Romantic secrets of over-60s sought for research
Volunteers are being sought for a study of the love life of older people in Ireland.
The research, being carried out at NUI Galway by doctoral student Kate Burke, will examine romantic relationships of people over 60. Participants should also either be in a relationship or have been in one in the past 10 years.
Ms Burke, a trainee clinical psychologist, is carrying out her research under the supervision of psychology lecturer Dr Michael Hogan.
She said successful relationships were recognised as being beneficial for psychological wellbeing and physical health. Communication, intimacy, sex and love had been found to be important in relationship satisfaction.
“Older adults are largely neglected when it comes to this kind of research,” Ms Burke said. “However, I think older people have a lot of experience and can offer a different perspective that younger people can’t.”
Initial research has been carried out. “So far, in testing this research area, we think that older people see honesty as being the fundamental driver of all other elements of successful romantic relationships. Honesty is an interesting concept as it involves self-disclosure and risks putting an individual in a vulnerable position, and yet the ability to disclose honestly can facilitate a deeper level of intimacy.”
Some 200 volunteers are sought. Ms Burke, who can be contacted at NUI Galway, said participants’ data would be kept confidential.