The Gray Never Married: An Integrative Review LE01-LE08
Kodakyar Ave., Daneshjo Blvd., Evin Postcode: 1985713871, Tehran, Iran.
Introduction: The increasing marriage age in societies can have many consequences, one of which is the emerging phenomenon of singlehood in older age. Meanwhile, most of the available studies on the never married older adults; have only focused on a limited area of their life and many of the results are not consistent.
Aim: To classify the results of various studies on the characteristics of never married older adults and to identify the gaps in the literature with a holistic approach.
Materials and Methods: An integrative review method was utilised for gathering and analysing data from February 2019 to August 2019. A total of 1007 articles were extracted by searching PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest and other available records. Based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, ultimately 40 related articles (published between 1975 and 2019), were selected and analysed. The extracted findings were coded and classified into the sub and main categories.
Results: In the analysis step, 33 of the extracted articles had a quantitative approach and only seven of them had used qualitative or mixed methods. The relevant results in the articles were coded and clustered in 11 subcategories and three main categories of “as well as others”, “singleness as a premium” and “downsides”. These clusters illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of being single in later life as reported in the reviewed studies.
Conclusion: The study discusses consistent as well as contradictory results. Most studies on the never married older adult are quantitative and have been conducted in developed countries. The controversial and unknown perspectives should be explored in further researches, using different approaches.