Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Ashley Hagaman


Considering that the aging population in the Southeast Asian region is rapidly growing, there is an increasing need to promote the subjective well-being of older adults. However, few studies have investigated mechanisms of life satisfaction in developing countries in the Southeast Asian region. This research gap needs to be addressed, since aging and life satisfaction are complex processes that are experienced differently in various sociocultural contexts. The purpose of this study is to understand meanings of life satisfaction and experiences of aging through the perspectives of older adults who live in Jumla, Nepal. We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with twenty older adults between June and July 2016. Thematic data analysis, guided by an interpretive phenomenological approach, examined cultural shifts in caregiving and perceptions of family relationships in the aftermath of youth out-migration. Jumli older adults struggle to survive as they navigate filial discrepancies in a modernizing and patriarchal context. Poverty and social disconnectedness are salient constructs of older adults’ burdens, though they find relief through religious practices. Generational conflicts in caregiving responsibilities, older adults’ conflicting views of education and urbanization, and spousal conflicts contribute to perceptions of dissatisfaction. When unresolved, these conflicts cultivate feelings of hopelessness and neglect, contemplations of end of life, strained family relationships, and an increased reliance on alcohol use and religious beliefs as coping strategies. Limited aging infrastructure warrants the future development and implementation of problem-solving interventions and social support programs, which may be critical avenues for attending to older adults’ subjective well-being.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access