ERIC Number: ED271711
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Jun-30
Reference Count: 0
Secondary Students' Knowledge of, Attitudes toward, and Experiences with Older Adults. Final Report.
Ralston, Penny A.
Demographic trends in the United States indicate that the population is increasingly growing older. The literature suggests that the attitudes of others are critical for the adjustment of the elderly in society. A study was conducted to determine adolescents' knowledge of, attitudes toward, and experiences with older adults. Subjects were 790 secondary school students enrolled in vocational home economics programs in 35 junior and senior high schools in Iowa. Respondents completed the "My Views about Older People" questionnaire which was developed using a variety of standardized scales and items. The preliminary findings revealed that the students surveyed generally had positive attitudes toward older people yet had some stereotyped beliefs regarding older adults. Although their knowledge levels were high, the respondents appeared to have misconceptions related to biology of aging, demographics of aging, "age-related" personality traits and interests, competence/effectiveness and aging, and services for older people. Most respondents had experiences with older people, but activities seemed to be of short duration and low frequency. Most respondents also had experiences with a specific older person who was usually the grandmother. Frequency of contact varied from every day to several times a year. This person was generally described in a very positive way. These findings will be used in planning curriculum for secondary home economics programs. The survey instrument and directions to teachers for administering it are appended. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Iowa State Dept. of Public Instruction, Des Moines. Div. of Career Education.
Authoring Institution: Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology, Ames. Dept. of Home Economics Education.
Note: For related document, see CG 019 251.