UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

On the Edge of Later Life, 1930-1990

Title details

SN: 4934
Title: On the Edge of Later Life, 1930-1990
Depositor: Thompson, P., University of Essex. Department of Sociology
Principal investigator(s): Thompson, P., University of Essex. Department of Sociology
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: LC14250024


The citation for this study is:

Thompson, P. (2005). On the Edge of Later Life, 1930-1990. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 4934

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Subject Categories

Elderly - Social stratification and groupings
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Social history - History


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The project was carried out between 1991 and 1993 to establish sources of self-identity and relate this to prospective ageing, and to consider how earlier life experiences contributed to adaptability to ageing. In-depth life history interviews were carried out with individuals aged 55 to 59 and this collection comprises transcriptions and documentation from this work. The original audio recordings have been deposited seperately with the National Sound Archive of the British Library. The sample was drawn from participants in the pilot study for the British Household Panel Study.
Main Topics:
Old age; ageing; retirement; death; bereavement; children; grandchildren; grandparents; parents; education; personal relationships; work; leisure; health; personal appearance; sex.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1930 - 1990
Dates of fieldwork: 1991
Country: United Kingdom
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Textual data
Individual (micro) level
In-depth/unstructured interview transcripts.
Universe: National
Men and women aged 55-59
Time dimensions: Cross-sectional (one-time) study
Sampling procedures: Quota sample
Selected from respondents in the pilot study of the British Household Panel Study (BHPS)
Number of units: 50
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview
Weighting: Not applicable

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 31 January 2005
Copyright: Copyright Paul Thompson
Access conditions: 30 year embargo. Special permission for access may be granted by the depositor in the meantime.
Please note: Online documentation, prepared by the UK Data Archive, is available via the link below.
Availability: These data are available from a service other than UK Data Service - National Social Policy and Social Change Archive. Albert Sloman Library Special Collections, University of Essex. Contact the UK Data Service in the first instance.
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Study Documentation 4934documentation.pdf 3110
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By principal investigator(s):
Thompson P.R., Itzen, C. and Abendstern, M. (1991) I don't feel old, understanding the experience of later life, Oxford: OUP

  • Thompson P.R. (1992) 'I don't feel old, subjective ageing and the search for meaning in later life', Ageing and Society, Vol.12 (2)

  • Resulting from secondary analysis:


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