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ERIC Number: ED143955
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Oct-16
Reference Count: 0
Measuring Perceptions of Aging Across Social Strata.
Morgan, Leslie A.; Bengtson, Vern L.
To what extent do perceptions of aging vary across social strata? Previous research provides inconsistent findings, although it seems plausible that attitudes toward old age differ with age, social class, and ethnicity of respondents. However, issues of measurement (construct validity; reliability; dimensional equivalency) raise doubts on the applicability of items and scales used across different groups. In the present study, data from 1,269 individuals of three ethnic groups and three age cohorts are examined for contrasts in perceptions of aging. Initial assessment of two simple summary scales indicated serious problems of cross-group equivalency judged by standard criteria for reliability and validity. A second stage of analysis revealed two orthogonal dimensions, Negative Attributes vs. Positive Potentials, which could be justified as operating similarly across strata. Results indicate high similarity by age, sex, and ethnicity in Negative Attributes, with all groups having moderately high negative evaluations. In contrast there were significant stratum variations in the Positive Potential scale, with the oldest age group and Mexican Americans having the lowest evaluation. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. RANN Program.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society (29th, October 1976, New York, N.Y.); Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document