Interviewing a Person in Late Adulthood

For this exercise, I interviewed my neighbor, Robert, who is 72 years old and the questions used are attached in the Appendix. Akeret & Klein’s (1991) questions were utilized for their relevance to the interview and ability to produce elaborate responses. His parents, grandparents, and known ancestors are originally from Puerto Rica. Therefore, they are Hispanics who formerly lived in Texas before moving to California. However, Robert has lived in New York for most of his adult life. Three generations before him have worked in the medical field as dentists, a gynecologist, and nurses. Robert is a pediatrician in a city public hospital and takes pride in inheriting the culture. His parents greatly loved each other, exemplified through family holidays when they bought special gifts for each other.

The church was a large part of Robert’s life, as he remembers attending services every Sunday and participating in Christian events throughout the year. One key event became Robert’s turning point: the loss of his parents in a road accident. His mother died on the spot, while the father succumbed a week into treatment. His siblings were still in school at various levels while he had been working for a year. After the parents ‘ burials, Robert had to decide the course of his siblings’ future. He decided to take over parental responsibilities and never looked back. He moved his brother and two sisters into New York, rented a bigger apartment, and took their custody. Robert feels that his decision was the best one he has made in life so far, seeing that each of the siblings is now successful in their career and has stable marriage. However, his ambitions to marry and further his career were delayed by investing in the siblings, but he does not regret it. Robert feels that the decision also made him more responsible and accountable, especially with finances.

Robert’s highest points have been celebrating the achievement of his goals and those of his siblings, including graduation ceremonies, weddings, and every other small win. His lowest points were the months following his parents’ deaths, as his siblings broke down and lost hope. He felt helpless that he could not ease their agony. However, each new milestone marked a step away from the pain, and it felt relieving. Robert’s parents and schoolteachers have impacted his life most, especially his science teacher, who helped him change his extremely low grades. A bully changed his life for the better in high school when he humiliated him by snatching his report card and sharing it with the class. That ridicule awakened an academic giant in Robert and made him successful in school.

Robert shared a touching story from his adulthood of how his wife supported him in adopting a less privileged child with autism. He became their fourth child and changed their lives completely. Robert explained all the family’s changes to accommodate the autistic son, including their family house. They established new routines and made house rules for his comfort. Robert would like to be remembered as a faithful steward who used every resource put into his hands to benefit society. His contributions to the medical field are other legacies Robert would like to leave behind. Robert’s best advice to early adults is that starting over is never too late. He mentions that most adults’ mistakes happen in early adulthood, either professionally or in their personal life. Robert believes that anybody can start afresh as long as they are breathing. Therefore, young adults should not resist change or breakdown when things fall apart and ambitions are shattered: they should rise and rebuild their lives.


Akeret, R. U., & Klein, D. M. (1991). Family tales, family wisdom: How to gather the stories of a lifetime and share them with your family. William Morrow & Company.


Interview Questions

  1. Older Person’s Name, Age.
  2. What is your FAMILY CONTEXT? Who were your ancestors, grandparents, etc? WHERE DID THEY COME FROM? Where did they live? What kind of work did they do? What special stories do you remember about your grandparents’ or parents’ lives?
  3. Was church a large part of your life?
  4. TURNING POINTS IN YOUR LIFE: crucial times when the course of your life was changed. Often these turning points are associated with a life crisis or major dilemma. These may include actions not taken or decisions not made that were significant. They may be positive or negative. Turning points may occur when you came to a major realization about yourself or life in general. Try to explain what led up to the turning points. Looking back now, how do you think these events figured into your life as a whole? How did the turning point change the course of your life afterward? How did the turning point change you?
  5. HIGH POINTS AND LOW POINTS. They may be big or small. Make sure to provide the context for these stories and how you felt at the time and later. How did they change your life?
  6. MAJOR AND MINOR CHARACTERS who influenced your life.
  7. What are some STORIES FROM YOUR ADULT LIFE (from the time you left your parent’s home to the time your children left your home)? Try to include stories that span the years rather than focusing on one period.
  8. How would you like to be remembered? For what?
  9. What is the best advice you can give regarding early adulthood?

Cite this paper

Select style


PsychologyWriting. (2023, April 17). Interviewing a Person in Late Adulthood. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2023, April 17). Interviewing a Person in Late Adulthood.

Work Cited

"Interviewing a Person in Late Adulthood." PsychologyWriting, 17 Apr. 2023,


PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Interviewing a Person in Late Adulthood'. 17 April.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Interviewing a Person in Late Adulthood." April 17, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Interviewing a Person in Late Adulthood." April 17, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Interviewing a Person in Late Adulthood." April 17, 2023.