ERIC Number: ED334525
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Using Drawings To Explore Children's Attitudes toward the Elderly.
Donorfio, Laura M.
During the last three decades there has been a growing interest among social scientists in studying the attitudes of young people toward the elderly and the aging process. This study explored children's attitudes toward the elderly and aging using interviews and drawings. Third, fifth, and seventh grade students (N=162) were asked to "draw a young person" and to "draw an old person" in addition to completing three subtests of The Children's Attitudes Toward the Elderly Scale. Results suggest that children in all grade levels display both positive as well as negative attitudes toward the aged and aging process. Fifty percent or more of each grade level reported old people to be helpful, friendly, wonderful, and good, whereas young people were reported to be just healthy. Overall, 60-70% of each grade level gave a negative response when asked how they feel about getting old. Girls felt more positively than boys. Seventy percent of the children drew a "young person" as the same gender as themselves and an "old person" as the opposite gender as themselves. The body size drawn in inches of an "old person" was significantly smaller than that drawn of the "young person." This study does provide a basis for further research and for the generation of hypotheses concerning children's attitudes toward the aged and the aging process as reflected in their personal drawings. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Connecticut Univ., Storrs.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Northeastern Gerontological Society Conference (11th, Albany, NY, April 18-20, 1991).