Chronic illness and generativity in late life: A case study

July 25, 2015


  • Kate de Medeiros

This article presents a narrative-based case study about chronic illness and genetic uncertainty and their relationship to generativity throughout the life course. Our focus is a woman who experienced vision loss early in life and interpreted its impact on her generativity through present-day biographical rescripting. This article contributes an understanding of childlessness as observed through the lenses of chronic illness, autonomy, and generativity. We conclude that a history of chronic illness, as it is co-occurring with internal debates about the meaning of key life events, may influence older adults’ present-day identity.

The Gerontologist, 57(2), 171-178. doi: 10/1093/geronto/gnv.105

Publication available online, subscription may be required.


  • Case Studies/ Qualitative Research
  • Chronic Illness/ Disability