ERIC Number: EJ910959
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Complement of Research and Theory in Practice: Contact Theory at Work in Nonfamilial Intergenerational Programs
Jarrott, Shannon E.; Smith, Cynthia L.
Gerontologist, v51 n1 p112-121 Feb 2011
Purpose of the Study: We assessed whether a shared site intergenerational care program informed by contact theory contributed to more desirable social behaviors of elders and children during intergenerational programming than a center with a more traditional programming approach that lacks some or all of the contact theory tenets. Design and Methods: We observed 59 elder and child participants from the two sites during intergenerational activities. Using the Intergenerational Observation Scale, we coded participants' predominant behavior in 15-s intervals through each activity's duration. We then calculated for each individual the percentage of time frames each behavior code was predominant. Results: Participants at the theory-based program demonstrated higher rates of intergenerational interaction, higher rates of solitary behavior, and lower rates of watching than at the traditional program. Implications: Contact theory tenets were optimized when coupled with evidence-based practices. Intergenerational programs with stakeholder support that promotes equal group status, cooperation toward a common goal, and mechanisms of friendship among participants can achieve important objectives for elder and child participants in care settings.
Descriptors: Intergenerational Programs, Social Theories, Programming, Evidence, Groups, Social Status, Intervals, Behavior, Measurement, Cooperation, Goal Orientation, Friendship, Theory Practice Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A