image of the book cover of Grey Matters: A Guide for Collaborative Research with Seniors

Grey Matters: A Guide for Collaborative Research with Seniors

Nancy Marlett and, Claudia Emes

$24.95 CAD / $28.95 USD (T)

344 pages, 36 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

Hardback: 1552382516

Paperback: 978-1-55238-251-6

Epub: 978-1-55238-728-3

Library PDF: 978-1-55238-487-9

October 2010

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A major step in making collaboration between seniors, academic researchers, and community researchers a reality.

Many aging adults are motivated to undertake research projects in later life or even return to university after retirement. Grey Matters is a guide for researchers and seniors to develop effective collaborative research strategies.

The result of a successful pilot project, Grey Matters uses tested techniques to provide a helpful framework for developing research projects by and with seniors. Intended both for seniors interested in undertaking their own research and for those hoping to involve seniors in collaboration, it covers practical topics including narrative interviews, focus groups, survey techniques, and more.

The inaugural Open Access titles from the University of Calgary Press, Grey Matters marks a major step in making research open, equitable, and accessible to all.

About the Authors

Nancy Marlett is the director of Community Rehabilitation & Disability Studies, an interdisciplinary unit of the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. Her research interests include the development of research models and program evaluation that facilitate shared expertise and new forms of knowledge.

Claudia Emes is a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. Her areas of expertise are adapted physical activity for children and adolescents with special needs, wellness and exercise for seniors, and curriculum design and learner-centred education

With Contributions By: Penny Jennett, Bob Stebbins, Joan Ryan, Dorothy Dooley, and Marianne Rogerson. 

Table of Contents


The Kerby Centre of Excellence

Prologue: Senior’s Collaborative Research Manual

Section 1: The Reason for the Book. How It Came to Be

1. Making Room for Seniors: Research with, for, and by Aging Adults

2. Resilience and Seniors: What We Did and What We Learned about Doing Research

Section 2: Research Methods Manual

3. Field Research

4. Interviews and Questionnaires

5. Focus Group Research

6. Narrative Research

Section 3: Conducting Inquiries and Research

7. READY: Setting the Agenda for Your Research

8. SET: Creating Your Research Proposal

9. GO: Conducting Research and Sharing Results

Further readings and resources


Appendix 1. Resilience as Social Capital: Lessons from Older Adults
Appendix 2. Handout of Basic Principles of PAR

Appendix 3. Sites and Sources: Seniors and Resilience Research Proposal

Appendix 4. Observation Workbook for Field–Work

Appendix 5. Focus Group Training Notes

Appendix 6. An Example of a Structured Workbook Approach to Focus Groups

Appendix 7. Follow–Up Focus Group to Discuss Rural Resilience Findings

Appendix 8. Report of the Focus Group Meeting with CJCA Seniors Club

Appendix 9. Narrative Interview Guide

Appendix 10. Examining Social Problems

Appendix 11. Navigating the "Seven C’s": Curiosity, Confirmation, Comparison, Changing, Collaborating, Critiquing, and Combinations

Appendix 12. Elder Self–Neglect: Project Description