A Bibliotherapeutic discourse on aging and masculinity in continuing care retirement communities

Dovrat Harel, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examined how the use of literary works in bibliotherapy groups for older men promotes discourse on aging and masculinity. Two groups of men from two different CCRCs in Israel participated in the study. Each group underwent 10 bibliotherapy sessions. Following reading aloud of literary works on aging, the participants were invited to share their reflections upon their life, inspired by the creations. An abductive analysis pointed to the central role of the literary elements in encouraging self-expressions among the participants. A qualitative content analysis revealed three themes, which indicate that the literary elements: (a) Encourage the expression of loss; (b) Allow participants to express aspects of positive aging; and (c) Promote insights regarding the acceptance of the aging process. In addition, an analysis focusing on aspects of form revealed four responses to literary elements: (a) Direct metaphors in line with the literary works' interpretations; (b) Creating new meaning for the original metaphors; (c) Expressing conflicting emotions through oxymorons; and (d) Relying on the authors' biographies as an extra-textual context for reflections. The study reflects an inter-disciplinary approach to promote expressions of aging masculinity, and to understand them in bibliotherapeutic groups of older affluent men.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101033
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Aging
  • Bibliotherapy
  • Continuing care retirement community
  • Masculinity
  • Men
  • Older adults

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • General Social Sciences


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