UNDERGRADUATE ATTITUDES TOWARD THE ELDERLY: THE ROLE OF KNOWLEDGE, CONTACT AND AGING ANXIETY. By Linda J. Allan and James A. Johnson
The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between attitudes about aging and aging anxiety. The focus of the study was to determine the role that aging anxiety plays a mediator between experiences. The experiences focused on were in the form of factual knowledge and contact with the elderly.
The participants were 113 undergraduates at a Canadian University. The ages ranged from 17 to 49 years in age. More than half of the participants however were under the age of 20.The participants were 81 women and 29 men. Most participants reported ethnicity as White (77.9%). Other ethnicities reported were Asian (9.7%), native (3.5%) and other (8.8%).
The participants consented to and completed a questionnaire packet which included the following:
1. A demographics questionnaire consisting of Age and Gender.
2. A questionnaire on their contact with older persons.
3. The Fraboni Scale on Ageism (FSA) developed by Fraboni, Saltstone, and Huges (1990). The scale serves to gauge levels of ageist attitudes with lower scores indicating more ageist attitudes.
4. The Anxiety about Aging Scale (AAS) Lasher & Faulkender (1993).The scale served to gauge levels of anxiety about aging, with higher scores indicating greater anxiety about aging.
5. The Palmore Facts on Aging Quiz 1 (FAQ1) developed by Harris et al., 1996). The quiz served to gauge the participant’s knowledge of aging. The multiple choice version was used to decrease measurement error.
The average score on the Palamore’s FAQ was 47.68%. According to Allen and Johnson that was an indicator of poor knowledge of aging. The research gives significant evidence that improving knowledge of aging is a way of reducing ageist attitudes. However, it is pointed out that the correlation between knowledge and ageist attitudes is indirect. This relationship appears to be hinged on the level of aging anxiety harbored.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS AND BEHAVIORS RELATED TO THE AGED AND TO AGING PROCESSES. By Daniel J. Van Dussen and Robert R. Weaver
The aim of this study was examine the relationships between Knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes regarding the aged and the aging process. Specifically the study explored the amount of factual knowledge posed by undergraduate students. Attitudes towards the elderly and the aging process were evaluated and used to pinpoint any misconceptions held by the undergraduate students. The overall goal of the study was to help better understand the current knowledge and attitudes toward older adults and aging education and to direct future efforts to recruit students to work with older adults.
The current study examined 543 students at a medium-sized Midwestern university on their attitudes about aging. A purposive sampling procedure was followed to select classes from a variety of departments from all six colleges, at all...