ERIC Number: ED277903
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Relationship between Age and Preference for Older Instructors.
Portnoy, Enid J. Pallant
A study examined the attitudes of older college students toward older college instructors. A total of 262 students (who were either previously or currently enrolled in college classes) between the ages of 26 and 80 were asked to complete a 25-item attitude scale. The scale was designed to reflect respondents' attitudes concerning older teachers, older persons in general, and aging. Students were divided into the following age categories: between 26 and 49, 50 and 59, 60 and 69, 70 and 79, and over 80. When these groups were condensed into two general age groups, young and old, the older students seemed slightly better adjusted to aging. For the specific age levels, the scores obtained suggested that the extremes of the age spectrum (those aged 26 to 49 and those between the ages of 70 and 79) had significant differences in their mean adjustment to aging scores. With students between the ages of 26 and 49, a significant relationship emerged between preference for older teachers and aging adjustment score. Students aged 50 to 59 seemed to have the strongest preference for older teachers. In general, the older the student, the weaker the preference for older teachers. Moreover, higher levels of feeling comfortable with the idea of aging were strongly correlated with a weaker preference for older teachers. The study's results suggest that age does not appear as a significant variable in the older student's preferences for a college instructor. This report includes a copy of the survey instrument as well as a nine-page bibliography. (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (Hollywood, FL, October 1986).