Nobody was out back then: abuse of alcohol by midlife and older lesbians
This explorative study used grounded theory methodology to develop a substantive theory regarding the life experience of the abuse of alcohol amongst midlife and older lesbians. The primary aims were to obtain information directly from midlife and older lesbians with self identified concerns regarding; their past or present consumption of alcohol, to identify concepts common to the participants' stories and the literature, and to suggest hypothetical relationships among the concepts identified.Audio-taped interviews were conducted with 13 women recruited by invitational flyers, advertisements inviting voluntary participation in newspapers, and word of mouth advertising. All of the women interviewed were in various stages of recovery from alcohol addiction except for one who was still abusing alcohol. All women were clean and sober for more than 24 hours before their interviews.A constant comparative method was used to analyze the interview transcripts. The core category in this study is represented by the overarching process of Disconnecting from their Authentic Selves. Concepts related to disconnecting and aspects of the self were frequently mentioned by the participants, not only regarding the direct psycho/physiological affects of alcohol over consumption and the ability or non ability of these women to authentically express themselves sexually, but also regarding disconnection from their families, their partnerships, characteristics of integrity, a variety of valid emotions, and other roles they played in their lives. Professional health care providers may better be able to understand and assist midlife and older lesbian alcoholics by being aware of their life experience with alcohol abuse and the concepts they have described within the basic process of Disconnecting from their Authentic Selves.
- Nursing - Seattle