Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Peterson, Donna Peterson

Committee Member

Elmore-Staton, Lori

Committee Member

Hardman, Alisha M.

Committee Member

Wilmoth, Joe D.

Committee Member

Parker, Julie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Human Development and Family Science (HDFS)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


The study's purpose was to identify the perceived needs and concerns of three generations in a family with an older adult aging in place in Mississippi. This mixed-methods study used snowball sampling in addition to recruitment by community leaders such as Extension agents to collect data through semi-structured interviews and structured questionnaires that asked about current and future problems among aging adults in rural communities in Mississippi. Three generations of Mississippians participated in the study, including older adults (G1; n = 22), adult children (G2; n = 23), and young adult grandchildren (G3; n = 19). Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS Statistics, while qualitative data were managed with MaxQDA. Physical and mental health concerns were identified across all three generations. Financial concerns, including paying for basics such as food, medical and health care costs, and transportation issues, were most often reported by the two younger generations rather than the older adults. Services that assist with caregiving of older adults, including respite care, home health, and adult daycare options, were identified as services G2 and G3 family members reported as families currently needed or anticipated to need soon. Implications of the findings for families, community leaders, policymakers, non-profit organizations, and for-profit businesses are provided.