A Brief Research Report on Understanding the Meaning of Driving for Older Americans: A Korean’s Perspective on Two Cultures

Claire Su-Yeon Park, Saunjoo Lee Yoon, Catherine Adele Hamilton, Christa Louise Cook


This discussion paper used a brief qualitative research report to understand the meaning of driving to older Americans from the perspective of a Korean researcher in order to increase cultural sensitivity.
In-depth audio-recorded interviews were conducted with two older Americans by the Korean researcher. A conventional content analysis was performed, resulting in the conceptual model describing their meaning of driving according to life cycle. The Korean researcher’s auto-biographical journal, a coding scheme, peer debriefing, and thick description with quotes were utilized to ensure the trustworthiness of study findings.
Participants described the meaning of driving throughout their lifespan as having four themes: Starting to be autonomous, Staying autonomous, Losing autonomy, and Regaining autonomy.
Unlike older Koreans, having driving privileges greatly influences the feeling of autonomy among older Americans. In order to provide culturally-sensitive care for older Americans, it is imperative to recognize the loss of autonomy that results from losing their driving privileges.


Meaning of driving; Qualitative content analysis; Korean perspective; Autonomy

Full Text:



Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2009). Priciples of biomedical ethics (6th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Bowers, B. (1988). Grounded theory. Paths to knowledge: Innovative research methods for nursing. National League for Nursing, 33-59.

Burkhardt, J. E., Berger, A. M., Creedon, M., & McGavock, A. T. (1998). Mobility and independence: Changes and challenges. Bethesda, MD: Ecosometrics Inc.

Classen, S., Lopez, E. D. S., & Winter, S. (2009). Meta-synthesis of qualitative studies on older driver safety and mobility. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 29 (1), 24-31.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.

Eisenhandler, S. A. (1990). The asphalt identikit: Old age and the driver’s license. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 30(1), 1-14.

George, J. B. (1995). Nursing theories: The base for professional nursing practice (4th ed.). Connecticut, CT: Appleton & Lange.

Graneheim, U. H., & Lundman, B. (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: Concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today 24(2), 105-12.

Grbich, C. (2007). Qualitative data analysis: An introduction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277-88.

Johnson, J. E. (1998). Older rural adults and the decision to stop driving: The influence of family and friends. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 15, 205-216.

Johnson, J. E. (2002). Why rural elders drive against advice. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 19, 237-244.

Jung, T. (2010). Historical and cultural analyses of collective features of Korean society. The Korean Journal of Social and Personality Psychology, 24(3), 53-76.

Kerschner, H., & Aizenberg, R. (1999). Transportation in an aging society [Focus Group Report]. Pasadena, CA: The Beverly Foundation. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from http://www.seniordrivers.org/researchers/researchers.cfm?selection=0

Kostyniuk, L. P., & Shope, J. T. (1998). Reduction and cessation of driving among older drivers: Focus groups (Report. No. UMTRI-98-96). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Newbury Park, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications Inc.

Lindkvist, K. (1981). Approaches to textual analysis. In K. E. Rosengren (Ed.), Advances in content analysis (pp. 23-41). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications Inc.

Marottoli, R. A., Mendes de Leon, C. F., Glass, T. A., Williams, C. S., Cooney, L. M., Berkman, L. F., & Tinetti, M. E. (1997). Driving cessation and increased depressive symptoms: Prospective evidence from the New Haven EPESE. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 45, 202-206.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2015). Older drivers. Retrieved 2014, April 25 from http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Older+Drivers

Patton, Q. M. (1987). How to use qualitative methods in evaluation. Newsbury Park, London, New Dehli: Sage Publications Inc.

Risjord, M. (2009). Nursing knowledge: Science, practice, and philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.

Song, S. (1995). Korean culture’s influence on Korean family relationships. In S. Song (1997), The differences of Collectivism and Individualism and the strategies of the Korean family therapy. Korean Journal of Family Therapy, 5, 1-26.

Song, S. (1997). The differences of collectivism and Individualism and the strategies of the Korean family therapy. Korean Journal of Family Therapy, 5, 1-26.

South Korea’s Ministry of Security and Public Administration. (2014). Examination for driver’s license. Retrieved 2014, October 25 from http://www.korea.go.kr/lifeplus/jsp/car/license1.jsp;jsessionid=A8NssQdZbL1kTsjKZ1lriydYwhnsAim76XDaOAnoEMl7CbywSIOhNuW1bfa7LXrf.egovwas2_servlet_engine1?lifeplusCate=car&menuNoDepth3=0624010000&menuNo=0624010100

Sandelowski, M., & Barroso, J. (2003). Classifying the findings in qualitative studies. Qualitative Health Research, 13(7), 905-23.

Spance, H. (1985). Achievement American style: The rewards and costs of Individualism. American Psychologist, 40, 1285-1295.

Sterns, H. L., Sterns, R., Aizenberg, R., & Anapole, J. (1997). Family and friends concerned about an older driver [Final focus group report]. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Brookings Institution Series on Transportation Reform. (July 2003). Center on urban and metropolitan policy. The mobility needs of older Americans: Implications for transportation reauthorization. Retrieved 2015 April 25 from http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2003/7/transportation%20rosenbloom/20030807_rosenbloom.pdf

Triandis, H. C. (1989). The self and social behavior in different cultural contents. Psychological Review, 96(3), 506-


U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. (2006). Older drivers: Safety implications. National household travel survey BRIEF. Retrieved April 25, 2015, from http://nhts.ornl.gov/briefs/Older%20Drivers.pdf

Whitehead, B. J., Howie, L., & Lovell, R. K. (2006). Older adults’s experience of driver licence cancellation: A phenomenological study. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 53, 173-180. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1630.2006.00564.x

Yassuda, M. S., Wilson, J. J., & von Mering, O. (1997). Driving cessation: The perspective of senior drivers. Educational Gerontology, 23, 525-538.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/%25x


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Claire Su-Yeon Park, Saunjoo Lee Yoon, Catherine Adele Hamilton, Christa Louise Cook

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Online Submission: http://cscanada.org/index.php/ccc/submission/wizard

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use four mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; office@cscanada.net; ccc@cscanada.net; ccc@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Cross-Cultural Communication are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mail:caooc@hotmail.com; office@cscanada.net

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture