ERIC Number: ED401468
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Human Development across the Lifespan. A Pilot Intergenerational Project in Three Pennsylvania School Districts. Final Evaluation.
Ward, Christopher R.; Balavage, Valerie
An evaluation determined the impact on participants of pilot intergenerational programs in the Central Greene, Quaker Valley, and Titusville school districts in western Pennsylvania. It examined how participation in project activities changed students' attitudes about older adults and aging. A four-part questionnaire consisted of the following: questions to gather demographic information; a semantic differential scale of items that used bipolar adjectives that reflected a continuum between extremes; an attitude endorsement scale that stressed social, physical, and behavioral factors associated with aging; and a mixture of likert-type free-format, and open-ended questions to gather outcome information. Responses were received from 81 elementary, junior high, and high school students who completed both and initial survey and one following participation in intergenerational activities. Also, more limited information about how the project affected the older adult participants was gathered through a survey of 23 women and 4 men. The project had the following effects: it made a significant and positive change in the way they perceived older adults; it improved significantly junior and senior high school students' enjoyment of time spent with older adults; and it increased students' perception of what age is "old." Changes in student attitudes appeared to result from the project and not from previous relationships with older adults. Over the course of the project, students' perceptions of older persons' wisdom became a much better predictor of how much the students enjoyed being with the older adults. Following participation in intergenerational activities, students rated older adults as more active, stronger, friendlier, and less boring than they did prior to the activities. As a result of their participation in the project the elders gained improved images of schools and students. They also voiced more hope for the future. (Appendixes include 14 tables and questionnaires.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Center for Social and Urban Research.
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania