ERIC Number: ED200854
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov-23
Preference for Age-Homogenous Versus Age-Heterogeneous Social Interaction.
Daum, Menachem; Getzel, George S.
A major argument made in favor of age-segregated services is that older people prefer and benefit from age-homogeneous social interaction. This preference was assessed through a secondary analysis of the national data from "The Myth and Reality of Aging" survey (Harris, 1975). All respondents 18 years of age or older (N=4065) were asked whether they would prefer to spend the majority of their time with people of the same age or with people of different ages. A majority of persons under 65 (66.8%) and over 65 (74.3%) expressed a preference for interaction with people of different ages. Among those 65 or older (N=2700), a preference for interaction limited to people of the same age was expressed by significantly higher proportions of males, ethnic minorities, the poor, retirees, the less educated, those with role loss or need problems, and those with older age identifications. However, a majority of these subgroups preferred interaction with people of all ages. No difference was found between younger older adults and the oldest older adults. Senior center members expressed an even higher preference than did nonmembers for interaction with people of all ages. Results suggest that age-segregated service providers should consider cross-generational interaction in program planning. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: NRTA-AARP Andrus Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: City Univ. of New York, NY. Hunter Coll.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (33rd, San Diego, CA, CA, November 21-25, 1980).