Andreas Kruse et al.
Grenzgänge zwischen Verletzlichkeit und Wachstum – eine daseinsthematische Analyse
Abstract Firstly, the concept of border crossings is defined in the sense of oscillating between vulnerability and growth. At the same time, the possibilities of coping with border crossings are discussed. The goal of this coping process is to achieve an inner balance. In a further step, borderline situations in old age are contrasted with the experience of inner growth, which is understood as a mental, emotional and spiritual one. The analysis of the “themes of existence” is intended to provide a differentiated understanding of the inner view of vulnerability and growth: how do limits and potentials appear from the perspective of the individual? The biographical interview method is used for conducting an analysis of the question. The theme of existence was analysed in a range of different living environments; the results make it clear that a differentiation between living environments based on objective criteria is partly supported by differences in the inner view of the personal life situation. At the same time, it becomes clear that people can succeed in leading a personally meaningful life even under burdensome living conditions. As can be seen from the correlations between the themes of existence and characteristics of mental health (as measured by psychometric scales), the theme “having a task in life” in particular shows a strong relationship with mental health.
Keywords Boundary situations, growth, living environment, life issues, vulnerability