, and already acquainted with the other person/potential partner; (2) high spiritual compatibility and a caring disposition; (3) an emphasis on physical intimacy and companionship; (4) easily influenced by others’ comments and highly concerned about being alone; and (5) physical and financial independence. Conclusions: Clustering older adults according to their attitudes can help in acknowledging their expectations about new relationships in later life. Implications: Practitioners can engage in successful consultations based on the recognition.

Jong-Long Guo <> is in the Department of Health Promotion and Health Education, NTNU-National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City, Taiwan.