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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the romantic love experiences of African American older adults. Popular views on love among older African Americans remain highly subjective, open to the imaginations of other individuals and groups. This study attempts to challenge the popular descriptions of the nature of love among African American elderly by gathering narratives on various aspects of love as told by a sample of African-American elderly. A qualitative design is used to sample, gather and analyze data on love among African-American elderly. Our findings reveal that African American older adults value emotional intimacy. Cultural and historical factors appear to influence the choice of partners in later life. Implications for social intervention are discussed.

Note on the Author

Rashmi Gupta, MSW, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Social Work at San Francisco State University. She has published several articles related to caregiver burden among South Asian elderly in the United States. Currently she is conducting a survey on end of life issues among South Asian elderly in India.

Vijayan K. Pillai, Ph.D., is Professor of Social Work at the University of Texas-Arlington. He has published several articles and books on women’s rights and health issues in developing countries.

Deepa Punetha, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Allahabad University, India. She has published extensively in the area of clinical psychology.

Ms. Andrea Monah recently obtained her MSW degree from San Francisco State University. She is currently a practicing social worker in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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