A Study of attitudes of eight year old children toward aging and the elderly.
Researchers have shown that it is not uncommon for young adults, middle-age adults and the elderly to have negative and stereotyped attitudes toward aging and the elderly people. Only a limited number of studies have examined the attitudes of children towards aging and elderly people and there is a marked paucity of research examining childrenâ€™s attitudes in relation to contact with elderly people. The attitudes of 43 eight year old children were measured by administering a picture series and structured interview technique devised by Seefeldt, Jantz, Galper, and Serock (1977). This instrument used three interrelated components of attitudes: cognitive, affective and behavioral. The test was designed to reveal childrenâ€™s knowledge of age, the types of interactions and behaviors they exhibit toward the elderly and their feelings about aging and elderly people. In addition to Seefeldâ€™s (1977) test, the children were asked questions designed to elicit information about relationship with grandparents. As a result of this study, it was demonstrated that eight year olds do understand the concept of age. The childrenâ€™s attitudes were found to be generally stereotyped, implying that elderly people are passive and helpless. But their feelings were also affectionate and indicated a desire to help elderly people. Since it is estimated that 20% of the population will be over 60 years old by the year 2000, the implication of this study are for further research, practice and education to prevent negative, stereotyped attitudes.
University of Utah;
Aging; Children and Adults; Psychological Aspects;
University of Utah;
Relation-Is Version Of
Digital reproduction of “A Study of attitudes of eight year old children toward aging and the elderly.”Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Print version of “A Study of attitudes of eight year old children toward aging and the elderly.” available at J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collection. BF 21.5 1981 K44.