ERIC Number: ED210717
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
An Initial Investigation Into the Interaction Behavior of Elderly Individuals Across Three Living Environments.
Nussbaum, Jon F.
A study investigated whether the interactive behaviors of elderly individuals were significantly influenced by their environment. The key to the investigation was the notion that human interaction can function to aid elderly individuals as they adapt to aging. Subjects were individuals over 65 years of age living in one of three separate environments: (1) 60 individuals who owned their own homes and resided in those homes for more than ten months out of each year; (2) 30 living in a retirement village; and (3) 30 residing in a nursing home facility. A questionnaire was designed to gather information about the subjects' communication behavior patterns and their ability to adapt to aging. Among the results, it was found that those living at home interacted more with family and reported greater relational quality with family; those individuals living in a retirement village interacted more with friends and reported closer relationships with friends than with family; and individuals living in a nursing facility were greatly restricted in their frequency of interaction with both family and friends, and reported much less relational quality with both family and friends. Surprisingly, the elderly at home and in the retirement community discussed their health significantly more than did the elderly in the nursing facility. Also, those at home and in the retirement village discussed community events as well as world and national events much more than did the elderly in the nursing home, indicating more interest in the social activity of both the neighborhood and the country. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Speech Communication Association Summer Conference on Communication and Gerontology (Edwardsville, IL, July 22-24, 1981).