The effects of participation in an intergenerational program on the psychological well -being of the elderly

Katina Patricia Mendis, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to explore the effect of participation in an intergenerational day care program with 3- and 4-year-old preschoolers on the psychological well-being of elderly adults. The goal of the study was to investigate two levels of change in the elderly as a result of participation in the intergenerational program. The first level was seen as a direct influence on social distance between the elderly and young children. The second level was the indirect influence of the program on the participants' perceived self-esteem, depression, locus of control, and life satisfaction. The sample consisted of 20 elderly women (mean age = 83.7 years), 45% of whom had previously worked with young children. Each subject was paired with the same preschooler once a week for 8 weeks. An ABA nonconcurrent baseline design which included two baseline measurements (pretest 1 and 2) and two posttest measurements (posttest 1 and 2) was used to assess the subjects on four direct influences of the program and four indirect influences of the program. Three phases of the study, baseline, program, and follow-up, were 8 weeks in duration with the measures administered to the subjects prior to and immediately following each phase. Demographic information was obtained at the pretest 1 measurement. Four measures of the direct outcomes of the program assessed social distance in terms of affectional and associational solidarity, commitment to intergenerational contact, and program satisfaction. Four measures of the indirect outcomes of the program assessed self-esteem, depression, locus of control, and life satisfaction. The data were analyzed using ANOVA and slope analyses comparing the rate of change over the three phases of the experiment. The results of the study indicated significant increases in affectional and associational solidarity among the participants in the study, and a high degree of satisfaction with the program. These increases were not maintained 8 weeks following the termination of the program, however, overall comparisons between pretest 2 and posttest 2 indicated significant over the entire 24-week period for both measures. Significant increases were also obtained for indirect outcomes of the program on self-esteem and life satisfaction. Self-esteem was maintained over the baseline period immediately following the termination of the program, and both measures were found to increase significantly over the 24-week period. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) ^

Subject Area

Gerontology|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Katina Patricia Mendis, "The effects of participation in an intergenerational program on the psychological well -being of the elderly" (January 1, 1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9313767.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9313767

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