ERIC Number: ED243054
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of Attitude toward the Elderly on Behavior toward an Older Adult.
Sinnott, Jan D.; And Others
Many people hold negative attitudes toward older adults, and these attitudes often are associated with negative behavior toward the old. To explore the behavioral correlates of attitudes toward the elderly, 105 male and female college students, with a mean age of 24.5 years, participated in a two-phase experiment. During phase one, all subjects completed four attitude scales: Tuckman-Lorge Attitude Scale (TL); Semantic Differential (SD); Adjective Checklist (ACL); and Tuckman-Lorge Attitude Scale Revised (TLR). During phase two, those with the highest and lowest positive and negative attitudes (40 subjects) were exposed for a 5-minute period to a structured social situation which involved potential interaction with a 73-year-old female confederate. The interactions were videotaped through a two-way mirror. Following taping, subjects completed the Ammons Quick Test as a measure of behavior and IQ. An analysis of the results of the tests and of the behavior ratings of the tapes showed that only the TL, the TLR, and ACL correlated significantly with one another. Sex was the only demographic correlate of attitude, with more men than women considering negative ACL adjectives as inappropriate for elders. Behavior in the structured situation was only slightly related to general attitudes as measured by the TL, TLR, or the ACL, in that individuals with positive attitudes produced more positive behaviors than negative individuals. The sum of behaviors was significantly correlated with age, suggesting that the older the subjects the more positive their behaviors. Although general attitude scales were not useful in predicting behavior, context-specific behavior predictions might be possible using specific attitude items. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Philadelphia, PA, April 6-9, 1983).