Decoding the Miss Daisy Syndrome: An examination of subjective responses to mobility change

M. Denise King, Thomas M. Meuser, Marla Berg-Weger, John T. Chibnall, Annie C. Harmon, Richard Yakimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The subjective responses associated with personal life space and mobility status were explored. Thirty individuals participated in focus groups based on self-rated disability status, current places visited, and availability. Qualitative analyses revealed that most participants equated personal mobility with driving a vehicle. Attitudes concerning mobility status and preparedness for change varied based on disability level and personal experience. Fear of dependence from future mobility loss was prominent in all groups. Few participants acknowledged significant planning for future retirement from driving or other mobility challenges. An understanding of common attitudes, perceptions and meanings can inform professionals who intervene and support older adults experiencing mobility changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-52
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Adults
  • Aging
  • Mental health
  • Mobility
  • Older
  • Qualitative
  • Quality of life
  • Social work practice


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