Mona Mikael


This narrative inquiry study offers an insider's view of how an advanced aged woman of color who faced near homelessness coped with challenges in her life, sought resolution for the challenges she faced, and grew and changed as a consequence of these experiences. Attention to the salience of contextual issues were considered in relation to the participant's personal history and experiences in order to gain an understanding of the intersection of gender, race, and poverty in the lives of senior women and how these factors influence their sense of agency and ability to manage their lives. Through a collaborative narrative life review and restorying experience, the participant had an opportunity to gain new insight into her life and to raise her self-awareness of the resilience she exhibits, despite the numerous contextual challenges that contributed to her near homelessness. As a result of the review, the reality of ageism, sexism, and racism cannot be neglected in understanding the lived experience of women. Major clinical implications that may better serve the psychological needs of women of advanced age include moving towards a strength-based approach that gives voice to the lifetime of contributions of women, enhancing the subjective well-being of the advanced age cohort, examining and validating the influences of contextual issues (e.g., one's age cohort, gender, race, or social status), and authorizing the client to define herself rather than being defined by her circumstances.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Older African American women -- Psychology; Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Asamen, Joy K.