Effects of a gerontology unit on children's attitudes towards the elderly

Costello, James Joseph (1985) Effects of a gerontology unit on children's attitudes towards the elderly. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine elementary school children's attitudes towards the elderly and to investigate the effects of the gerontology unit on these attitudes. -- Six classes consisting of 166 students participated in the study. The treatment group consisted of one class from each of grades three, four and five. The treatment group was given a gerontology unit which attempted to increase their knowledge of and feelings towards the elderly and aging. -- Both treatment and control students were given a post-test administration of the Children's Attitudes Towards the Elderly Group Test (CATE-G). The results of the study indicated that children who took the gerontology unit had significantly more knowledge of the elderly, significantly more neutral feelings about their own aging, significantly more active interactions with the aged and significantly more positive views of the elderly as displayed by semantic differential results. -- Based on the results it was concluded that children have negative attitudes towards the elderly, attitudes can change in a short period of time through educational experience, older students' attitudes towards the elderly are more difficult to change and contact with the elderly can reduce negative attitudes. -- These conclusions imply the need for educators to establish effective gerontology units in their schools in order to break down intergeneration barriers. As a result, both generations can benefit from increased contact and sharing of knowledge. -- Finally, recommendations were made as a result of the study. Some of them were that gerontology units be made available to all students, similar studies be conducted to ascertain long-term effects of the gerontology units and teacher workshops be given to help teachers prepare for effective teaching of these gerontology units.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4295
Item ID: 4295
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 61-65.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1985
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Children and older people; Children--Attitudes; Gerontology--Study and teaching

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