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The effect of utilizing older persons in the classroom upon elementary students' attitudes toward aging

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The effect of utilizing older persons in the classroom upon elementary students' attitudes toward aging
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Towry, Betty J
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English
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ix, 126 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

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Aging education ( jstor )
Classrooms ( jstor )
Gerontology ( jstor )
Older adults ( jstor )
Questionnaires ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Stereotypes ( jstor )
Students ( jstor )
Teachers ( jstor )
Volunteerism ( jstor )
Older people ( lcsh )
School children -- Attitudes ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1986.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 112-125).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Betty J. Towry.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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ocm15997771
00926083 ( ALEPH )

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Full Text







THE EFFECT OF UTILIZING OLDER PERSONS IN THE CLASSROOM
UPON ELEMENTARY STUDENTS'
ATTITUDES TOWARD AGING















By

BETTY J. TOWRY


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1986













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


This has truly been a God-directed journey in love.

So many dear and wonderful people have shown me love

through sharing their encouragement, strength, and

inspiration. Dr. Hannelore Wass has given me every

support possible throughout my doctoral program. Her

wisdom, love, and enthusiasm have made all the difference

in keeping me going. Dr. Linda Crocker has cleared my

vision, shared her intellect and her laughter, and

strengthened my faith. Dr. Don Avila started the journey

with me and has been near every step. Dr. Paul

Fitzgerald has been visible and supportive at the

important points along the way. I am grateful to each of

these individuals in making this moment a reality.

My family and friends have remained supportive, even

through the crazy times. They continue to love me, pray

for me, and encourage my growth. Such lessons of love I

have learned from them! Grandmother and Grandaddy have

been a very important part of my journey. And Mother and

Daddy have been and remain close, giving me a gentle push

(as needed) to get around the next bend.










Every member of my Central Florida Community College

family has also been a part of this process. Very special

thanks go to Dolores, Jan, Joan, Linda, and Rose Marie

for supporting me through it all. They have worked as my

guardian angels! Wayne has helped me grow by walking

with me and sharing his faith and love. Linda has earned

her heavenly halo through an outpouring of love unlike

any other person I have known.

Finally, this journey could not have been completed

without the support of Dr. Henry Goodlett. He has made a

very powerful and lasting impression on my life, forever

changing me and the person I am. My prayer is that I may

fulfill the dreams he has inspired.




1 Corinthians: 13













TABLE OF CONTENTS


PAGE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...................................... ii

LIST OF TABLES ..................................... vi

ABSTRACT.............................................. ii

CHAPTER

I. INTRODUCTION.................................. 1

Purpose.................................... 4
Need for the Study........................ 5
Definitions of Terms..................... 9
Organization of the Report................ 11

II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE...................... 12

Research Findings on Attitudes Toward Aging
and the Aged ................................. 12
Assessment Procedures Examining Aging
Attitudes .................................... 19
Education Projects on Aging................... 30
Summary ....................................... 42

III. METHODS AND PROCEDURES ....................... 43

The Curriculum Unit on Aging.................. 43
The Spelling Lesson Activities................ 45
Design of Study.............................. 45
Hypothese.................................... 48
Research Design ............................. 49
Instruments................ .................. 49
Experimental Procedures....................... 51
Analyses...................................... 56

IV. RESULTS OF THE STUDY.......................... 57

Descriptive Statistics....................... 58
Effects of Instructional Strategies........... 60
Summary .................................... 71













Page

V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS,
RECOMMENDATIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS............ 73

Summary ....................................... 73
Conclusions................................... 77
Limitations ................................... 78
Recommendations .............. ................ 79
Implications for Reasearch and Practice....... 82

APPENDIX A. SAMPLE FROM THE CURRICULUM UNIT ON
AGING................................. 84

APPENDIX B. THE SPELLING LESSON ACTIVITIES......... 97

APPENDIX C. MODIFIED TUCKMAN-LORGE OLD PEOPLE
QUESTIONNAIRE........................ 101

APPENDIX D. KNOWLEDGE SURVEY....................... 108

REFERENCES ......................................... 112

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH................................ 126













LIST OF TABLES


Page

3-1 Number Of Students In Each Class And
Treatment Condition........................... 46

4-1 Pre- And Posttest Means And Standard
Deviations By Treatment Group and Test
Administered .................................. 59

4-2 Reliability Estimates Computed By The
Kuder-Richardson Formula 21................... 61

4-3 Adjusted Posttest Means And Standard
Error Of The Mean By Treatment Group And
Instrument Administered....................... 62

4-4 Results For Modified Tuckman-Lorge Old
People Questionnaire (TL)..................... 64

4-5 LS Means And Differences* Between Pairs Of
LS Means For The Groups....................... 66

4-6 Results For The Knowledge Survey (KS).......... 67

4-7 Results For The Attitude Test (AT)............ 69

4-8 Slopes And Intercepts For Regression Of
Posttest on Pretest Score For Each
Class-Within-Treatment...................... 72










Abstract Of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
School of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor
of Philosophy

THE EFFECT OF UTILIZING OLDER PERSONS IN THE CLASSROOM
UPON ELEMENTARY STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD AGING

By

Betty J. Towry

December 1986

Chairperson: Dr. Hannelore Wass
Major Department: Foundations of Education


Literature review indicates that programs involving

intergenerational contact or prepared materials on aging

can increase young persons' knowledge and positive

attitudes regarding aging and the elderly. Comparison of

these approaches are lacking. Combining academic skills

and aging facts would enhance schools adoption of such

curricula. A curriculum unit on aging combined with

academic skills was developed expressly for this study.

Twelve fourth grade classrooms were randomly

assigned to one of the following conditions: instruction

on aging from an older volunteer; instruction on spelling

from an older volunteer; instruction on aging from the

regular classroom teacher; no special treatment for a

control condition. Three classrooms were nested in each

condition. All students were pre- and posttested, using











a modified version of the Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire, a knowledge survey, and an attitude test

designed by the experimenter.

Test data were collected for 381 students with

increases in pre- and posttest raw scores observed on all

three tests for treatment groups. A separate analysis of

covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test for significance.

Pretest scores were covariates with independent variables

being treatment and classroom nested within treatment.

A significant difference (p < .05) among treatments

and the control group on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old

Person Questionnaire was found. Post-hoc comparisons

indicated that an older person teaching spelling was

significantly different than the control group in

attitude gain.

No significant differences among the four groups

were found on the locally developed knowledge survey.

A significant interaction occurred between pretest level

and treatment effect on the locally developed attitude

test. Pretest and posttest regression lines for the

groups indicated that the control group and the treatment

with the classroom teacher teaching about aging scored

lower on the posttest than treatments utilizing the older

persons. Differential treatment effects were observed


viii











depending

persons.

person in

attitudes

the older

taught.


upon students' initial attitudes toward older

Results indicated that the presence of an older

the classroom had a positive impact on student

toward the elderly. Further, the presence of

person was more important than what the person













CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION


Perpetuation of negative stereotypes related to

aging is a serious problem which faces older persons.

Some research findings notwithstanding, (Thomas &

Yamamoto, 1975), many studies have shown that old people

are perceived as past-bound and that old age is viewed

unpleasantly. These perceptions are particular evident

when considering children and youth (Ansello, 1978;

Arnoff & Lorge, 1960; Hickey & Kalish, 1968; McTavish,

1971; Seefeldt, Galper, & Serock, 1977). Further, a lack

of knowledge about and contact between older and younger

persons has been found to support the development of

prejudice and promote discrimination (Marks & Newman,

1985; Nusberg, 1980; Page, Olivas, Driver, & Driver,

1981) and children who are isolated from contact with

older people have less accurate perceptions of old age

(Long, 1982). Havighurst (1974) found that typically

children's first contact with older persons is through

their grandparents. Yet, many children live away from

their grandparents and older relatives with no chance for

a loving relationship to exist. Teachers and parents

have voiced concern that this life experience is










unavailable for many children in today's society (Atwood,

1975; Pribble & Trusty, 1981).

Attitudes which develop in childhood influence one's

life and can cause an individual to act in consistent

ways toward people, objects, situations, or ideas

(Brubaker & Powers, 1976; Green, 1981; Mussen, Conger,

& Kogan, 1969; Thomas, 1981). Furthermore, attitudes

formed early in life remain relatively stable as a person

grows older (Klausmeier & Ripple, 1971; Seltzer &

Atchley, 1971). Thus, Jantz, Seefeldt, Galper, and

Serock (1977) proposed that because attitudes are

developed during childhood and influence later behavior,

concern about aging education is all important for

today's children as their attitudes will affect us all.

With the increasing emphasis on accountability, the

attitudes that schools are promoting must be examined

(Moramarco, 1978). Education should not allow important

values to be unintended outcomes of school curriculum

(Khan & Weiss, 1973). The more positive children's

attitudes toward the elderly, the more completely they

will live their own lives. When people are able to

identify with older persons, stereotyping may be avoided.

However, the educational system isolates students from

the realities of human growth and maturation and











children do not really understand the normal aging

process or what older people are like (Harris, 1975;

Jantz et al., 1977).

The concept that children need to be made aware of

their own status in relation to the process of aging is

one which is found in several investigations (Bennett,

1976; Jacobs, 1969; Jantz et al., 1977; Looft, 1971;

Lorge, Tuckman, & Abrams, 1954; Seefeldt et al., 1977;

Serock et al., 1977; Sheehan, 1978). If children are to

recognize their own position in the aging process and

realize that old age can also be a fulfilling time of

life, they will need exposure to a range of elderly

persons. Several authors (Bailey, 1976; Kawabori, 1975;

Wass, Fillmer, & Ward, 1981) maintain that schools have a

responsibility to develop such age awareness in their

students, and Bennett (1976) and Marks & Newman (1985)

recommend that contacts between the young and the old

should be initiated early in the educational process.

Research literature provides many examples of how

intergenerational contact and related materials support

children's development of more accurate knowledge of and

positive attitudes toward aging and the elderly. There

is a lack, however, of evidence as to what method is most

effective with children in creating improved attitudes











and more accurate knowledge regarding old people.

Research is lacking on the manipulation of presentation

of information on aging in the elementary classroom in

relation to the development and improvement of attitudes

toward the elderly and aging. This is the purpose of the

present investigation.


Purpose

It was the purpose of this study to compare the

effects of three different instructional approaches in

the classroom setting on students' attitudes toward old

people. Specifically, fourth grade students participated

in one of three treatment groups or one control group.

The classrooms were randomly assigned to the following

conditions: receiving instruction on aging from an older

volunteer; receiving instruction on spelling from an

older volunteer; receiving instruction on aging from the

regular classroom teacher; no special treatment for a

control condition. The relative effectiveness of these

treatments in achieving gains in attitudes and knowledge

were investigated through an analysis of covariance

design.










The following research questions were posed:

1. Is there a significant difference among the

adjusted posttest means of the four groups on the

modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire?

2. Is there a significant difference among the

adjusted posttest means of the four groups on the

attitude test designed by the experimenter?

3. Is there a significant difference among the

adjusted posttest means of the four groups on the

knowledge survey?

If significant differences (p < .05) among the

groups were detected, post-hoc comparisons among each

possible pair of adjusted group means were conducted.


Need for the Study

Census projections have shown individuals age 65 and

older as doubling between 1976 and 2020, topping out at

approximately 45 million (Kart, Metress, & Metress,

1978). Educators must consider how to involve older

persons in the curriculum and related activities.

Providing today's young with healthy attitudes concerning

older persons is an important but often neglected goal

(Long, 1982). Educational efforts to prepare young

people for and/or familiarize them with the aging process










are lacking. Margaret Mead (1970, p. 19) stated, "A

concomitance to the fear of aging is a fear of the aged.

There are far too many children in American who are badly

afraid of older people because they never see any."

Utilizing the elderly (65 years and older) in the

classroom setting could provide potential advantages

while improving intergenerational relationships and

attitudes of students, teachers, and elderly involved.

According to Rosow (1967), the most important influence

in the aging process is found in the younger generations,

not the elderly. Rosow suggests that it is persons other

than the elderly who determine the role of the older

person in society. Tuckman and Lorge, who completed the

majority of early studies regarding attitudes toward

aging, found in a 1958 study that personal contact with a

variety of old persons can influence individuals'

attitudes more positively as compared to persons whose

acquaintances lack depth and are of a restricted nature.

Older persons can benefit from such involvement

through increased activity, stimulation, and enhanced

opportunities for personal growth (Hunter & Linn, 1981;

Linden, 1975; Monk & Cryns, 1974). In fact, Downey

(1974) found that self-esteem and self-worth of the older

person can be renewed by the elderly participating in










volunteer programs. Participating in school programs

could fulfill older persons' needs for social

interaction, problem solving, and decision making while

improving children's attitudes about aging and the aged

(Baggett, 1981; Baumhoner & Jones, 1977; Glass & Knott,

1982; Merrill, 1961). Blau (1956) and Leslie, Larson,

and Gorman (1973) proposed that the process of

assimilation is important in reducing differences between

groups of people. Using older volunteers is one method

by which negative attitudes and stereotypes could be

challenged. Merrill (1961) found that such assimilation

occurs more quickly when group contacts are face-to-face

and personal. Merrill recommends that increased success

can be achieved if opportunities begin early in life,

thereby decreasing the age segregation in society.

Baggett (1981) and Hauwiller and Jennings (1981) suggest,

however, that in providing only informal interactions,

the desired results of improved attitudes may not be

achieved.

Glass and Knott (1982) and Triandis (1971) have

proposed that there are three basic strategies to change

attitudes. These include discussion with peers, direct

experience with attitude objects, and increased

information or knowledge. Schools, as transmitters of











culture, provide the ideal setting for confronting

stereotypes and myths regarding aging and the aged.

Seefeldt et al. (1981) suggest that schools be specific

concerning attitudes perpetuated by the institution and

develop strategies for teaching about aging.

In 1981, during the third White House Conference on

Aging, the United States Congress reaffirmed the Older

American Act which identifies several objectives related

to the aged and the American belief about the dignity of

the individual. The need for aging education was also

a concern of the two previous White House Conferences on

Aging in 1961 and 1971. These conferences developed

specific recommendations concerning education about aging

for children and youth in school. The problem remains

that attempts to develop such programs occur only if

there is interest and support in local school districts

(Johnson, 1982). Furthermore, those who undertake

development of such programs in the future need the

results of empirical studies to guide their decisions

about content, learning activities, and roles to assign

to older volunteers in classrooms.










Definitions of Terms

Terms used in this study are defined as follows:

Attitude Test (AT) Fourteen statements developed

by the experimenter and used to identify students'

perceptions about aging and the aged. This test was the

last section on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire and was administered in a pre-posttest

sequence.

Curriculum Unit on Aging Eight curriculum

exercises lasting 30 to 45 minutes in length which were

developed by the experimenter. The exercises incorporated

required state and county basic skills instruction into

information and activities about aging and older persons.

Knowledge Survey (KS) A test based on the

curriculum unit on aging, designed by the experimenter,

to determine what old age-related concepts students

understood.

Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (TL) The

modified 36-item version of the Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire (1954) was first used by Olejnik and LaRue

(1981) in assessing children's attitudes toward old

people. The TL was used in a pre-posttest design to

examine students' attitudes.










Marion County Basic Skills Continuum Based on

required skill instruction by the Florida Department of

Education, Marion County Public School System developed

an expanded skill program for all levels of the school

curriculum. The skill continuum for fourth grade was

used in developing the curriculum unit on aging.

Regular Classroom Teacher A reference to the

regularly assigned teacher for each classroom. In three

classrooms or treatments, the regular classroom teacher

taught the curriculum unit on aging.

Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) A

volunteer program for any person 60 years of age and over

who wants to be involved in various types of community

service. This agency assisted in the recruitment of

volunteers for this study.

Spelling Activities Eight different activities

based on the spelling words required for study in three

different classrooms (treatment group 2) were designed by

the experimenter. The exercises were the same for all

three classrooms, but the spelling words in each school's

spelling textbook varied.










Organization of the Report

The remainder of this dissertation is organized into

four chapters and appendices. Chapter II provides an

overview of the research related to attitudes toward

aging, instruments used in analyzing attitudes on aging,

and specific educational project results which have

involved children, aging education, and elderly

volunteers relevant to this study. Chapter III includes

the study design and methodology, the development of

instrumentation, and materials used. The data analyses

and results are presented in Chapter IV. In Chapter V, a

summary, study limitations, and recommendations for

further investigation are presented.













CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE


This chapter presents a review of the professional

literature relating to children's attitudes toward old

people and documented educational projects involving

children and the elderly. The initial section deals with

research findings concerning attitudes toward old people

with a focus on children's perceptions. The second

section identifies the various instruments that have been

used in analyzing attitudes toward the aged and those

assessing children's attitudes toward the elderly are

examined. The final section addresses specific

educational programs and projects which have involved

children and older persons.


Research Findings on Attitudes Toward Aging and the Aged

The important influence in the aging process is

found in younger generations, not in the elderly. It is

the youth who shape attitudes as they go through their

own aging process. As Borges & Dutton (1976), Cameron

(1971), and Rosow (1962) have proposed, it is persons

other than the elderly who determine the role of the

older person in society. Tuckman and Lorge (1953a),

found in an early sample that individuals had limited










experience and lacked accurate knowledge about aging.

What was known came from the subjects' observations of

others or through their own aging. Subjects in the study

characterized old age as a time of poor health, economic

insecurity, loneliness, and failing physical and mental

processes. In a later study, Tuckman and Lorge (1958)

discovered that interpersonal contacts with old persons

could influence individual's attitudes in a positive way.

This was found in comparison to persons whose contacts

lacked depth and were restricted.

Research has indicated that attitudes and

stereotypes develop early in life and remain fairly

stable (Carp, 1967; Havighurst, 1974; Klausmeier &

Ripple, 1971; Seltzer & Atchley, 1971; Thomas & Yamamoto,

1975). Attitudes and stereotypes that relate to aging

and the aged influence behaviors directed toward older

people and influence the development of an individual's

self concept (Hendricks & Hendricks, 1977). Because

growing older is irreversible and unavoidable negative

attitudes about aging and maturation can be very

damaging. Neugarten (1976) believes stereotypes about

aging create a fear of aging and this can lead to ageism

and hostile feelings between age groups. Research has

demonstrated that children's general attitudes toward the

elderly as a group are not positive and literature










reviewed reports a general rejection or prejudice against

old people.

McTavish (1971) noted that considerable diversity of

results and opinions on attitudes toward aging can be

identified through social gerontology literature.

General observations found in his evaluation of 300

research articles were that persons have different

opinions about old age; that perceptions of

younger persons are very important as they play a

significant role in determining the position and status

of older persons; that there is discrepancy between

traditional cultural ideas about aging and actual

behavior toward the aged, with research generally only

examining attitudes; and that there is an idea of

"usefulness" involved in perceived social roles which

relates to individuals having positive or negative

attitudes toward aging and older persons. McTavish,

concluding his review, stated that stereotyped views of

the elderly were prevalent and that perceptions included

old people as being generally ill, tired, not sexually

interested, mentally slower, forgetful, and less likely

to participate in activities (except for religion),

isolated during this period of life, and unproductive and

deficient (all with varying emphasis).










Gail Sheehy in Passages (1976), explained how people

are studied to understand human development. "It's far

easier to study adolescents and aging people. Both

groups are in institutions (schools or rest homes) where

they make captive subjects" (p. 10). This example of

stereotypic belief presented as fact is found in a

national best seller. Attitude research has been

encouraged by the belief that attitudes are an

influential aspect of the total social and cultural

environment (Bader, 1980; Hendricks & Hendricks, 1977).

This influence can be so pervasive that Neugarten (1970)

believes that policy issues concerning older Americans

have been influenced by underlying ageism. The

assignment of sameness in characteristics, status, and

consequences to a group which is actually very

heterogeneous causes the aged to be viewed as being

all the same, put into one group and seen as being one

type--old (Binstock, 1983).

Evaluating the effects of external factors, Butler

(1974) and Havighurst (1968) identified the importance of

a supportive environment in successful aging. Personal

concepts of achievement, productivity, and independence,

which are affected by age, were found to consistently

predict attitudes toward old age in studies completed by

Collette-Pratt (1976). Kuypers and Bengstrom (1973)










identified a social breakdown syndrome by which older

people are believed to become less competent in meeting

role expectations, ultimately creating a self-fulfilling

prophecy for the individuals themselves. Other factors

which can influence old age are education on aging

attitudes and the opportunities generally accompanying

educational activities (Thorson, 1975). Tuckman and

Lorge (1952) found that as individuals become less able

to function autonomously, there is a tendency to believe

and act out (to a greater degree) the misconceptions and

stereotypes of old age. Data suggest that individuals

who believe old people should be in old age homes, are

difficult to get along with, etc., may have these

attitudes due to their personal perceptions of themselves

or their acquaintances.

Additional external factors considered by Ivester

and King (1977) showed that a majority of rural

adolescents in their study had positive attitudes toward

the elderly. The authors concluded that rural children

may have more contact with the elderly than the urban

children used in the comparison group. This supports

the finding of Tuckman and Lorge in their 1958 study that

individuals with contacts among a variety of aged persons

will have more positive attitudes toward aging and the

aged. Butler and Lewis (1976) believe that a feeling of










kin relatedness may be necessary in one's personal

orientation as a significant human being. Adams (1971),

Sussman (1976), and Gordon and Hallauer (1976) focused on

the importance of family linkage for elderly persons.

Havighurst (1974) and Kivnick (1983) suggested that the

life-cycle value of a meaningful relationship between a

child and an elderly person is crucial in childhood and

without it, the individual might miss the value of such a

relationship two generations into the future.

Studies that include children and youth (Britton &

Britton, 1969; Cabot, 1961; Dodson & House, 1981;

Drevenstedt, 1976; Frost, 1981; Galper et al., 1981;

Kahana & Kahana, 1970; Lane, 1964; Lorge et al., 1954;

Hickey, Hickey, & Kalish, 1968; Hickey & Kalish, 1968;

Seefeldt et al., 1977) suggest that the concepts of old

age and old people are meaningful and ones about which

young respondents hold distinctive, identifiable

perceptions. Negatively stereotyped views found in this

research describe the elderly as tired, uninterested,

slower, ill, feeling sorry for themselves, and less happy.

Thomas and Yamamoto (1975) found that while children held

superficial attitudes about the elderly, the stories

written by the children showed that they understood the

life cycle. Even in Treybig's (1974) study of young

children aged 3, 4, and 5, there were identifiable










negative views expressed regarding the elderly. These

children also expressed great concern about not wanting

to grow old.

In 1986, Murphy-Russell, Die, and Walker used three

different instructional procedures with undergraduate

students in attempting to improve attitudes toward aging.

There were three workshop sessions in the series with

each single session lasting approximately one hour. The

first session consisted of discussion about the students'

results on Palmore's Facts on Aging Quiz (Palmore, 1977).

The second session involved an interview with an elderly

couple and the third session was an informational

filmstrip which debunked common myths about aging and the

aged. The three techniques were considered individually

with the total workshop series being as effective in

creating attitude change as the single treatment

sessions. With the short length of time involved in the

study, the authors' major recommendations focused on

utilizing the elderly in the classroom setting.

Porter and O'Connor (1978) taught a psychology of

aging course which gave factual information about aging

and gave college students the opportunity to have more

personal contact with an older class resource person.

The study reported more positive attitudes about the

elderly as a result of the course. In 1976, Gordon and










Hallauer had college students enrolled in an adult

development course to participate in a visitor program at

a health facility for older persons. The researchers

found that the course alone changed students' attitudes,

but those who participated in both the course and the

visitor program had a more significant attitude change.

In examining a sample of individuals who experienced only

the visitor program, no significant change was reported.

However, Olejnik and LaRue (1981) found that adolescents'

attitudes toward old persons became less negative after

two months of daily contact.

Glass and Trent (1980) and Trent, Glass, and

Crockett (1977) found a positive attitude change in

adolescents were exposed to the three basic strategies to

change attitudes (Glass & Knott, 1982; Triandis, 1971).

The adolescents were given the opportunity to discuss the

aged with their peers, have direct contact with elderly

persons, and increase their knowledge about older

persons. While attitude change was reported, neither

study evaluated the effectiveness of the individual

methods.


Assessment Procedures Examining Aging Attitudes

Techniques involved in developing measurement

devices to assess attitudes toward aging and the aged

vary greatly. Several Likert-type scales of attitudes








toward old people have been documented (Axelrod &

Eisdorfer, 1961; Eisdorfer, 1966; Hickey & Kalish, 1968;

Kirschner, Lindbom & Paterson, 1952; Kogan, 1961;

McTavish, 1970; Silverman, 1966; Tuckman & Lorge, 1952,

1953a, 1953b). The semantic differential approach has

been used in several other studies (Eisdorfer & Alrocchi,

1961; Knapp & Moss, 1963; Kogan & Wallach, 1961;

Rosenkranz & McNevin, 1969) and also content analyses

approaches (Britton & Britton, 1969; Coe, 1967; Golde &

Kogan, 1959; McTavish, 1970; Neugarten & Gutmann, 1958).

Numerous other procedures, such as the Q-sort (Newfield,

1970), the Gough Adjective Rating Scale (Aaronson, 1964),

and the Age-Appropriate Attitude Technique (Kastenbaum &

Durkee, 1964; Sadowski, 1978) have been documented.

Findings from these studies show a generally negative

tone regarding attitudes toward aging and old people.

The use of questionnaires to assess aging attitudes

includes the Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire

(1953a) which consists of 137 statements about old

people. The questionnaire is divided into 13

categories relating to various aspects about the aged.

This clustering of items in specific content areas can

create questions as to the meaningfulness of scores

computed for the clusters (due to response-set effects).

Subjects respond with "yes" or "no" as to whether they











agree with the statement or not. Tuckman and Lorge

attempted to correct possible respondent-set problems by

having subjects estimate the percentages of old people

possessing various characteristics. Subjects were asked

to estimate the percentage of old people whom they

thought possessed certain characteristics. Axelrod and

Eisdorfer (1961) found that 96 of the 137 items have

stimulus-group validity.

Following the work of Tuckman and Lorge, Golde and

Kogan (1959) attempted to test the hypothesis that

attitudes toward old people are measurably different from

those involving "people in general." Sentence completion

procedures were used so that paired experimental items

and control items could be constructed. A comparison of

the experimental and control forms yielded statistically

significant differences for the majority of items. There

was a large amount of ambivalence in the attitudes of

younger subjects. The young subjects viewed their own

aging negatively or could not conceive of it and did not

interact with old people. The researchers suggested that

if the younger subjects believe the older generation is

old fashioned and narrow-minded, their interpersonal

relationships with older persons probably reflect these

views (Golde & Kogan, 1959). Sadowski used the Age-

Appropriate Attitude Technique (AAAT) developed by











Kastenbaum and Durkee (1964) and found support for

conclusions drawn by Golde and Kogan (1959); that a

majority of subjects unfavorably evaluated the past-

boundness of the aged stimulus person presented in the

AAAT.

Palmore (1977) developed a questionnaire that was

short (25 items), using only factual statements

documented by empirical research. Designed to cover

basic physical, mental, and social facts about aging, it

included common misconceptions regarding the development

process. The quiz can be used to measure the amount of

accurate information and anti-age bias of subjects by

analyzing missed items which involve stereotypes. In

using the quiz, Palmore introduced the notion that

respondents have preconceived biases which influence how

they interpret statements about older people. Pilot

tests of an alternate form of Facts on Aging Quiz

(Palmore, 1981) indicate that FAQ can be used in

measuring bias and the effects of educational experiences

in gerontology. Findings with this instrument are

similar to the results on the original FAQ. Most

misconceptions involve negative views of old age

(Palmore, 1981). The data, which examine only adults,

confirm that the average person has more anti-aged than

pro-aged bias.











In 1978, the FAQ (Palmore, 1977) was used by Allen

in three grades in three Florida public schools and two

university classes (for a comparative college sample).

Using Palmore's procedure for determining positive and

negative bias demonstrated that all subject groups showed

a negative tendency with middle schoolers the least

biased and high schoolers the most. On some knowledge

dimensions, increased age and education level showed

higher error rates in information about the elderly.

Based on the data collected in Allen's study, it was

demonstrated that students lack accurate information

about older people. The findings associated with

youngsters who have contact with an older person living

in the same household are somewhat ambiguous. The data

that Allen gathered, suggests that direct contact with

dependent elderly living in the household may convey an

unrealistic depiction of the aged in general.

Hickey et al. (1968) studied the perceptions of

third graders in both private and public schools. The

young children produced stereotypic stories describing

old people as having ambulatory problems, being lonely,

bored, and inactive. The researchers also examined

perceptions of adult ages with third grade, junior high,

senior high, and college students by a 20-item

questionnaire of both evaluative and descriptive items.











It was found that the young people perceived differences

between adult age groups. Results demonstrated that the

older the adult, the less pleasant the image young

respondents held.

In order to better assess children's age-related

biases, the Children's Attitudes Toward the Elderly

(CATE) by Jantz et al. (1977) was developed to analyze

behavioral and knowledge components of attitudes. The

assessment items are based on four measurement

techniques, including a modified word association with

open-ended questions, a semantic differential format, a

picture series, and a final subtest based on Piagetian

concepts using three conservation tasks (designed to

determine the levels of cognitive development concerning

concepts of age). The individually administered CATE has

some limitations which may influence results. Although a

majority of the older population are women, the pictures

used in the CATE picture series are all men. A large

number of children could have a grandmother who is the

only older person that they know and with whom they have

interacted. If the picture series were more reflective

of older persons with whom children have experience, the

subjects might respond differently to questions that are

asked. The CATE also has limited scoring procedure for

some items. In response to the question asking children











to describe an old person, the tester is directed to code

responses such as grey hair, wrinkles, or walking with a

cane as negative responses. These characteristics are

not only apparent to everyone, but are real possibilities

in the aging process. This type of response is factual,

not necessarily negative and reflects the children's

knowledge of changes involved in aging (Baggett, 1981).

In using the CATE to study behavioral and knowledge

components of attitudes, Jantz et al. (1977) found that

children gave old persons negative qualities such as

sick, ugly and sad; with positive characteristics of

rich, friendly, wonderful, and good. As children grew

older, their knowledge increased, but children of all

ages had little general knowledge of the aged in

affective terms. When reporting physical descriptions or

behavioral reactions, students comments remained

generally negative (Jantz et al., 1977). The subjects

reported few contacts with the elderly outside of family

members. Jantz et al. concluded that the 180 children in

the initial sample (from nursery school age through sixth

grade) had minimal opportunity to interact with the

elderly and that because of this lack of contact,

children believed stereotypic characteristics of old

people and viewed their own aging as negative.











James (1980) followed up on the study by

Jantz et al. and examined the relationship between second

grade children's association with an older affiliated

family member, reading achievement, and attitudes toward

the elderly. Based on the Affiliated Family

Questionnaire (completed by the parents) and the student

response to the CATE, children's attitudes toward the

elderly showed that subjects with older affiliated

families had more accurate knowledge of the elderly and

described the older persons less often in physical terms.

When physical descriptions were used, they were less

negative (James, 1980).

Fillmer (1982) used pictures to elicit children's

attitudes toward old people. Children from selected

elementary classes from the various grade levels were

shown pictures of a young man (age 22-28) and an old man

(age range 60 years and older). Subjects were asked to

tell whether the person was sick or healthy, ugly or

pretty, rich or poor, happy or sad, friendly or

unfriendly (all six questions required only a yes or no

answer). More negative adjectives were used to describe

the older stimulus person. Fillmer believes that

children's stereotypes of the elderly should be

considered by educators and that the elderly hurt

themselves because their own attitudes toward aging











create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bossert (1980) also

used photographs and added a profile description. The

students evaluated the stimulus person in the picture and

Bossert measured social distance and personal attraction.

Students maintained different expectations for younger

and older stimulus persons (regardless of the same

profile information) concerning levels of activity and

similarity of beliefs.

Lang (1980) focused on interviews, word tests, and

teacher ratings of children's math and reading skills in

examining children's attitudes toward the aged. Lang

found that a grandparent is an important figure in the

child's life and that grandparents have a positive

influence on children. A relationship was found between

school performance and frequency of contact with

grandparents, suggesting that attention children receive

from their grandparents is related to school performance.

Fossbender (1980) attempted to determine if

attitudes and behavioral intentions were related by using

the Old People Scale (Kogan, 1961) and a behavioral

intention scale. Students' attitudes were found to be

related to student sex, location of residence, self-

reported average, and how many old persons the student

knew. The students' behavioral intentions toward old

people were found to be related to student sex, frequency











and nature of interaction with old people, self-reported

grade average, and number of aged persons known

(Fossbender, 1980). Supporting the findings of

Fossbender's research, Leslie, Larson, and Gorman (1973)

proposed that the process of assimilation is influential

in reducing perceived differences between age groups.

Utilizing school volunteers was a recommended method for

effectively challenging negative stereotypes.

Merrill (1961) also reported that assimilation occurs

more readily if group contacts are face-to-face and

personal as this provides for better communication and

allows individuals to more easily share beliefs and

ideas. Merrill suggested that if these opportunities

occur early in life, age segregation could be decreased,

supporting the involvement of older persons in elementary

classrooms.

In a study addressing the extent of age-based

attitudes of children from 8- through 10-years old, Marks

and Newman (1985) utilized the Chidren's View on Aging

Questionnaire (COVA). The COVA was designed by

researchers and consists of open-ended and close-ended

questions and semantic differential scales. The COVA

measures the cognitive, affective, and conative (intended

actions based on attitudes) aspects of children's

attitudes. The researchers suggest that children's










attitudes do not represent a single unidimensional

concept which is either good or bad in regards to aging.

Children were found to have positive general perceptions

of old people, but negative perceptions of the aging

process. Based on the results of the study, however, the

researchers could not prove that having old persons in

the schools would improve students' attitudes toward

aging and/or learning. The study did suggest that

constructive interactions between older people and

children in schools would reduce the children's knowledge

deficits about aging and contribute to the development of

more positive attitudes.


Education Projects on Aging

Projects have been attempted within school systems

to examine and modify students' attitudes toward aging.

To assess the extent to which aging education was

included in the Ohio public schools, Russell (1979)

surveyed a sample of school personnel. The data

indicated that aging, when taught, was more often part of

the secondary school program. Respondents believed aging

to be a nontraditional subject with inadequate materials

or resources and little teacher training. Based on the

information collected, Russell found that the limited

efforts to teach about aging were not systematic or

supported by school administrators.










Conversly, Hoot (1981) found that Texas elementary

teachers were more likely to teach about aging, but that

the instruction on aging lacked effectiveness due not

being systematically implemented in the curriculum

program. Speulda (1973) addressed the problem of

restricted resources in public schools in Dallas and

Oregon where children's attitudes changed in a positive

direction as a result of organized instruction. Speulda

recommended that appropriate instructional units need to

be developed as materials in this field have very limited

availability and are not generally useful at the

elementary or secondary school levels. Zigmarmi, Trusty,

and Wood (1978) point out the importance of teacher

inservice prior to any curricular implementation. Saxe

(1977) designed a manual to help teachers create programs

to teach about aging. The manual contains rationale for

aging education, recommendations for curriculum planning,

and sample teaching units.

Havighurst (1974) felt that children's first contact

with the aged is generally pleasant but a negative image

emerges as the child grows older and has less consistent

interaction with older persons. As the interaction

becomes more impersonal, elderly persons are stereotyped

as a group, becoming a social burden opposing change.

Ramoth (1975); Holtzman, Beck, and Coggan (1978); and










Immorlica (1980) identified an increasing need for

factual information about the aging process and that the

omission of this content area would allow erroneous myths

about the aged to continue.

Olejnik and LaRue (1981) found that adolescents'

attitudes toward persons over the age of 60 were improved

by two months of daily intergenerational contact. Sixth

through eighth graders expressed more positive

perceptions of the aged and fewer negative stereotypes

after the researchers set up unstructured daily contact

between the two age groups during the social setting of

lunchtime. To measure perceptions of the aged, items

from the Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (Tuckman

& Lorge, 1953a) were adapted for the study.

Comparing pre- and posttest results, both males and

females showed less negative and fewer stereotypic

perceptions about the elderly after the treatment

program. There was a significant change in the

percentage of affirmative responses, especially regarding

physical characteristics and reported feelings of

insecurity of older persons. Younger students changed

more following the contact period than did older students

in the study (Olejnik & LaRue, 1981).

Britton and Britton (1969) and Kastenbaum and Durkee

(1964) found that respondents were able to assess










chronological ages of adults based on physical

characteristics. Other research indicates that

chronological age is frequently associated with

stereotypic behavior expectations (Aaronson, 1966;

Altrocchi & Eisdorfer, 1962; Neugarten, Moore, & Lowe,

1965; Silverman, 1966; Traxler, 1971; Tuckman & Lorge,

1953b). Since physical age cues are consistently and

immediately on display, a stranger's perceived age may

affect any subsequent interaction, with possibly a

significant influence on the formation of personal

impressions.

Baggett (1981) considered the effect of interaction

in overcoming stereotypes. The importance of the

relationship between children and elderly was found to be

a factor in determining satisfaction of elderly

volunteers working with adolescents. The foster

grandparent program encourages such interaction as it is

basically a one child to one elderly person activity. It

involves children who are mentally retarded, multi-

handicapped, or institutionalized. Several studies have

cited the importance of the child-to-older person

relationship which challenges age related stereotypes

(Cardwell, 1972; Gray & Kasteller, 1970; Hoyer &

Kasteller, 1973; Saltz, 1971).










The Generational Dialogues Program film series was

used in a study by Davis (1981). The films involve

arousal of curiosity and the development of commonalities

between the generations, the exploration of the old age

experience, and the students' personal identification

with the process of aging. Using the CATE Semantic

Differential Test (Jantz et al., 1977), Davis had four

fifth grade classes as treatment subjects with film/tape

dialogues and one fifth grade class served as the control

group (having on the test). The children experiencing

the treatment (i.e., the films and intergenerational

dialogues) were reported to be more comfortable,

familiar, and curious about the elderly. These students

also increased in the reported percentages of old people

with whom they spoke and interacted.

A major study by Seefeldt et al. (1981) examined

the effectiveness of an aging curriculum in encouraging

positive attitudes toward the elderly and the aging

process. Two teachers at each grade level from

kindergarten through sixth grade were selected, with one

class randomly assigned to the control group and the

other to the treatment group. The program was

implemented over a period of six weeks and involved

direct lessons on the aging process and several lessons

which involved activities. Children's attitudes were










pre- and posttested using the CATE. Indication was that

positive attitudes were encouraged through the

curriculum, but it did not, however, significantly alter

children's negative attitudes about their own aging. The

authors suggest that the curriculum be redesigned and

implemented over a longer period of time to change these

negative perceptions.

The Counteracting Age Stereotyping with Young

Children Project attempted to intervene in the early

development of negative stereotypes toward aging

(Hauwiller & Jennings, 1981). This project took place in

selected sites across Montana. It allowed teachers

working with children in second, third and fourth grades

to develop methods of instruction integrating concepts of

aging into classroom materials. Another effort at

developing an aging curriculum was a structured program

called Children Learning About Aging. Project CLASP is

funded by ESEA Title IV and is committed to aging

education for fourth through eighth grades; based on the

need for all persons to know and understand aging and

better prepare for its arrival (Pini, 1981).

The Gerontology Research Institution Program (GRIP)

was developed and implemented in the Dallas Public School

System in 1970. Its goals included determining the

concepts held by elementary and secondary students about










aging, the effectiveness of instructional activities, and

the age/grade level significant to later attitudes

concerning aging (Speudla, 1973). Research on the GRIP

project indicates that children know very little

regarding the process and problems associated with aging.

Through learning activities, students' attitudes improved

in both acceptance of and interest in older persons.

Older citizens who served as resource persons also

reported their involvement in the project was enriching.

Winnetka Public Schools in Illinois developed the

Project for Academic Motivation: Older Adult Volunteers

in Schools (1968). The program was funded by a grant

which established school volunteer programs with

individuals over 60 years of age. The project began

as a research inquiry on academic underachievers and

extended beyond the original referral for motivating

underachievers because of the involvement of older

adults.

The Intergenerational Dialogues Project incorporates

a film series, Growing Up--Growing Older. This series

was developed through a grant from the Sears-Roebuck

Foundation. Fifteen-minute films are suggested to be

shown at the beginning of discussion periods. Aimed at

developing positive attitudes, this project was initially

part of research completed by Ethel Percy Andrus










Gerontology Center at the University of Southern

California (in cooperation with AARP). This was the

first in age-related projects developed for national use

(Briley & Jones, 1982).

"The best way to avoid senile dementia is to find

regular intellectual stimulation in the later years,"

stated Pfeiffer (in Downey, 1974, p. 36). Volunteering

offers older persons increased involvement, stimulation,

and enhanced opportunities for personal growth. Dewey

(1971) found that self-esteem and self-worth are

by-products of seniors being involved in volunteer

programs. In addition, studies involving the School

Volunteer program in Miami (Dade County Public Schools),

the Foster Grandparents Project, and Project SERVE, have

found that older volunteers gained by improved self-

concepts and increased life satisfaction (Edna McConnell

Clark Foundation, 1975; Gray & Kasteller, 1970; Sainer &

Zander, 1971).

Sainer and Zander (1971) determined that certain

conditions were important to seniors who volunteer.

Their work in the Older Volunteers Community Service

Project (SERVE: Serve and Enrich Retirement by Volunteer

Service) indicated that older persons are willing to

volunteer if the need was real and observable,

appropriate volunteer assignments were made,










transportation needs were met, and there was consistent

leadership available. Program reports indicated that in

working with the elderly, brief, one-time contacts do not

yield results in recruiting older volunteers.

Freund (1971) believes that school volunteer

projects help the young and old to close the generation

gap between the two age groups. The Dade County Schools

study (1975) found that both senior citizens' and

children's perceptions of each other changed through the

volunteer experience. Older volunteers reported that

they understood students much better as a result of their

volunteering and the students felt they understood the

old people through working with them in their roles as

senior school volunteers.

The work of volunteers is becoming established due

to the increasing number of healthy retired persons (Cull

& Hardy, 1974). Many volunteers are becoming involved

in school-related activities. "Because of the early

retirement, better health care, and education, the senior

citizen population is increasing yearly, and is a potent

resource with the capacity to meet the needs of our

schools" (Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, School

Volunteer Program, 1975, p. 26). Older citizens want to

share their talents if they are needed and valued.

Senior volunteers can provide vital tasks toward the










schools'effectiveness and add an extra dimension to

children's lives by sharing knowledge, experience, and

talents. "Through the senior citizens' interaction with

the youth a greater understanding and respect

between generations will evolve" (Edna McConnell Clark

Foundation, School Volunteer Program, 1975 p. 28).

Freund (1971) stated that, "one major change taking place

in education is the increasing use of supportive

personnel in schools" (p.205).

Seltzer and Atchley (1971) felt stereotypes

concerning old people are learned early in life, are

relatively enduring, and have consequences for both

behaviors toward old people and the development of one's

self-concept as an old person. Stereotyping of senior

citizens has been shown to exist among young children and

contact with senior volunteers may be a way of lessening

the stereotyping. Lane (1964) has suggested that contact

between senior citizens and school students is important,

in fact, "contact with well-adjusted oldsters who view

their later years as positive will aid the learner in

modifying his concept of older persons as cranky, ill-

tempered, and 'sour on life'" (p. 230).

Given the chance to interact with older persons in an

educational setting, children will have better










information to deal with the stereotypes society projects

toward aging and the elderly (Seefeldt et al., 1977).

Off Our Rocker (an intergenerational volunteer

program) is a project which gives older individuals the

opportunity to be a "special friend" to elementary school

children. The project strives to utilize older persons

as an intergenerational volunteer; to challenge

stereotypes about older persons and fulfill older

persons' needs for stimulation. Baggett (1981)

considered kindergarten through third grade students who

were selected on the basis of their need for special one-

to-one adult attention given through the Off Our Rocker

project. The CATE was used to measure attitude change

(only the first three sections were administered). There

was a significant decrease found in negative responses to

active things done with older people and a significant

increase in positive attitudes toward the concept of

"old."

The authors found an unexpected change in increased

positive attitudes toward the aged shown by the control

group and suggested it was due to the situation, the

project's design, and the implementation of the CATE

(creating study limitations). Further, Baggett (1981)

believes that informal interactions alone may not

contribute to desired results in attitude change. The










volunteers ended up being tutors in the class and the

program had aimed for a broader concept with the older

persons being active in the classroom rather than the

traditional passive assistant. Baggett found that

teachers were fearful that the elderly might become ill

or possibly die in the classroom. He believed a program

for sensitizing teachers to the potential value of older

volunteers would reduce their fears.

A study by Lambert, Guberman, & Morris (1964) and

data collected by Worthington (1973) found that

community service agencies were reluctant to use aged

persons as volunteers. Lambert et al. found that there

are specific obstacles in using seniors as volunteers.

One major difficulty is the cultural stereotype of the

older person. Worthington (1973) suggested that an

orientation or training program be completed for the

older volunteers with additional efforts directed toward

educating agencies on using the potential of older

adults. Sainer and Zander (1971), in employing senior

citizens as volunteers for Project SERVE, used

Worthington's recommendations for orientation sessions

and overcame the hesitation in community agencies' use of

senior volunteers.

The studies of Rosenblatt (1966), Lambert et al.

(1964), and Worthington (1973), support the finding that










older persons are willing to volunteer, but they are

selective in the work they do. Older persons do not

volunteer just to keep busy. Lambert et al. identified

the factors of transportation, payment, times, job

preferences, and emotional support as being influential

for older persons volunteering in the community. All

three studies stress the older persons' desires to

volunteer if the jobs made them feel useful. Rosenblatt

(1966) found that the older individual does not find just

any job worthwhile.

Summary

The literature reviewed has shown that educational

programs featuring intergenerational contact and programs

using prepared materials on aging can increase young

people's knowledge and positive attitudes regarding aging

and the elderly. There has been a lack of research,

however, which provides a direct comparison of these two

approaches or a comparison of either of these approaches

with a combination of intergenerational contact and a

curriculum on aging in relation to children. Furthermore,

there have been few documented efforts to combine

learning about aging with specific academic skills. This

combination could enhance the adoption of curricula on

aging by schools. The present study was designed to










develop and test the effectiveness of such an integrated

curriculum.

This study was designed to determine whether greater

change in attitudes toward the elderly would be effected

by (1) a curriculum on aging taught by an older

volunteer, (2) an older volunteer teaching a classroom

subject such as spelling, or (3) a curriculum on aging

taught by a classroom teacher. A control group with no

special instruction was also used.

Several instruments assessing attitudes toward old

people were also reviewed here. A modified version of

the Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (Tuckman &

Lorge, 1953a) developed in a study by Olejnik and LaRue

(1981) was utilized. This questionnaire was chosen

because it had been widely used in previous research.

The study by Olejnik and LaRue (1981) simplified the

wording to facilitate comprehension by young subjects. A

locally developed knowledge survey and attitude test was

also utilized.












CHAPTER III
METHODS AND PROCEDURES

The perpetuation of negative attitudes toward old

people is a serious problem that affects aged persons and

the young. This study attempted to assess the

effectiveness of involving an old person in a teaching

capacity in the elementary classroom to improve

children's attitudes toward aging and the aged. Two

experimental conditions were considered which involved

older persons teaching either a curriculum unit on aging

or teaching spelling. In a third treatment condition,

instruction on the aging unit was provided by the regular

classroom teacher. A fourth group of students was used

for comparison as the control group.

The methodology for the study is presented in

this chapter. It includes a description of the

curriculum unit on aging and spelling lesson activities

that were used. In addition, the subjects are described,

as well as the hypotheses, research design, instruments,

procedures, and analyses of data.


The Curriculum Unit on Aging

The curriculum unit on aging consisted of eight

lessons, each lasting approximately 30 to 45 minutes










each was developed for this study. After reviewing

several educational programs on aging, the experimenter

selected several topics upon which to build the unit on

aging for this study. Each lesson also involved

developing student skills as required for fourth grade

students according to the 1983 Marion County Basic Skills

Continuum and the Florida State Student Assessment

testing program. Included were two activities in

language arts, two in mathematics/computations, two in

social science-related activities, one in health/science,

and one involving a film which focused on relationships

between children and older persons (of an affective

nature).

Each lesson consisted of teacher directions, student

worksheet answer key, and student worksheets (see

Appendix A for each lesson). Students received copies of

the worksheets during class sessions under the direction

of either the RSVP volunteer teacher or the regular

classroom teacher and discussions focused on the assigned

topic. The lessons were conducted twice weekly at

regularly scheduled times. Completed materials were

collected from the students at the end of each class

session. During the final session, "To Find a Friend" (a

film provided through the Growing Up-Growing Older










program) was shown and students were allowed free

discussion as well as completing a worksheet.


Spelling Lesson Activities

Eight spelling lesson activities, which involved the

regularly assigned spelling words for the four weeks of

the project, were designed by the experimenter (see

Appendix B for sample lessons). Three separate sets of

spelling activities were developed for the three

classrooms assigned to this treatment condition. The

activities used were the same, but spelling words had to

be adjusted within each to make it appropriate for the

particular classroom. Each spelling activity lasted

approximately 30 to 45 minutes and was conducted by the

RSVP volunteer teacher. Each student received a

worksheet for each of the eight lessons which was

completed during the class periods.


Design of Study

A total of 381 fourth grade students from 12

fourth grade classrooms at three elementary schools in

Marion County, Florida, were included in this study. The

three elementary schools were selected on the basis of

the similarities in school populations, the willingness

of school personnel to assist in the study, and the










availability of four fourth grade class groups. Each

classroom group was heterogeneous with respect to the

variables of sex, race, and achievement level. The three

schools had similar student populations in regard to size

of school, racial make-up, socioeconomic status of

students, and comparable state and national test scores.

From each of the three schools, three classes were

selected for participation in the treatment conditions.

Intact classes were randomly assigned to treatments.

There were three schools with four classrooms in each.

The assignment of classrooms to treatments was balanced

so that each treatment group contained three classrooms,

one from each school as shown in Table 3-1.

Table 3-1

Number Of Students In Each Class And Treatment Condition



Trt Level 1 2 3 4 (Ctrl)


Class C C C C C C0 C3 C7 C7 C C C12


n 30 33 29 29 33 32 30 36 30 33 34 32




Test data were available on 381 students with attrition

of 21 subjects due to insufficient subject identification










on materials, absences (three or more) during treatment

activities and/or testing procedures, and withdrawal from

the school center. The fourth grade level was selected

due to its relationship to the third and fifth grade

Florida State Student Assessment Tests (having specific

skills sequenced into the fourth grade program) and the

Marion County Basic Skills Continuum (which identifies

basic skills taught in the fourth grade). These two

skill programs were combined in the aging curriculum unit

so students would review and/or be exposed to skills

which fourth grade classroom teachers are responsible to

teach. The experimenter also had teaching experience at

this grade level and was familiar with student needs and

learning levels. The effort to combine academic skill

work with aging information was to encourage the adoption

of aging education as an integral part of the curriculum.

The sample of 381 fourth graders serving as subjects

consisted of 52% female, 48% male, 92% white, 6% black,

1% Hispanic, and 1% Asian. Students in the sample ranged

from 9 to 11 years of age with the mean age of 9.6 years.

The class groups were randomly assigned to one of

three treatment and one control groups in each of the

three schools.










Treatment Group 1 The students received direct

instruction on aging through the prepared curriculum unit

on aging taught by an RSVP volunteer teacher.

Treatment Group 2 The students received

instruction on spelling through prepared spelling lesson

activities by a RSVP volunteer teacher.

Treatment Group 3 The students received direct

instruction on aging through the prepared curriculum unit

on aging taught by the regular classroom teacher.

Control Group 4 The students served as the control

group and received only the pre- and posttesting.


Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were tested to address

the research questions listed in Chapter 1. The .05

level of significance was used as the minimum for

rejection of each null hypothesis.

HO 1 : There will be no significant difference

among the adjusted posttest means of the four

groups on the Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire.

HO2 : There will be no significant difference

among the adjusted posttest means of the four

groups on the knowledge survey.










HO 3 : There will be no significant difference

among the adjusted posttest means of the four

groups on the locally developed attitude

test.

In using the analysis of covariance, the assumption

is made that there is no interaction between covariate

and treatment (i.e., between pretest and treatment).

Therefore in each analysis, an additional hypothesis

(homogeneity of regression line slopes) was tested for

the four groups.


Research Design

The research design used in this study was a quasi-

experimental-control group pretest-posttest design (Ary,

Jacobs, & Razavieh, 1979). The experimenter worked with

intact classes as it was not possible to use

randomization procedures with individual students. Of

those classes used in the study, each was randomly

assigned to experimental and control conditions through

the use of a table of random numbers.


Instruments

Three separate measures were used in this study. All

pre- and posttesting was done in the classrooms by the

regular classroom teachers. The three instruments in the










pre-test condition were administered one week prior to

the initiation of treatments and one week following the

treatment condition the postesting was completed. Each

assessment measure was read by the teacher using specific

instructions and reading each item aloud.

A modified version of the Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire (Tuckman & Lorge, 1953a) developed through

a study by Olejnik and LaRue (1981) was utilized. To

measure perceptions of the aged, a list of 36 statements

were read to the students. Subjects were asked to

respond to items as "true" or "false" according to

whether they agreed with the statement (or not) as

related to old people. This questionnaire was chosen

because it has been widely used in previous research and

because the stimulus-group validity of the instrument had

been previously established (Axelrod & Eisodrofer, 1961).

In the study by Olejnik and LaRue (1981), the wording of

several items was simplified to facilitate comprehension

by young subjects (see Appendix C). The measure, referred

to as the TL, was administered as a pre- and posttest

for all experimental and control groups.

A knowledge survey was developed by the experimenter

for use in this study. The survey consists of 22

multiple choice items and is based on concepts presented










in the curriculum unit. The knowledge survey examines

what aging information the students' understood following

the curriculum unit on aging (see Appendix D). The

measure, referred to as KS, was administered as a pre-

and posttest to all experimental and control groups.

The third measure was a 14 item list of

statements concerning attitudes toward old people and

aging which was added to the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old

People Questionnaire. These statements were developed by

the experimenter to assess students' endorsement of

personal interactions with people over 60 years old and

to further examine the students' attitudes toward old

people (see Appendix C, items 37-50). The statements,

being part of the TL, were administered to all

experimental and control groups as a pre- and posttest

measure and is referred to as the AT.


Experimental Procedures

This study began in February of 1984. It encompassed

10 weeks and ended in April of 1984. After identifying

the four classes in each of the three schools, classes

were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups

and pretested, using the modified Old People

Questionnaire, the knowledge survey, and the second

attitude test.










A pilot study had been conducted in September of

1983. The pilot study allowed the experimenter to

administer all tests and curriculum unit on aging

activities to determine the appropriateness of materials,

timing of activities, effectiveness of instructions, and

to work with fourth grade students directly. Data from

this pilot study were used to identify areas needing

minor modifications of directions and/or specific

activities within the aging curriculum unit. It was also

used in refining teacher instructions.

In January of 1984, school administrators were

contacted by mail requesting permission to meet with them

concerning the project. Once administrative approval was

obtained, fourth grade teachers whose classrooms were

involved in the study met with the experimenter to

explain the study's general activities. In assigning

classrooms for specific treatment groups, school

administrative personnel were given the opportunity to

make recommendations as to the appropriateness of the

random selection of treatment groups. Upon assignment of

a particular treatment, each teacher was given materials

to review. The teachers teaching the unit on aging

met weekly to make recommendations concerning completed

activities and to prepare for the next sessions. Out of










the 12 fourth grade teachers involved in the study,

two were male. One male was assigned to treatment two

and one to the control group.

Each teacher who participated in the study received

"county inservice points" which accumulate toward teacher

certificate renewal. Point accumulation depended on

attendance at all training sessions, the completion of

study questionnaires and activities (such as assisting

volunteers, written evaluations of study units and total

study, and collection of data concerning student comments

and responses). Teachers were awarded varying point

totals (based on the extent of their participation) in

the Marion County Schools inservice component for use of

paraprofessionals.

Volunteers were recruited through the Ocala, Florida

office of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Upon

contacting the RSVP office and making a request for six

volunteers, a mailout asking for interested persons was

issued. There were no stipulations as to sex, age, race,

or experience. Of the 12 indiviudals who responded,

telephone contact was made to answer general questions

regarding the study. Six female volunteers from (60 to

78 years of age) were invited to participate in the study

after interviewing those individuals who responded to the










announcement for service openings. The six selected for

the study were chosen based on interest, availability at

specific times during the day and week, and available

transportation. All six had grandchildren, were at least

high school graduates, had been previously employed (two

were still employed part-time), and four had been

involved in education during their employment

experiences.

The volunteers had three group sessions (involving

all six volunteers), the first of which was a general

information session, the second a training meeting

concerning actual classroom activities, and the third an

evaluation session after the classroom sessions were

completed. During the first meeting, the overall study

was reviewed and specific assignments were given as to

school and treatment group. As much as possible,

assignments were made to match the volunteers' schedules,

transportation needs, and instructional interests.

Questionnaires concerning background information were

also completed during this first session. The second

meeting related to specific duties with their assigned

experimental group. Volunteers also met with the

experimenter before each classroom presentation to review

the class lesson (spelling and aging) to be sure that










materials were understood and all questions regarding the

presentation were answered. The final meeting reviewed

the project and discussion was held on the volunteers'

reactions to assignments, lessons, students, and the

overall study.

Each of the three schools in the project had school

volunteer programs in operation and were organized to

accept the RSVP volunteers on campus. The state of

Florida encourages public schools to utilize volunteers

and gives statewide recognition to those schools having

exemplary volunteer activities. The volunteers who

participated in this study were counted as part of the

elementary schools' volunteer programs (one of the

elementary schools received a state award for the program

and the study volunteers were part of the individual

school's project). All volunteers reported being well

received and treated with courtesy and respect by

students and staff alike.

One week prior to the beginning of the treatment

sessions, the three test measures were administered by

the classroom teachers to all groups. The treatment

condition lasted for the next four weeks, and one week

following the end of the treatments, the three test










measures were again administered by the regular classroom

teachers to all groups.

Analyses

Based on its usefulness for controlling initial

random differences between levels of experimental groups,

the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was selected to

analyze the data collected. The analysis of covariance

controls for initial random differences among groups on

the pretest and also reduces within-group variance on the

posttest due to pretest differences. In this way it

provides for a more powerful analysis of treatment

effects.

Before applying ANCOVA, the homogeneity of

regression slopes (no interaction between pretest and

treatment) was tested. Other conditions of normality,

independence, and equality of error variance were also

assumed, but ANCOVA is considered to be fairly robust

against slight violation of the latter three assumptions.












CHAPTER IV
RESULTS OF THE STUDY

This study was an attempt to identify the

effectiveness of intervention strategies in changing

fourth grade elementary students' attitudes toward old

people. The three strategies investigated include an old

person teaching a curriculum unit on aging, an old person

teaching a regular spelling lesson, and the regular

classroom teacher teaching a curriculum unit on aging.

Two attitude tests were used to examine students'

attitudes and one knowledge test was used to identify

concepts students learned through the curriculum unit on

aging.

Students in the three experimental and one control

groups were pre- and posttested using the modified

version of the 1953 Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire (Olenjik & LaRue, 1981) and the two locally

developed instruments, the 14-item attitude test and the

knowledge survey. The knowledge survey was based on the

concepts presented in the aging curriculum unit.

Students in the four fourth grades at the three

elementary schools were randomly assigned to the

experimental treatments. Students assigned to Group 1

received instruction from an RSVP volunteer teacher in










the curriculum unit on aging; students in Group 2

received instruction on regularly assigned spelling

lessons from an RSVP volunteer teacher; students in Group

3 received instruction in the curriculum unit on aging by

the regular classroom teacher; and students in Group 4

served as the control group and received only pre- and

posttesting.

Pre- and posttest data from the three measures used

in the study were collected for 381 students. An

analysis of covariance was used to test each of the null

hypotheses at the .05 level. Pretest scores were used as

covariates. Independent variables were treatment and

classroom nested within treatment. Post hoc pairwise

comparisons of groups means were completed where a

significant treatment effect was found.


Descriptive Statistics

Table 4-1 presents the means and standard

deviations for the three experimental and single control

groups on the pre- and posttest measures. Specifically,

the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (TL)

and the two locally developed tests, the knowledge survey

(KS) and the 14-item test on attitudes toward aging and

the aged (AT). The Kuder-Richardson formula 21 was used

as the reliability estimation procedure for each of the
















Table 4-1

Pre- And Posttest Means And Standard Deviations
By Treatment Group And Test Administered



Treatments Control

1 2 3 4
(n=92) (n=94) (n=96) (n=99)

Test Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post



TL X 13.44 16.26 10.57 15.74 14.16 14.11 14.06 13.21
sd 6.59 7.62 7.09 7.70 6.50 8.93 6.18 7.07



KS X 14.94 16.24 13.76 15.09 14.16 15.07 14.06 14.01
sd 4.20 5.97 6.20 5.03 5.05 7.03 5.90 5.83



AT X 11.45 12.25 9.68 11.36 11.09 10.95 11.34 11.09
sd 4.48 5.42 5.01 4.52 4.29 5.79 4.46 4.86










three test measures. The reliability coefficients, which

were considered adequate for this study, are provided in

Table 4-2.

Table 4-3 presents the adjusted means and standard

error of the mean for the three experimental and single

control groups on the posttest measures. These scores

are for the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire (TL), the knowledge survey (KS) and the

attitude test (AT).


Effects of Instructional Strategies

Three separate analyses of covariance were performed

using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) general

linear models procedure on the Northeast Regional Data

Center computer system at the University of Florida. One

model was completed for the modified 1953 Tuckman-Lorge

Old People Questionnaire (TL), the second for the

knowledge survey (KS), and the third for the experimenter

designed attitude test (AT).

The first analysis was for the modified version of

the Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (TL). The TL

was administered to classrooms in the experimental groups

and the control group. For the analysis of covariance,

pretest scores on the TL were used as the covariate and

















Table 4-2

Reliability Estimates Computed By
The Kuder-Richardson Formula 21


Treatments Control

1 2 3 4

Test Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post Pre Post



TL .82 .86 .87 .81 .81 .91 .77 .89


KS .76 .92 .93 .84 .83 .94 .88 .88


AT .96 .99 .94 .96 .93 .99 .95 .96
















Table 4-3


Adjusted Posttest Means And Standard Error Of
The Mean By Treatment Group And Instrument
Administered


Treatments Control
1 2 3 4
Tests (n=92) (n=94) (n=96) (n=99)



TL X 15.83 17.03 13.79 12.83
sem .78 .74 .79 .84



KS X 15.95 14.95 15.03 13.97
sem .64 .64 .59 .58


AT X 12.06 12.18 10.78 10.98
sem .53 .52 .49 .49










posttest scores were used as the dependent variable. The

first hypothesis was of main interest.

HO 1 : There will be no significant difference among

the adjusted posttest means of the four

groups on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old

People Questionnaire (TL).

As shown in the upper panel of Table 4-4, the

interaction between subjects' initial attitudes toward

old people determined by pretest scores, and the

treatment had no significant effect on posttest scores

(F=.48 with p > .70 at 3 and 8 degrees of freedom).

Because of the nesting of classes within treatments, the

mean square (MS) for the interaction of pretest with

classes within treatments, TC*CL(TRT), was used as the

error term in constructing the F statistic. This result

indicates that the assumption of homogeneity in slopes,

required for the use of ANCOVA, was met.

The ANCOVA for the reduced model was utilized for

further analysis. As shown in the lower panel of

Table 4-4, the F test for the covariate remained

significant at p > .0001 and a significant treatment

effect was found at p > .03. The mean square for the

nested class-within-treatment factor served as the error
















Table 4-4


Results For Modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire (TL)


Source DF SS F PR > F



TLPRE 1 5302.95 119.44 .0001
TRT 3 199.90 1.50 .2126
CS(TRT) 8 253.59 .71 .6793
TLPRE*TRT 3 103.21 .48 .7045
TL*CS(TRT) 8 572.12 1.61 .1202
ERROR 357 15850.71




TLPRE 1 5736.75 127.61 .0001
TRT 3 903.61 4.52 .0390
CS(TRT) 8 532.74 1.48 .1623
ERROR 368 16544.07










term in testing for a treatment effect. There was no

significant effect due to classes within treatments.

The post hoc follow up of pairwise comparisons of

adjusted posttest means (LS means) is displayed in

Table 4-5. There was a significant difference found

between treatment group 2 and control group 4 with

F(1,2)= 14.12, p > .01.

HO 2: There will be no significant difference among

the adjusted posttest means of the four

groups on the Knowledge Survey (KS).

The second model included the knowledge survey

pretest scores as the covariate and the knowledge survey

posttest scores as the dependent variable. The upper

panel of Table 4-6 displays the results of testing for

the effect of interaction between student knowledge about

aging, as determined by pretest scores, and treatment on

posttest scores. The KS pretest treatment interaction

was not significant (F = 1.07 with p > .41 at 3 and 8

degrees of freedom) supporting the assumption of

homogeneity of slopes.

The ANCOVA for the reduced model revealed no

significant effect of the treatment on posttest scores.

There remained a significant covariate effect, but again

the class-within treatment effect was not significant.
















Table 4-5
LS Means And Differences* Between Pairs Of
LS Means For The Groups


Treatments Control
Treatment LS Means 1 2 3 4
(Std.Err.)



1 15.68 -1.13 1.67 2.91
.78

2 16.81 2.80 4.04**
.74

3 14.01 1.24
.70

4 12.77
.69


** Significant at .05 level


* Difference was computed by row columns
















Table 4-6


Results For The Knowledge Survey (KS)


Source DF SS F PR > F



KSPRE 1 781.21 23.48 .0001
TRT 3 77.15 .77 .5129
CS(TRT) 8 355.92 1.34 .2238
KSPRE*TRT 3 140.27 1.07 .4162
KSPRE*CS(TRT) 8 351.04 1.32 .2327
ERROR 357 11880.07




KSPRE 1 848.53 25.19 .0001
TRT 3 188.99 1.95 .1999
CS(TRT) 8 258.20 .96 .4686
ERROR 368 12396.10










HO 3 : There will be no significant difference among

the adjusted posttest means of the four

groups on the locally developed Attitude Test

(AT).

The third model of analysis was for the locally

developed attitude test (AT). The AT was administered to

classrooms in the three treatment groups and the single

control group. Pretest scores on the AT were used as the

covariate, AT posttest scores were used as the dependent

variable. As displayed in the upper panel of Table 4-7,

a significant interaction between pretest level and

treatment was found with F = 5.38, p > .02 with 3 and 8

degrees of freedom, indicating that the assumption of

homogeneity of slopes was violated. Therefore, a

standard analysis for ANCOVA on AT scores could not be

done, and HO 3 could not be tested.

To illustrate the nature of the significant

interaction of treatment and pretest, Figure 4-1 displays

four lines depicting the general relationship between

pretest and posttest for each of the four treatment

groups. Strictly speaking, these are only approximations

of the regression lines, as the slope for each line was

calulated by averaging the slopes of the three separate

class-within-treatment regression lines and the





















Table 4-7

Results For The Attitude Test (AT)


Source DF SS F PR > F



ATPRE 1 1369.61 59.56 .0001
TRT 3 185.89 2.69 .0451
CS(TRT) 8 120.65 .66 .7303
ATPRE*TRT 3 162.70 5.38 .0254
ATPRE*CS(TRT) 8 80.66 .44 .8976
ERROR 357 8209.58




















14


13


I 12


W 11
C.
I--

10


9



8 9 10 11 12 13 14

AT Pretest


Figure 4- 1. Effect Of Treatment On Fourth Grade
Examinees At Different Levels Of
Pretest Scores










intercepts were calculated in similar fashion (see

Table 4-8). This approach was chosen for clarity after

examining the 12 individual regression lines.


Summary

The effectiveness of three different teaching

strategies, two of which involved older persons in

teaching about aging or teaching spelling and one which

involved the regular classroom teacher teaching about

aging, in fourth grade classrooms to improve children's

attitudes toward old people was investigated. Three

separate treatment conditions were examined through the

use of three testing instruments. Test scores were

analyzed using the analysis of covariance. According to

this analysis, there were significant differences among

the adjusted posttest means of the four groups on the

modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire. Post hoc

analyses indicated a significant difference between

attitudes of the control group and the group taught

spelling by the older volunteer. There was no

significant difference among adjusted posttest means on

the locally developed knowledge survey. A pretest by

treatment interaction occurred for the locally developed

attitude test measure.
















Table 4-8

Slopes And Intercepts For Regression Of Posttest
On Prestest Score For Each Class-Within-Treatment


Treatment Group Class Slope Intercept


9.43

9.58

8.59

5.38

8.15

6.75

2.63

1.49

6.68

5.66

7.13

9.57


.22

.22

.35

.55

.39

.54

.71

.83

.43

.37

.36

.24












CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS,
RECOMMENDATIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS


Summary

This study examined the effectiveness of

intervention strategies in changing fourth grade

elementary students' attitudes toward old people. The

three strategies investigated included an old person

teaching a curriculum unit on aging, an old person

teaching a regular spelling lesson, and the regular

classroom teacher teaching a curriculum unit on aging.

The three schools involved in the study were part of the

Marion County Public School System in Ocala, Florida. Of

the 12 classrooms participating in the study, one class

from each school was randomly assigned to one of the

three treatment groups or to the control group.

The total study lasted for eight weeks. During the

first week, the students in the experimental and control

groups were pretested using a modified version of the

1953 Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (first used

by Olejnik and LaRue in 1981) and a locally developed

knowledge survey and attitude test. During weeks three

through six, students in the experimental groups

participated in one of the three treatment sessions.










Treatment 1 consisted of an RSVP volunteer teacher

teaching a curriculum unit on aging which lasted for four

weeks. Treatment 2 involved an RSVP volunteer teacher

teaching the regular spelling lessons for a period of

four weeks. Treatment 3 consisted of the regular

classroom teacher teaching a curriculum unit on aging

during the four week period. During week eight, students

assigned to both the experimental and control groups were

posttested utilizing the three test measures (the same as

protests).

The data collected through the three instruments

were examined using an analysis of covariance to analyze

the results of each test. Pretest scores served as

covariates, with independent variables being treatment

and classroom nested within treatment.

Three null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level

of significance. The first null hypothesis to be

examined focused on the determining if there were

differences among the adjusted postest means of the four

groups on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire. The ANCOVA revealed a significant

treatment effect. Post hoc pairwise comparisons of the

adjusted posttest means showed a significant difference

between treatment group 2 and control group 4. Overall,










the pairwise comparisons indicated that there were no

significant differences due to what the older persons

taught (i.e., the unit on aging or spelling) or between

the older persons and the regular teacher. There was a

significant difference between the older person teaching

spelling (treatment 2) and the control group. Based on

the ANCOVA, the null hypothesis related to the Tuckman-

Lorge Old People Questionnaire was rejected.

The second null hypothesis concerned whether there

were significant differences among the adjusted posttest

means of the four groups on the locally developed

knowledge test. The ANCOVA did not show a significant

treatment effect, therefore the null hypothesis was

retained.

The third null hypothesis was that there would be no

significant difference among the adjusted posttest means

of the four groups on the locally developed Attitude

Test. The ANCOVA procedure showed a significant

interaction between pretest level and treatment. Because

of the violation of homogeneity-of-slopes assumption, the

standard ANCOVA could not be used, and the hypothesis

could not be tested.

Regression lines for the treatment groups were

examined to clarify the interaction effects between










treatments and pretest scores. While interpretations are

based on visual inspection of data and not on tests of

statistical significance, the lines in Figure 4-1 show

that the posttest scores were generally higher for

treatment groups 1 and 2 (both taught by older persons)

than for groups 3 and 4 (taught by the regular teacher

and the control group). Moreover, differential effects

were observed depending on the student's initial attitude

twoard old people. Considering those students who

initially had low atttiudes, the order of predicted

posttest scores was Y > Y > Y > Y' where Y
1 2 4 3
indicates the predicted posttest score and the subscript

indicates the treatment group. If an individual

initially had positive attitudes as measured by a high

attitude pre-test score, the order of predicted posttest

scores was Y' > Y > Y > Y'
2 1 3 4
It is interesting to note that for treatment

groups 1 and 2, students with lower pretest scores

(e.g., pretest scores less than 10) had higher posttest

scores if taught about aging by an older person than if

taught spelling by an old person. In contrast, students

with higher pretest scores (e.g., above 11) had more

positive posttest scores if taught spelling by older

person than when taught about aging by an old person.










Conclusions

Based on examining the pre- and posttest mean

scores, one general conclusion from this study is that

the experimental treatments have a positive effect on

students' attitudes toward aging as measured by the

modified version of the 1953 Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire. A similar trend was observed on the

locally developed attitude test, but interpretation of

this effect was complicated by the presence of an

interaction between students' initial attitudes and

treatment.

In considering pairwise comparisons related to the

first null hypothesis, the students receiving spelling

instruction by an older person had significantly higher

attitude scores on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People

Questionnaire than the control group. There was an

observed difference, though not at the level of

significance, between treatments utilizing the older

person teaching the unit on aging as compared to the

control group. Another observed difference was between

the older person teaching spelling as compared to the

regular classroom teacher teaching the unit on aging.

The one significant contrast and the consistent trend in

the other comparisons of means may indicate that what the










older person taught is not as important as having an

older person in the classroom to positively influence

students' attitudes.


Limitations

The following limitations of this research study

were recognized:

1. The population included in this study could have

been affected by the schools having an on-going volunteer

program in which individual volunteers serve as "teacher

helpers." Students being exposed to older people who were

working in this role may have affected treatment results.

2. The control group could have been affected by

the pre- and posttesting as well as sharing information

with other students about other treatment group

activities that were occurring in their school. Further,

the protesting could have sensitized students to the

content of the treatment. The results might not be found

had the students not been pretested.

3. The experimental results may have been

influenced by the treatment activities being unusual as

compared to the regularly scheduled classroom routines.

Positive attitudes might have been found due to the

students' reactions to activities involved in the










treatments being more interesting that the usual

classroom schedule.

4. The 1953 Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire

is not a strictly standardized measure and a modified

version of the questionnaire was used for this study.

However, it was felt that the previous efforts to insure

its validity were sufficient for the purposes of this

activity.

5. The two instruments, the knowledge survey and

the attitude test, which were designed by the

experimenter, are not standardized measures and were

developed solely for this study.


Recommendations

The following recommendations are made based on the

results of this investigation:

1. Many students in elementary school could benefit

from learning about aging while reinforcing academic

skills simultaneously. With materials on aging which

identify what academic skills are being taught, more

schools and teachers could be motivated to incorporate

curriculum on aging into their scheduled class time.

Students could benefit by learning through application on

age-related topics and enhance their academic skill

development.











2. In teaching on aging, the curriculum program

should be extended in length. The brievity involved in

presenting the curriculum unit in this study should not

be applied to a fully implemented program to teach about

aging and the aged.

3. Implementing instruction on aging and involving

older persons should occur at primary grade levels,

beginning in kindergarten. In this way, attitudes toward

aging and the aged would be more accurate, flexible, and

accepting.

4. Continued research is needed to develop tests

to assess children's attitudes toward aging and old

people. Finely calibrated instruments which measure

changes in attitudes, are specifically for use with

children, and provide ease in test administration will

be important for future study.

5. Future research should consider including

qualitative information with the quantitative analysis to

enhance the analyses used and supplement data

collections.

6. Longitudinal studies are needed in order to

assess lasting changes in attitudes. Strategies for

improving children's attitudes toward aging and old










people should be studied in relation to their

effectiveness over time.

7. A more diverse group of students might yield

different results in incorporating other recommendations.

The students in the three schools were not representative

of the total population and by extending the number and

types of students involved in the program, there might

have been variation in the results obtained.

8. Older persons are stimulated by the use of their

skills and experience. The RSVP volunteers were very

dependable and involved in their responsibilities. Each

enjoyed working with the children and reported favorable

responses. Teachers were given some time to observe

students during the time the older volunteers were

working with the classroom groups. Through the use of

older volunteers in the school setting, students,

teachers, and older persons receive benefits from

interacting with one another. The volunteers give of

their time freely and have many talents to offer the

schools.

9. Involving older persons in the schools will

increase the possibilities of intergenerational contact

and communication while extending the number of old

persons to whom the children are exposed.










10. When using older volunteers, in-service programs

are vital to the success of the project. The older

volunteers in this study were anxious to know their exact

responsibilities and what was expected. The follow up

activities and regular support was very important to each

individual.

11. Older persons should be utilized in a variety

of levels within the schools. This could include in

classrooms, the school office, the library, and other

appropriate facilities or programs at schools. To have the

older volunteers working only as a teacher's helper

restricts their role and the perceptions of both students

and school staff regarding the elderly.


Implications for Research and Practice

Longitudinal studies would be important and an

appropriate next step in examining children's attitudes

about aging and old people. With the appropriate

instrumentation, classroom cohorts within schools could

be followed in order to identify developmental patterns

of aging attitudes and to determine effective strategies

which influence children's attitude development regarding

aging and the aged.

Study findings and the curriculum and instruments

developed for this study have useful implications for











educational practice. The curriculum and instruments,

which appear reliable, should be used in other settings

and may have usefulness for other research efforts. The

findings indicate that older persons may make a positive

contribution to the elementary school curriculum when the

goal is to affect attitudes toward aging. Furthermore,

it does not seem especially beneficial to restrict the

older volunteer to only teaching about aging. Schools

should encourage interaction between older persons and

children through involving old people in school volunteer

programs, special projects such as this study, and as

informational resources to teach on particular topics,

including academic subjects.

The pretest treatment interactions detected for the

third instrument in this study is a phenomenon that would

also merit future investigation. It would be interesting

to determine if this pattern of interactions occurs in

future studies using other samples of students, teachers,

and older volunteers.











APPENDIX A

A SAMPLE FROM THE CURRICULUM UNIT ON AGING


(A complete curriculum unit on aging is available for a
nominal charge through the researcher. Write Post Office
Box 373 Ocala, FL 32678 to order a copy of the
materials.)












THE EFFECT OF UTILIZING OLDER PERSONS

IN THE CLASSROOM UPON STUDENTS' ATTITUDES

TOWARD AGING


















South Ocala Wards Highlands Wyomina Park

Elementary Schools













RATIONALE


We all know something about aging, but often what we
"know" is based on myths and stereotypes. These myths
that concern aging are pervasive throughout our culture
and are reinforced through our language, humor, and the
media. Because of this, our society looks upon aging
from a very negative view and expects those who are aged
to behave according to stereotypes that we hold as
truths. In our society, we also tend to separate people
by age groups, particularly the young from the old, in
housing, work, recreation, and other areas. The lack of
contact between young and old strengthens and perpetuates
these misrepresentations of aging. As a result of the
socialization process, most Americans, especially the
young, have false information and negative attitudes
concerning older persons.

Because the children now being educated in our
schools will be the most longevous generation of
Americans so far, it would be an injustice to let these
attitudes go unchallenged. Individuals can influence how
they will grow older and to let students continue with
the perception that it is inevitably bad to grow old is
to write off their futures for both themselves and our
society.

This experimental project is designed to dispute
some of the prevailing myths about growing old, to
provide students with more complete information and to
assist in the development of more positive attitudes
about aging and older persons. The unit will investigate
the students' attitudes about aging by questionnaires and
activities which assess their knowledge on particular
topics relating to aging. The effect of using older
volunteers and classroom teachers in teaching about aging
will also be explored. A curriculum package has been
formulated for this project and will be used for
instructional purposes in the designated classrooms.
Ultimately, it is hoped that students will begin to
recognize older people as individuals who have their own
ideas, values, and attitudes, many of which are similar
to those of the students themselves.











DIRECTIONS FOR PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

Prior to beginning the program utilizing the
volunteers and the aging curriculum package, the
knowledge test and the attitude questionnaire will be
administered in each fourth grade classroom (including
the control group). Instructions for using these
materials are included in the teacher's guide. It will
also be necessary to have the students complete the
student information sheet. These activities will involve
the regular classroom teacher through reading the
directions accompanying each assessment and answering
questions the students may have.

The attitude questionnaire, knowledge test and
student information sheet must be administered the week
before the older volunteers begin working in the
classroom. (Estimated time for all preliminary
activities: 25 to 30 minutes.) These activities will
probably best fit into one's regular schedule by handling
each separately, rather than during one time period.

There will be four conditions utilized in this
program. The materials have been developed based on
fourth grade skill requirements and involve eight
lessons. The specific conditions include the following:

Classroom 1 RSVP VOLUNTEER teaching the aging
curriculum package

Classroom 2 RSVP VOLUNTEER teaching the weekly
spelling lesson

Classroom 3 REGULAR TEACHER teaching the aging
curriculum package

Classroom 4 CONTROL GROUP with no special activities
other than pre- and post-
testing and student
information sheet.

Classes will meet twice a week for at least thirty
minutes each lesson. The eight topics will be covered in
four weeks. After the completion of the lessons, the
regular classroom teachers will administer the knowledge
test and attitude questionnaire to the students in the
week following the last session.











Each lesson in the curriculum package on aging
addresses the fourth grade skills list that is part of
the Marion County Basic Skills Continuum. The teacher's
guide includes information pertaining to the specific
skills that are included in the activities. Although
these materials do not provide documentation of these
skills, it may prove helpful in providing students
practice on those identified.

After the project has been completed, teachers that
are involved with the volunteers in the classroom and/or
preparation will be awarded inservice points for the time
spent in these activities. This will be given through
component number 1-86-0147 of Marion County's inservice
program.











THE UTILIZATION OF OLDER VOLUNTEERS IN THE CLASSROOM


Objective: To study the effects of aging education
curriculum and utilization of older persons
in the classroom setting on the attitudes and
knowledge of elementary school children
toward the elderly.

Design: Three elementary schools will be involved,
with the focus being on fourth grade
classrooms, there will be 3 "treatment"
groups and one control group. The specific
activities will be as following:

1. RSVP volunteer teaching aging pre- and post-
curriculum package testing

2. RSVP volunteer teaching regular pre- and post-
spelling program testing

3. Classroom teacher teaching aging pre- and post-
curriculum package testing

4. Control group no special pre- and post-
activities-only testing
observed

The volunteers and teachers will be involved in short
weekly preparations on the lessons to be presented.
Volunteers will also be in training specifically designed
to enable them to work effectively with students.

*Teachers who are involved in this project will receive
INSERVICE POINTS for working with the project
volunteers.

*The schools utilizing this project may count the
volunteers' service hours as part of their current
school volunteer program.

The Curriculum Unit on Aging consists of eight 30 to 45
minute lessons. These lessons will be taught twice a
week, lasting four weeks in the school.











The eight lessons include:

2 topics in the language arts/reading area
2 topics in the mathematics/computations area
2 topics in social studies related activities
1 topic in health/science area
1 topic involving a film focusing on the
relationships between children and old persons

*Each lesson has been tied to the fourth grade skills
list that is part of the Marion County Basic Skills
Continuum. Additional skills from other grade levels
are also included.

The class involving spelling instruction being taught by
an RSVP volunteer will also meet twice a week for the
same time period. The instruction will focus on the
spelling words for each week and presented through
dictionary use, word meanings, sentence construction
and/or completion, word searches, and crossword puzzles.

The pre- and posttest will have two components. The
first being a knowledge test which is part of the aging
curriculum's focus and the second involving the students'
attitudes toward elderly persons. All of the classrooms
will have this test administered before the volunteers
begin teaching and after the volunteers complete their
instructional activities.

The RSVP program of Marion County has offered its
services through the Ocala Vision Office. Several
individuals have volunteered and every attempt will be
made to find individuals who will be able to adjust to
the school program.















Activities

(These are listed in the order of presentation.)

LESSON ONE BEING WISE AT Teacher Directions
AN EARLY AGE! Student Worksheet

LESSON TWO LIVING EACH DAY OF Teacher Directions
YOUR LIFE! Student Worksheet

LESSON THREE AT A GOOD AGE! Teacher Directions
Student Worksheet

LESSON FOUR LIFE AT ITS BEST! Teacher Directions
Student Worksheet

LESSON FIVE LOOKING AT SOCIAL Teacher Directions
SECURITY Student Worksheet

LESSON SIX WHERE DO PEOPLE LIVE? Teacher Directions
Student Worksheet

LESSON SEVEN THE CYCLE OF LIFE Teacher Directions
Student Worksheet

LESSON EIGHT THE GIFT OF TIME Teacher Directions
Student Worksheet













Index of Skills

This listing of skills is taken from the Marion County
communication and mathematics skills continuum for fourth
grade. Although this aging curriculum does not contain
sufficient numbers of items to document mastery, the
practice involved in each activity supports the
development of required specific skills.


Lesson


Area Skill


Being Wise at an Early Age!



Living Each Day of Your Life


C16
F29
G54

B10
C13
C15
C16
C23

C13
F47
F49
F50
Q111
Q115


At a Good Age!


Life at its Best!


Looking at Social Security


(Exposure to
higher level
of diffi-
culty)


F25
F26
B15
E39
E40
E42

C15
F26
A 5
C23
H64
A 5




Full Text
62
Table 4-3
Adjusted Posttest Means And Standard Error Of
The Mean By Treatment Group And Instrument
Administered
Treatments Control
Tests
1
(n=92)
2
(n=94)
3
(n=96)
4
(n=99)
TL
X
sem
15.83
.78
17.03
.74
13.79
.79
12.83
.84
KS
X
sem
15.95
.64
14.95
.64
15.03
.59
13.97
.58
AT
X
sem
12.06
.53
12.18
.52
10.78
.49
10.98
.49


51
in the curriculum unit. The knowledge survey examines
what aging information the students' understood following
the curriculum unit on aging (see Appendix D). The
measure, referred to as KS, was administered as a pre-
and posttest to all experimental and control groups.
The third measure was a 14 item list of
statements concerning attitudes toward old people and
aging which was added to the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old
People Questionnaire. These statements were developed by
the experimenter to assess students' endorsement of
personal interactions with people over 60 years old and
to further examine the students' attitudes toward old
people (see Appendix C, items 37-50). The statements,
being part of the TL, were administered to all
experimental and control groups as a pre- and posttest
measure and is referred to as the AT.
Experimental Procedures
This study began in February of 1984. It encompassed
10 weeks and ended in April of 1984. After identifying
the four classes in each of the three schools, classes
were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups
and pretested, using the modified Old People
Questionnaire, the knowledge survey, and the second
attitude test.


92
Where do People Live?
R C16
R F26
M Qlll
M Q115
The Cycle of Life
R C15
R E23
W A 5
W B16
The Gift of Time
R C13
R C15
R E22
R E23
W A 5
W C23
R Reading Skills
W Writing Skills
M Mathematics Skills
(As relating
to the film
shown in
class.)


71
intercepts were calculated in similar fashion (see
Table 4-8). This approach was chosen for clarity after
examining the 12 individual regression lines.
Summary
The effectiveness of three different teaching
strategies, two of which involved older persons in
teaching about aging or teaching spelling and one which
involved the regular classroom teacher teaching about
aging, in fourth grade classrooms to improve children's
attitudes toward old people was investigated. Three
separate treatment conditions were examined through the
use of three testing instruments. Test scores were
analyzed using the analysis of covariance. According to
this analysis, there were significant differences among
the adjusted posttest means of the four groups on the
modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire. Post hoc
analyses indicated a significant difference between
attitudes of the control group and the group taught
spelling by the older volunteer. There was no
significant difference among adjusted posttest means on
the locally developed knowledge survey. A pretest by
treatment interaction occurred for the locally developed
attitude test measure.


THE EFFECT OF UTILIZING OLDER PERSONS IN THE CLASSROOM
UPON ELEMENTARY STUDENTS'
ATTITUDES TOWARD AGING
By
BETTY J. TOWRY
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1986


44
each was developed for this study. After reviewing
several educational programs on aging, the experimenter
selected several topics upon which to build the unit on
aging for this study. Each lesson also involved
developing student skills as required for fourth grade
students according to the 1983 Marion County Basic Skills
Continuum and the Florida State Student Assessment
testing program. Included were two activities in
language arts, two in mathematics/computations, two in
social science-related activities, one in health/science,
and one involving a film which focused on relationships
between children and older persons (of an affective
nature).
Each lesson consisted of teacher directions, student
worksheet answer key, and student worksheets (see
Appendix A for each lesson). Students received copies of
the worksheets during class sessions under the direction
of either the RSVP volunteer teacher or the regular
classroom teacher and discussions focused on the assigned
topic. The lessons were conducted twice weekly at
regularly scheduled times. Completed materials were
collected from the students at the end of each class
session. During the final session, "To Find a Friend" (a
film provided through the Growing Up-Growing Older


CHAPTER III
METHODS AND PROCEDURES
The perpetuation of negative attitudes toward old
people is a serious problem that affects aged persons and
the young. This study attempted to assess the
effectiveness of involving an old person in a teaching
capacity in the elementary classroom to improve
children's attitudes toward aging and the aged. Two
experimental conditions were considered which involved
older persons teaching either a curriculum unit on aging
or teaching spelling. In a third treatment condition,
instruction on the aging unit was provided by the regular
classroom teacher. A fourth group of students was used
for comparison as the control group.
The methodology for the study is presented in
this chapter. It includes a description of the
curriculum unit on aging and spelling lesson activities
that were used. In addition, the subjects are described,
as well as the hypotheses, research design, instruments,
procedures, and analyses of data.
The Curriculum Unit on Aging
The curriculum unit on aging consisted of eight
lessons, each lasting approximately 30 to 45 minutes
43


26
James (1980) followed up on the study by
Jantz et al. and examined the relationship between second
grade children's association with an older affiliated
family member, reading achievement, and attitudes toward
the elderly. Based on the Affiliated Family
Questionnaire (completed by the parents) and the student
response to the CATE, children's attitudes toward the
elderly showed that subjects with older affiliated
families had more accurate knowledge of the elderly and
described the older persons less often in physical terms.
When physical descriptions were used, they were less
negative (James, 1980).
Fillmer (1982) used pictures to elicit children's
attitudes toward old people. Children from selected
elementary classes from the various grade levels were
shown pictures of a young man (age 22-28) and an old man
(age range 60 years and older). Subjects were asked to
tell whether the person was sick or healthy, ugly or
pretty, rich or poor, happy or sad, friendly or
unfriendly (all six questions required only a yes or no
answer). More negative adjectives were used to describe
the older stimulus person. Fillmer believes that
childrens stereotypes of the elderly should be
considered by educators and that the elderly hurt
themselves because their own attitudes toward aging



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81,9(56,7< 2) )/25,'$


66
Table 4-5
LS Means And Differences* Between Pairs Of
LS Means For The Groups
Treatments
Control
Treatment
LS Means
(Std.Err.)
1
2
3
4
1
15.68
.78
-
-1.13
1.67
2.91
2
16.81
.74
-
2.80
4.04**
3
14.01
.70
-
1.24
4
12.77
.69
* Difference was computed by row columns
** Significant at .05 level


52
A pilot study had been conducted in September of
1983. The pilot study allowed the experimenter to
administer all tests and curriculum unit on aging
activities to determine the appropriateness of materials,
timing of activities, effectiveness of instructions, and
to work with fourth grade students directly. Data from
this pilot study were used to identify areas needing
minor modifications of directions and/or specific
activities within the aging curriculum unit. It was also
used in refining teacher instructions.
In January of 1984, school administrators were
contacted by mail requesting permission to meet with them
concerning the project. Once administrative approval was
obtained, fourth grade teachers whose classrooms were
involved in the study met with the experimenter to
explain the study's general activities. In assigning
classrooms for specific treatment groups, school
administrative personnel were given the opportunity to
make recommendations as to the appropriateness of the
random selection of treatment groups. Upon assignment of
a particular treatment, each teacher was given materials
to review. The teachers teaching the unit on aging
met weekly to make recommendations concerning completed
activities and to prepare for the next sessions. Out of


69
Table 4-7
Results For The Attitude Test (AT)
Source
DF
SS
F
PR > F
ATPRE
1
1369.61
59.56
.0001
TRT
3
185.89
2.69
.0451
CS(TRT)
8
120.65
.66
.7303
ATPRE*TRT
3
162.70
5.38
.0254
ATPRE*CS(TRT)
8
80.66
.44
.8976
ERROR
357
8209.58


124
Thorson, J.A. (1975, April). Variations in attitudes
toward aging as a function of educational level. Paper
presented at the Adult Education Research Conference,
St. Louis, MO.
Traxler, A. (1971). Intergenerational differences in
attitudes toward old people. The Gerontologist, 11,
34-37.
Trebig, D.C. (1974). Language, children and attitudes
toward the aged. The Gerontologist, 14, 46-51.
Trent, C., Glass, J.C., & Crockett, J. (1977). Changing
adolescents' four-h club members' attitudes toward the
aged. Educational Gerontology, A, 33-48.
Triandis, H.C. (1971). Attitude and attitude change.
New York: Wiley Books.
Tuckman, J. & Lorge, I. (1952). The best years in life:
A study of ranking. Journal of Psychology, 34, 137-149.
Tuckman, J. & Lorge, I. (1953a). Attidues toward old
people. Journal of Scoial Psychology, 37, 249-260.
Tuckman, J. & Lorge, I. (1953b). When aging begins and
sterotypes about aging. Journal of Gerontology, S3,
489-492.
Tuckman, J. & Lorge, I. (1958). Attitudes toward aging
of individuals with experiences with the aged. Journal
of Genetic Psychology, 92, 199-204.
Wass, H., Fillmer, D., & Ward, L. (1981). Education
about aging: A rationale. Educational Gerontology, 7,
355-361.
Weinberger, L. (1979). Stereotyping of the elderly:
Elementary school children's response. Research on
Aging, 1, 319-334.
White House Conference on Aging. (1961). Education and
Aging. Proceedings of the 1961 White House Conference
on Aging, Section on Education. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department Health, Education, and Welfare.


67
Table 4-6
Results For The Knowledge Survey (KS)
Source
DF
SS
F
PR > F
KSPRE
1
781.21
23.48
.0001
TRT
3
77.15
.77
.5129
CS(TRT)
8
355.92
1.34
.2238
KSPRE*TRT
3
140.27
1.07
.4162
KSPRE* CS(TRT)
8
351.04
1.32
.2327
ERROR
357
11880.07
KSPRE
1
848.53
25.19
.0001
TRT
3
188.99
1.95
.1999
CS(TRT)
ERROR
8
368
258.20
12396.10
.96
.4686


45
program) was shown and students were allowed free
discussion as well as completing a worksheet.
Spelling Lesson Activities
Eight spelling lesson activities, which involved the
regularly assigned spelling words for the four weeks of
the project, were designed by the experimenter (see
Appendix B for sample lessons). Three separate sets of
spelling activities were developed for the three
classrooms assigned to this treatment condition. The
activities used were the same, but spelling words had to
be adjusted within each to make it appropriate for the
particular classroom. Each spelling activity lasted
approximately 30 to 45 minutes and was conducted by the
RSVP volunteer teacher. Each student received a
worksheet for each of the eight lessons which was
completed during the class periods.
Design of Study
A total of 381 fourth grade students from 12
fourth grade classrooms at three elementary schools in
Marion County, Florida, were included in this study. The
three elementary schools were selected on the basis of
the similarities in school populations, the willingness
of school personnel to assist in the study, and the


REFERENCES
Aaronson, B.S. (1964). Personality stereotypes of
chronological age. The Gerontologist, _3/ 11-15.
Aaronson, B.S. (1966). Personality stereotypes of aging.
Journal of Gerontology, 21, 458-462.
Adams, D. (1971). Correlates of satisfaction among the
elderly. The Gerontologist, 11, 64-68.
Allen, B.J. (1978). Knowledge of aging: A cross-
sectional study of three different age groups.
Educational Gerontology, A, 49-59.
Altrocchi, J. & Eisdorfer, C. (1962). Comparison of
attitudes toward old age, mental illness, and other
concepts. In C. Tibbitts and W. Donahue (Eds.), Aging
around the world: Social and psychological aspects.
New York: Columbia University Press.
Anderson, K.R. (1980). Ageism: The effect
gerontological education, self-attribution information,
and intergenerational contact on attitudes of
adolescents toward the elderly. Dissertation Abstracts
International, 41, 2193A.
Ansello, E. (1978). Ageism: The subtle stereotype.
Childhood Education, 54, 118-122.
Arnoff, R.M. & Lorge, I. (1960). Sterotypes about aging
and the aged. School and Society, 88, 70-71.
Ary, D., Jacobs, L.C., & Razavieh, A. (1979).
Introduction to research in education. New York: Holt,
Rinehart and Winston.
Atwood, M. (1975). Activities for teaching about aging.
Muncie, IN: Institute of Gerontology at Ball State.
Axelrod, S. & Eisdorfer, C. (1961). Attitudes toward old
people: An empirical analysis of the stimulus-group
validity of the Tuckman-Lorge questionnaire. Journal of
Gerontology, 16, 75-80.
112


22
Kastenbaum and Durkee (1964) and found support for
conclusions drawn by Golde and Kogan (1959); that a
majority of subjects unfavorably evaluated the past
boundness of the aged stimulus person presented in the
AAAT.
Palmore (1977) developed a questionnaire that was
short (25 items), using only factual statements
documented by empirical research. Designed to cover
basic physical, mental, and social facts about aging, it
included common misconceptions regarding the development
process. The quiz can be used to measure the amount of
accurate information and anti-age bias of subjects by
analyzing missed items which involve stereotypes. In
using the quiz, Palmore introduced the notion that
respondents have preconceived biases which influence how
they interpret statements about older people. Pilot
tests of an alternate form of Facts on Aging Quiz
(Palmore, 1981) indicate that FAQ can be used in
measuring bias and the effects of educational experiences
in gerontology. Findings with this instrument are
similar to the results on the original FAQ. Most
misconceptions involve negative views of old age
(Palmore, 1981). The data, which examine only adults,
confirm that the average person has more anti-aged than
pro-aged bias.


4
and more accurate knowledge regarding old people.
Research is lacking on the manipulation of presentation
of information on aging in the elementary classroom in
relation to the development and improvement of attitudes
toward the elderly and aging. This is the purpose of the
present investigation.
Purpose
It was the purpose of this study to compare the
effects of three different instructional approaches in
the classroom setting on students' attitudes toward old
people. Specifically, fourth grade students participated
in one of three treatment groups or one control group.
The classrooms were randomly assigned to the following
conditions: receiving instruction on aging from an older
volunteer; receiving instruction on spelling from an
older volunteer; receiving instruction on aging from the
regular classroom teacher; no special treatment for a
control condition. The relative effectiveness of these
treatments in achieving gains in attitudes and knowlege
were investigated through an analyasis of covariance
design.


99
Name School
Listen while you are read the following story. When the
story is finished, use your spelling words to fill in
each blank. Be sure to spell each word correctly.
Once upon a time, there was a good little
named Winifred. She lived in a very forest
and there was only one to get to her
house. Every she got, Winifred loved to
the children magic tricks. The children
liked her and were always glad to see her. The children
were all fourth graders would be in the
grade the next year. All the adults
in town were afraid of Winifred. The children laughed
about this because it seemed silly that the grownups were
. Winifred and the children would
play together in a clear in the woods.
Sometimes they would do tricks for each other and then
try to choose was best. Other times the
children and Winifred would wild flowers
into a long and hang the flowers in the
trees. They even would play to see who
was fastest at the line.
Winifred also had a magic ball that the children liked to
to each other.


18
negative views expressed regarding the elderly. These
children also expressed great concern about not wanting
to grow old.
In 1986, Murphy-Russell, Die, and Walker used three
different instructional procedures with undergraduate
students in attempting to improve attitudes toward aging.
There were three workshop sessions in the series with
each single session lasting approximately one hour. The
first session consisted of discussion about the students'
results on Palmore's Facts on Aging Quiz (Palmore, 1977).
The second session involved an interview with an elderly
couple and the third session was an informational
filmstrip which debunked common myths about aging and the
aged. The three techniques were considered individually
with the total workshop series being as effective in
creating attitude change as the single treatment
sessions. With the short length of time involved in the
study, the authors' major recommendations focused on
utilizing the elderly in the classroom setting.
Porter and O'Connor (1978) taught a psychology of
aging course which gave factual information about aging
and gave college students the opportunity to have more
personal contact with an older class resource person.
The study reported more positive attitudes about the
elderly as a result of the course. In 1976, Gordon and


TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
LIST OF TABLES V
ABSTRACT vii
CHAPTER
I.INTRODUCTION 1
Purpose 4
Need for the Study 5
Definitions of Terms 9
Organization of the Report 11
II.REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 12
Research Findings on Attitudes Toward Aging
and the Aged 12
Assessment Procedures Examining Aging
Attitudes 19
Education Projects on Aging 30
Summary 42
III.METHODS AND PROCEDURES 43
The Curriculum Unit on Aging 43
The Spelling Lesson Activities 45
Design of Study 45
Hypotheses 48
Research Design 49
Instruments 49
Experimental Procedures 51
Analyses 56
IV.RESULTS OF THE STUDY 57
Descriptive Statistics 58
Effects of Instructional Strategies 60
Summary 71
iv


117
Hauwiller, J. & Jennings, R. (1981). Counteracting age
stereotyping with young school children. Educational
Gerontology, 1_, 183-190.
Havighurst, R. (1968). A social-psychological
perspective on aging. The Gerontologist, J3, 67-71.
Havighurst, R. (1972). Developmental tasks and
education. New York: David Mackay.
Havighurst, R. (1974). Understanding aging and the aging
process. Journal of Home Economics, 12, 20-21.
Hendricks, J. & Hendricks, C.D. (1977). Aging in mass
society: Myths and realities. Cambridge, MA: Winthrop
Publishers.
Hickey, T., Hickey, L. & Kalish, R. (1968). Children's
perceptions of the elderly. Journal of Genetic
Psychology, 112, 227-235.
Hickey, T. & Kalish, L. (1968) Young people's
perceptions of adults. Journal of Gerontology, 31,
227-235.
Holtzman, J., Beck, I.D., & Coggan, P.G. (1978). The
impact of two educational experiences on student
attitudes. Journal of the American Geriatrics
Society, 26, 355-259.
Hoot, J.L. (1981). Teaching aging in the public schools:
Results of an exploratory study. Educational
Gerontology, 7, 331-337.
Hoyer, R. W. & Kasteler, J.M. (1973). Caretaking
behavior patterns in the elderly. Canton, NJ: St.
Lawrence University.
Hunter, K. & Linn, M. (1981). Psychosocial differences
between elderly volunteers and non-volunteers.
International Journal of Aging and Human Development,
12, 205-213.
Immorlica, A. (1980). The effect of intergenerational
contact on children's perception of old people (Doctoral
dissertation, 1979). Dissertation Abstracts
International, 40, 5621B.


AT Po3tte3t
70
AT Pretest
Figure 4- 1. Effect Of Treatment On Fourth Grade
Examinees At Different Levels Of
Pretest Scores


93
TEACHER DIRECTIONS
Being Wise at an Early Age
Materials needed: Dictionaries for each student (or
copies for students to share)
Worksheet of vocabulary words
This exercise is to familiarize students with specific
vocabulary terms that are related to aging. The
following steps may be utilized in completing this
lesson.
1. Distribute dictionaries to students. The students
may need to share copies of the dictionaries if
enough books are not available. If sharing books,
try to limit the number of students to two students
per dictionary.
2. Pass out a copy of the worksheet that accompanies
this activity to each student.
3. Read the directions to the students. (The directions
are also written at the top of the worksheet.) You
may begin by saying:
For this worksheet, you will use your dictionary to
look up each entry word and find out what it means.
Write down each word's meaning. Look for the
dictionary guide words on page where you find each
entry word. Write the guide words in the space below
the word's meaning.
Some of the words may not be in your dictionary. I
will help you with the words that are not in your
books. Let's do these together. When you find the
meaning of the entry word, raise your hand. I will
ask you what page the word is on in the dictionary.
When everyone is on the right page, write down the
meaning of the entry word. Next write the guide
words that are listed on that page.
Now, the first entry word is elderly. Look up the
word and then raise your hand when you find what page
it is on in your dictionary.


7
volunteer programs. Participating in school programs
could fulfill older persons' needs for social
interaction, problem solving, and decision making while
improving children's attitudes about aging and the aged
(Baggett, 1981; Baumhoner & Jones, 1977; Glass & Knott,
1982; Merrill, 1961). Blau (1956) and Leslie, Larson,
and Gorman (1973) proposed that the process of
assimilation is important in reducing differences between
groups of people. Using older volunteers is one method
by which negative attitudes and stereotypes could be
challenged. Merrill (1961) found that such assimilation
occurs more quickly when group contacts are face-to-face
and personal. Merrill recommends that increased success
can be achieved if opportunities begin early in life,
thereby decreasing the age segregation in society.
Baggett (1981) and Hauwiller and Jennings (1981) suggest,
however, that in providing only informal interactions,
the desired results of improved attitudes may not be
achieved.
Glass and Knott (1982) and Triandis (1971) have
proposed that there are three basic strategies to change
attitudes. These include discussion with peers, direct
experience with attitude objects, and increased
information or knowledge. Schools, as transmitters of


35
aging, the effectiveness of instructional activities, and
the age/grade level significant to later attitudes
concerning aging (Speudla, 1973). Research on the GRIP
project indicates that children know very little
regarding the process and problems associated with aging.
Through learning activities, students' attitudes improved
in both acceptance of and interest in older persons.
Older citizens who served as resource persons also
reported their involvement in the project was enriching.
Winnetka Public Schools in Illinois developed the
Project for Academic Motivation: Older Adult Volunteers
in Schools (1968). The program was funded by a grant
which established school volunteer programs with
individuals over 60 years of age. The project began
as a research inquiry on academic underachievers and
extended beyond the original referral for motivating
underachievers because of the involvement of older
adults.
The Intergenerational Dialogues Project incorporates
a film series, Growing UpGrowing Older. This series
was developed through a grant from the Sears-Roebuck
Foundation. Fifteen-minute films are suggested to be
shown at the beginning of discussion periods. Aimed at
developing positive attitudes, this project was initially
part of research completed by Ethel Percy Andrus


Ill
16. Exercise and staying active are not very important for
people growing old.
True
False
17. Medicare is a program which provides
health care for the aged.
college courses for old people.
18. Retirement is when an older person chooses to no longer
work.
relax.
19. A person's age makes the biggest difference in what
activities she or he is able to do.
True
False
20. If a person lives to be old, he will have more
experience in living.
unhappiness.
21. The body changes as a person grows older, but not all of
these changes are negative ones.
True
False
22. When people reach 60 years of age, they do not like to
do anything except sit down and relax.
True
False


17
kin relatedness may be necessary in one's personal
orientation as a significant human being. Adams (1971),
Sussman (1976), and Gordon and Hallauer (1976) focused on
the importance of family linkage for elderly persons.
Havighurst (1974) and Kivnick (1983) suggested that the
life-cycle value of a meaningful relationship between a
child and an elderly person is crucial in childhood and
without it, the individual might miss the value of such a
relationship two generations into the future.
Studies that include children and youth (Britton &
Britton, 1969; Cabot, 1961; Dodson & House, 1981;
Drevenstedt, 1976; Frost, 1981; Galper et al., 1981;
Kahana & Kahana, 1970; Lane, 1964; Lorge et al., 1954;
Hickey, Hickey, & Kalish, 1968; Hickey & Kalish, 1968;
Seefeldt et al., 1977) suggest that the concepts of old
age and old people are meaningful and ones about which
young respondents hold distinctive, identifiable
perceptions. Negatively stereotyped views found in this
research describe the elderly as tired, uninterested,
slower, ill, feeling sorry for themseves, and less happy.
Thomas and Yamamoto (1975) found that while children held
superficial attitudes about the elderly, the stories
written by the children showed that they understood the
life cycle. Even in Treybig's (1974) study of young
children aged 3, 4, and 5, there were identifiable


72
Table 4-8
Slopes And Intercepts For Regression Of Posttest
On Prestest Score For Each Class-Within-Treatment
Treatment Group
Class
Slope
Intercept
1
1
9.43
.22
5
9.58
.22
9
8.59
.35
2
2
5.38
.55
6
8.15
.39
10
6.75
.54
3
3
2.63
.71
7
1.49
.83
11
6.68
.43
4
4
5.66
.37
8
7.13
.36
12
9.57
.24


114
Bossert, J. (1980). The effects of expectations,
behaviors, and beliefs on the interpersonal judgement
young people make about the elderly (Doctoral
dissertation, University of Kansas, 1980). Dissertation
Abstracts International, 41, 1198A.
Briley, M. & Jones, D. (1982, December). Youth gets a
new image of aging. Modern Maturity, 56-57.
Britton, J. & Britton, J. (1969). Discrimination of age
by preschool children. Journal of Gerontology, 24,
457-460.
Brubaker, T. & Powers, E. (1976). The stereotype of
"old": A review and alternative approach. Journal of
Gerontology, 31, 441-447.
Butler, R. (1974). Age-ism: Another form of bigotry.
The Gerontologist, 9, 243-245.
Butler, R. & Lewis, M. (1973). Aging and mental health:
positive psychosocial approaches. St. Louis, MO: C.V.
Mosby.
Cabot, N. (1961). You can't count on dying. Boston, MA:
Houghton-Mif flin.
Cameron, P. (1971). The generation gap: Beliefs about
adult stability of life. Journal of Gerontology, 26,
81-82.
Cardwell, M. (1972). Foster grandparent program at Green
Valley Hospital & School. Journal of the Tennessee
Medical Association, 65, 447.
Carp, F. (1967). Attitudes of old persons toward
themselves and toward others. Journal of Gerontology,
22, 308-312.
Coe, R. (1967). Professional perspectives on the aged.
The Gerontologist, 1_, 114-119.
Collette-Pratt, C. (1976). Attitudinal Predictors of
devaluation of old age in a multigenerational sample.
Journal of Gerontology, 31, 193-197.


20
toward old people have been documented (Axelrod &
Eisdorfer, 1961; Eisdorfer, 1966; Hickey & Kalish, 1968;
Kirschner, Lindbom & Paterson, 1952; Kogan, 1961;
McTavish, 1970; Silverman, 1966; Tuckman & Lorge, 1952,
1953a, 1953b). The semantic differential approach has
been used in several other studies (Eisdorfer & Alrocchi,
1961; Knapp & Moss, 1963; Kogan & Wallach, 1961;
Rosenkranz & McNevin, 1969) and also content analyses
approaches (Britton & Britton, 1969; Coe, 1967; Golde &
Kogan, 1959; McTavish, 1970; Neugarten & Gutmann, 1958).
Numerous other procedures, such as the Q-sort (Newfield,
1970), the Gough Adjective Rating Scale (Aaronson, 1964),
and the Age-Appropriate Attitude Technique (Kastenbaum &
Durkee, 1964; Sadowski, 1978) have been documented.
Findings from these studies show a generally negative
tone regarding attitudes toward aging and old people.
The use of questionnaires to assess aging attitudes
includes the Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire
(1953a) which consists of 137 statements about old
people. The questionnaire is divided into 13
categories relating to various aspects about the aged.
This clustering of items in specific content areas can
create questions as to the meaningfulness of scores
computed for the clusters (due to response-set effects).
Subjects respond with "yes" or "no" as to whether they


54
announcement for service openings. The six selected for
the study were chosen based on interest, availability at
specific times during the day and week, and available
transportation. All six had grandchildren, were at least
high school graduates, had been previously employed (two
were still employed part-time), and four had been
involved in education during their employment
experiences.
The volunteers had three group sessions (involving
all six volunteers), the first of which was a general
information session, the second a training meeting
concerning actual classroom activities, and the third an
evaluation session after the classroom sessions were
completed. During the first meeting, the overall study
was reviewed and specific assignments were given as to
school and treatment group. As much as possible,
assignments were made to match the volunteers' schedules,
transportation needs, and instructional interests.
Questionnaires concerning background information were
also completed during this first session. The second
meeting related to specific duties with their assigned
experimental group. Volunteers also met with the
experimenter before each classroom presentation to review
the class lesson (spelling and aging) to be sure that


27
create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bossert (1980) also
used photographs and added a profile description. The
students evaluated the stimulus person in the picture and
Bossert measured social distance and personal attraction.
Students maintained different expectations for younger
and older stimulus persons (regardless of the same
profile information) concerning levels of activity and
similarity of beliefs.
Lang (1980) focused on interviews, word tests, and
teacher ratings of chidren's math and reading skills in
examining children's attitudes toward the aged. Lang
found that a grandparent is an important figure in the
child's life and that grandparents have a positive
influence on children. A relationship was found between
school performance and frequency of contact with
grandparents, suggesting that attention children receive
from their grandparents is related to school performance.
Fossbender (1980) attempted to determine if
attitudes and behavioral intentions were related by using
the Old People Scale (Kogan, 1961) and a behavioral
intention scale. Students' attitudes were found to be
related to student sex, location of residence, self-
reported average, and how many old persons the student
knew. The students' behavioral intentions toward old
people were found to be related to student sex, frequency


25
to describe an old person, the tester is directed to code
responses such as grey hair, wrinkles, or walking with a
cane as negative responses. These characteristics are
not only apparent to everyone, but are real possibilities
in the aging process. This type of response is factual,
not necessarily negative and reflects the children's
knowledge of changes involved in aging (Baggett, 1981).
In using the CATE to study behavioral and knowledge
components of attitudes, Jantz et al. (1977) found that
children gave old persons negative qualities such as
sick, ugly and sad; with positive characteristics of
rich, friendly, wonderful, and good. As children grew
older, their knowledge increased, but children of all
ages had little general knowledge of the aged in
affective terms. When reporting physical descriptions or
behavioral reactions, students comments remained
generally negative (Jantz et al., 1977). The subjects
reported few contacts with the elderly outside of family
members. Jantz et al. concluded that the 180 children in
the initial sample (from nursery school age through sixth
grade) had minimal opportunity to interact with the
elderly and that because of this lack of contact,
children believed stereotypic characteristics of old
people and viewed their own aging as negative.


95
Name School
Being Wise at an Early Age I
Use a dictionary to look up each entry word and find out
what it means. Write down each word's meaning. Look for
the dictionary guide words on the page where you find
each entry word. Write the guide words in the correct
space.
1. elderly -
guide words:
2. gerontology -
guide words:
3. retirement -
guide words:_
4.senior citizen -
guide words:
5.Medicare -
guide words:
6.Social Security -
guide words:


100
Choose five words from the spelling list for this week
and put them in your own story. Underline the words that
come from the spelling list.
Which two words in your spelling list do you think are
easiest to spell?
Which two words in your spelling list do you think are
hardest to spell?


110
8. Discrimination is when a person treats someone different
because of a biased or prejudiced belief.
True
False
9. In order to grow older and remain healthy, it is
important to
practice good nutrition.
eat a lot of food each meal.
10. Almost all elderly Americans are very poor.
True
False
11. A major part of Social Security is
retirement payments.
vacation money.
12. Workers pay into Social Security and so do the workers'
employers.
children.
13. A worker can retire and receive full Social Security
payments at the age of
55.
65.
14. A person receives payments from Social Security when he
retires until the time he
dies.
moves.
15. In which southern state do more old people live?
Florida
South Carolina


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Betty J. Towry was born in Ocala, Florida, where she
attended elementary through high school. She received an
Associate of Arts degree from Central Florida Community
College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from
University of Central Florida. Betty received a Master
of Education degree at the University of Florida.
Following the completion of the master's program,
Betty began teaching elementary school. She moved into
county level administration and worked as testing
specialist for the Marion County School System. During
this time she also worked as an adjunct psychology
instructor for Central Florida Community College.
Betty began teaching full-time at Central Florida
Community College in psychology-related courses. She
became involved in the testing program at CFCC and was
appointed the Associate Dean of Program Planning and
Review in January of 1985. In the fall of 1986, Betty
was appointed Dean of Program Planning and Occupational
Education at Central Florida Community College.
126


125
White House Conference on Aging. (1971). Toward a
national policy on aging. Proceedings of the 1971 White
House Conference on Aging, Section on Education, Final
report, 11, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health,
Education, and Welfare.
White House Conference on Aging. (1981) Education and
Aging. Proceedings of the 1981 White House Conference on
Aging. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services.
Worthington, G. (1973). Older persons as community
service volunteers. Social Work, j[, 71-75.
Youmans, E.G. (1977). Attitudes: Young-old and old-old.
The Gerontologist, 17, 175-178.
Zigmarmi, D., Trusty, K., & Wood, S. (1978). Teaching
about aging: Some reasons and possibilities. Ohio
Association for Supervision and Curriculum, 4_, 15-17.


14
reviewed reports a general rejection or prejudice against
old people.
McTavish (1971) noted that considerable diversity of
results and opinions on attitudes toward aging can be
identified through social gerontology literature.
General observations found in his evaluation of 300
research articles were that persons have different
opinions about old age; that perceptions of
younger persons are very important as they play a
significant role in determining the position and status
of older persons; that there is discrepancy between
traditional cultural ideas about aging and actual
behavior toward the aged, with research generally only
examining attitudes; and that there is an idea of
"usefulness" involved in perceived social roles which
relates to individuals having positive or negative
attitudes toward aging and older persons. McTavish,
concluding his review, stated that stereotyped views of
the elderly were prevalent and that perceptions included
old people as being generally ill, tired, not sexually
interested, mentally slower, forgetful, and less likely
to participate in activities (except for religion),
isolated during this period of life, and unproductive and
deficient (all with varying emphasis).


78
older person taught is not as important as having an
older person in the classroom to positively influence
students' attitudes.
Limitations
The following limitations of this research study
were recognized:
1. The population included in this study could have
been affected by the schools having an on-going volunteer
program in which individual volunteers serve as "teacher
helpers." Students being exposed to older people who were
working in this role may have affected treatment results.
2. The control group could have been affected by
the pre- and posttesting as well as sharing information
with other students about other treatment group
activities that were occuring in their school. Further,
the pretesting could have sensitized students to the
content of the treatment. The results might not be found
had the students not been pretested.
3. The experimental results may have been
influenced by the treatment activities being unusual as
compared to the regularly scheduled classroom routines.
Positive attitudes might have been found due to the
students' reactions to activities involved in the


depending upon students' initial attitudes toward older
persons. Results indicated that the presence of an older
person in the classroom had a positive impact on student
attitudes toward the elderly. Further, the presence of
the older person was more important than what the person
taught.
ix


64
Table 4-4
Results For Modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire (TL)
Source
DF
SS
F
PR > F
TLPRE
1
5302.95
119.44
.0001
TRT
3
199.90
1.50
.2126
CS(TRT)
8
253.59
.71
.6793
TLPRE*TRT
3
103.21
.48
.7045
TL*CS(TRT)
8
572.12
1.61
.1202
ERROR
357
15850.71
TLPRE
1
5736.75
127.61
.0001
TRT
3
903.61
4.52
. 0390
CS(TRT)
8
532.74
1.48
.1623
ERROR
368
16544.07


5
The following research questions were posed:
1. Is there a significant difference among the
adjusted posttest means of the four groups on the
modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire?
2. Is there a significant difference among the
adjusted posttest means of the four groups on the
attitude test designed by the experimenter?
3. Is there a significant difference among the
adjusted posttest means of the four groups on the
knowledge survey?
If significant differences (p < .05) among the
groups were detected, post-hoc comparisons among each
possible pair of adjusted group means were conducted.
Need for the Study
Census projections have shown individuals age 65 and
older as doubling between 1976 and 2020, topping out at
approximately 45 million (Kart, Metress, & Metress,
1978). Educators must consider how to involve older
persons in the curriculum and related activities.
Providing today's young with healthy attitudes concerning
older persons is an important but often neglected goal
(Long, 1982). Educational efforts to prepare young
people for and/or familiarize them with the aging process


9
Definitions of Terms
Terms used in this study are defined as follows:
Attitude Test (AT) Fourteen statements developed
by the experimenter and used to identify students'
perceptions about aging and the aged. This test was the
last section on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire and was administered in a pre-posttest
sequence.
Curriculum Unit on Aging Eight curriculum
exercises lasting 30 to 45 minutes in length which were
developed by the experimenter. The exercises incorporated
required state and county basic skills instruction into
information and activities about aging and older persons.
Knowledge Survey (KS) A test based on the
curriculum unit on aging, designed by the experimenter,
to determine what old age-related concepts students
understood.
Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (TL) The
modified 36-item version of the Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire (1954) was first used by Olejnik and LaRue
(1981) in assessing children's attitudes toward old
people. The TL was used in a pre-posttest design to
examine students' attitudes.


103
Name
School
Directions: Listen carefully as your teacher reads each
statement. Circle TRUE if you agree with
the statement. Circle FALSE if you disagree
with the statement.
1.
Most people
over
60
years
old
would like to be young
again.
TRUE
FALSE
2.
Most people
over
60
years
old
like to keep busy.
TRUE
FALSE
3.
Most people
over
60
years
old
are afraid to die.
TRUE
FALSE
4.
Most people
over
60
years
old
feel miserable most of
the time.
TRUE
FALSE
5.
Most people
over
60
years
old
are forgetful.
TRUE
FALSE
6.
Most people
over
60
years
old
are a burden to their
children.
TRUE
FALSE
7.
Most people
over
60
years
old
fear death more than
anything else.
TRUE
FALSE
8.
Most people
over
60
years
old
like being with old
friends rather than
making new ones.
TRUE
FALSE
9. Most people over 60 years old usually get money for
food and clothes from their children.
TRUE
FALSE


11
Organization of the Report
The remainder of this dissertation is organized into
four chapters and appendices. Chapter II provides an
overview of the research related to attitudes toward
aging, instruments used in analyzing attitudes on aging,
and specific educational project results which have
involved children, aging education, and elderly
volunteers relevant to this study. Chapter III includes
the study design and methodology, the development of
instrumentation, and materials used. The data analyses
and results are presented in Chapter IV. In Chapter V, a
summary, study limitations, and recommendations for
further investigation are presented.


90
Activities
(These are listed in the order of presentation.)
LESSON
ONE
BEING WISE AT
AN EARLY AGE!
Teacher
Student
Directions
Worksheet
LESSON
TWO
LIVING EACH DAY OF
YOUR LIFE!
Teacher
Student
Directions
Worksheet
LESSON
THREE
AT A GOOD AGE!
Teacher
Student
Directions
Worksheet
LESSON
FOUR
LIFE AT ITS BEST!
Teacher
Student
Directions
Worksheet
LESSON
FIVE
LOOKING AT SOCIAL
SECURITY
Teacher
Student
Directions
Worksheet
LESSON
SIX
WHERE DO PEOPLE LIVE?
Teacher
Student
Directions
Worksheet
LESSON
SEVEN
THE CYCLE OF LIFE
Teacher
Student
Directions
Worksheet
LESSON
EIGHT
THE GIFT OF TIME
Teacher
Student
Directions
Worksheet


79
treatments being more interesting that the usual
classroom schedule.
4. The 1953 Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire
is not a strictly standardized measure and a modified
version of the questionnaire was used for this study.
However, it was felt that the previous efforts to insure
its validity were sufficient for the purposes of this
activity.
5. The two instruments, the knowledge survey and
the attitude test, which were designed by the
experimenter, are not standardized measures and were
developed solely for this study.
Recommendations
The following recommendations are made based on the
results of this investigation:
1. Many students in elementary school could benefit
from learning about aging while reinforcing academic
skills simultaneously. With materials on aging which
identify what academic skills are being taught, more
schools and teachers could be motivated to incorporate
curriculum on aging into their scheduled class time.
Students could benefit by learning through application on
age-related topics and enhance their academic skill
development.


Page
V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS,
RECOMMENDATIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS 73
Summary 73
Conclusions 77
Limitations 78
Recommendations 79
Implications for Reasearch and Practice 82
APPENDIX A. SAMPLE FROM THE CURRICULUM UNIT ON
AGING 84
APPENDIX B. THE SPELLING LESSON ACTIVITIES 97
APPENDIX C. MODIFIED TUCKMAN-LORGE OLD PEOPLE
QUESTIONNAIRE 101
APPENDIX D. KNOWLEDGE SURVEY 108
REFERENCES 112
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 126
V


28
and nature of interaction with old people, self-reported
grade average, and number of aged persons known
(Fossbender, 1980). Supporting the findings of
Fossbender's research, Leslie, Larson, and Gorman (1973)
proposed that the process of assimilation is influential
in reducing perceived differences between age groups.
Utilizing school volunteers was a recommended method for
effectively challenging negative stereotypes.
Merrill (1961) also reported that assimilation occurs
more readily if group contacts are face-to-face and
personal as this provides for better communication and
allows individuals to more easily share beliefs and
ideas. Merrill suggested that if these opportunities
occur early in life, age segregation could be decreased,
supporting the involvement of older persons in elementary
classrooms.
In a study addressing the extent of age-based
attitudes of children from 8- through 10-years old, Marks
and Newman (1985) utilized the Chidren's View on Aging
Questionnaire (COVA). The COVA was designed by
researchers and consists of open-ended and close-ended
questions and semantic differential scales. The COVA
measures the cognitive, affective, and conative (intended
actions based on attitudes) aspects of children's
attitudes. The researchers suggest that children's


81
people should be studied in relation to their
effectiveness over time.
7. A more diverse group of students might yield
different results in incorporating other recommendations.
The students in the three schools were not representative
of the total population and by extending the number and
types of students involved in the program, there might
have been variation in the results obtained.
8. Older persons are stimulated by the use of their
skills and experience. The RSVP volunteers were very
dependable and involved in their responsibilities. Each
enjoyed working with the children and reported favorable
responses. Teachers were given some time to observe
students during the time the older volunteers were
working with the classroom groups. Through the use of
older volunteers in the school setting, students,
teachers, and older persons receive benefits from
interacting with one another. The volunteers give of
their time freely and have many talents to offer the
schools.
9. Involving older persons in the schools will
increase the possibilities of intergenerational contact
and communication while extending the number of old
persons to whom the children are exposed.


LIST OF TABLES
Page
3-1 Number Of Students In Each Class And
Treatment Condition 46
4-1 Pre- And Posttest Means And Standard
Deviations By Treatment Group and Test
Administered 59
4-2 Reliability Estimates Computed By The
Kuder-Richardson Formula 21.. 61
4-3 Adjusted Posttest Means And Standard
Error Of The Mean By Treatment Group And
Instrument Administered 62
4-4 Results For Modified Tuckman-Lorge Old
People Questionnaire (TL) 64
4-5 LS Means And Differences* Between Pairs Of
LS Means For The Groups 66
4-6 Results For The Knowledge Survey (KS) 67
4-7 Results For The Attitude Test (AT) 69
4-8 Slopes And Intercepts For Regression Of
Posttest on Pretest Score For Each
Class-Within-Treatment 72
vi


106
32. Most people over 60 years old need glasses to read.
TRUE FALSE
33. I like to be with old people.
TRUE FALSE
34. When I am with old people, I feel good.
TRUE FALSE
35. I like to help people over 60 years old.
TRUE FALSE
36. I will be happy when I am 60 years old.
TRUE FALSE
37. It doesn't bother me to think about growing old.
TRUE FALSE
38. Most old people are set in their ways.
TRUE FALSE
39. Most old people would rather live with their
children.
TRUE FALSE
40. Most old people grow wiser as they grow older.
TRUE FALSE
41. I do not enjoy being around old people.
TRUE FALSE
42. Most old people are pretty much alike.
TRUE FALSE
43. Most old people are grouchy and unpleasant.
TRUE
FALSE


15
Gail Sheehy in Passages (1976), explained how people
are studied to understand human development. "It's far
easier to study adolescents and aging people. Both
groups are in institutions (schools or rest homes) where
they make captive subjects" (p. 10). This example of
stereotypic belief presented as fact is found in a
national best seller. Attitude research has been
encouraged by the belief that attitudes are an
influential aspect of the total social and cultural
environment (Bader, 1980; Hendricks & Hendricks, 1977).
This influence can be so pervasive that Neugarten (1970)
believes that policy issues concerning older Americans
have been influenced by underlying ageism. The
assignment of sameness in characteristics, status, and
consequences to a group which is actually very
heterogeneous causes the aged to be viewed as being
all the same, put into one group and seen as being one
type--old (Binstock, 1983).
Evaluating the effects of external factors, Butler
(1974) and Havighurst (1968) identified the importance of
a supportive environment in successful aging. Personal
concepts of achievement, productivity, and independence,
which are affected by age, were found to consistently
predict attitudes toward old age in studies completed by
Collette-Pratt (1976). Kuypers and Bengstrom (1973)


59
Table 4-1
Pre- And Posttest Means And Standard Deviations
By Treatment Group And Test Administered
Treatments
Control
(rv
1
=92)
(rv
2
=94)
3
(n=
96)
(rv
4
=99)
Test
Pre
Post
Pre
Post
Pre
Post
Pre
Post
TL
X
sd
13.44
6.59
16.26
7.62
10.57
7.09
15.74
7.70
14.16
6.50
14.11
8.93
14.06
6.18
13.21
7.07
KS
X
sd
14.94
4.20
16.24
5.97
13.76
6.20
15.09
5.03
14.16
5.05
15.07
7.03
14.06
5.90
14.01
5.83
AT
X
sd
11.45
4.48
12.25
5.42
9.68
5.01
11.36
4.52
11.09
4.29
10.95
5.79
11.34
4.46
11.09
4.86


77
Conclusions
Based on examining the pre- and posttest mean
scores, one general conclusion from this study is that
the experimental treatments have a positive effect on
students' attitudes toward aging as measured by the
modified version of the 1953 Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire. A similar trend was observed on the
locally developed attitude test, but interpretation of
this effect was complicated by the presence of an
interaction between students' initial attitudes and
treatment.
In considering pairwise comparisons related to the
first null hypothesis, the students receiving spelling
instruction by an older person had significantly higher
attitude scores on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire than the control group. There was an
observed difference, though not at the level of
significance, between treatments utilizing the older
person teaching the unit on aging as compared to the
control group. Another observed difference was between
the older person teaching spelling as compared to the
regular classroom teacher teaching the unit on aging.
The one significant contrast and the consistent trend in
the other comparisons of means may indicate that what the


80
2. In teaching on aging, the curriculum program
should be extended in length. The brievity involved in
presenting the curriculum unit in this study should not
be applied to a fully implemented program to teach about
aging and the aged.
3. Implementing instruction on aging and involving
older persons should occur at primary grade levels,
beginning in kindergarten. In this way, attitudes toward
aging and the aged would be more accurate, flexible, and
accepting.
4. Continued research is needed to develop tests
to assess children's attiudes toward aging and old
people. Finely calibrated instruments which measure
changes in attitudes, are specifically for use with
children, and provide ease in test administration will
be important for future study.
5. Future research should consider including
qualitative information with the quantitative analysis to
enhance the analyses used and supplement data
collections.
6. Longitudinal studies are needed in order to
assess lasting changes in attitudes. Strategies for
improving children's attitudes toward aging and old


46
availability of four fourth grade class groups. Each
classroom group was heterogeneous with respect to the
variables of sex, race, and achievement level. The three
schools had similar student populations in regard to size
of school, racial make-up, socioeconomic status of
students, and comparable state and national test scores.
From each of the three schools, three classes were
selected for participation in the treatment conditions.
Intact classes were randomly assigned to treatments.
There were three schools with four classrooms in each.
The assignment of classrooms to treatments was balanced
so that each treatment group contained three classrooms,
one from each school as shown in Table 3-1.
Table 3-1
Number Of Students In Each Class And Treatment Condition
Trt Level
1
2
3
4
(Ctrl)
Class
C
C
1
5 C
9 C 2
C6
C
10
C
3
S
C C
11 4
C C
8
n
30
33
29
29
33
32
30
36
30 33
34 32
Test data were available on 381 students with attrition
of 21 subjects due to insufficient subject identification


30
Conversly, Hoot (1981) found that Texas elementary
teachers were more likely to teach about aging, but that
the instruction on aging lacked effectiveness due not
being systematically implemented in the curriculum
program. Speulda (1973) addressed the problem of
restricted resources in public schools in Dallas and
Oregon where children's attitudes changed in a positive
direction as a result of organized instruction. Speulda
recommended that appropriate instructional units need to
be developed as materials in this field have very limited
availabilty and are not generally useful at the
elementary or secondary school levels. Zigmarmi, Trusty,
and Wood (1978) point out the importance of teacher
inservice prior to any curricular implementation. Saxe
(1977) designed a manual to help teachers create programs
to teach about aging. The manual contains rationale for
aging education, recommendations for curriculum planning,
and sample teaching units.
Havighurst (1974) felt that children's first contact
with the aged is generally pleasant but a negative image
emerges as the child grows older and has less consistent
interaction with older persons. As the interaction
becomes more impersonal, elderly persons are stereotyped
as a group, becoming a social burden opposing change.
Ramoth (1975); Holtzman, Beck, and Coggan (1978); and


75
the pairwise comparisons indicated that there were no
significant differences due to what the older persons
taught (i.e., the unit on aging or spelling) or between
the older persons and the regular teacher. There was a
significant difference between the older person teaching
spelling (treatment 2) and the control group. Based on
the ANCOVA, the null hypothesis related to the Tuckman-
Lorge Old People Questionnaire was rejected.
The second null hypothesis concerned whether there
were significant differences among the adjusted posttest
means of the four groups on the locally developed
knowledge test. The ANCOVA did not show a significant
treatment effect, therefore the null hypothesis was
retained.
The third null hypothesis was that there would be no
significant difference among the adjusted posttest means
of the four groups on the locally developed Attitude
Test. The ANCOVA procedure showed a significant
interaction between pretest level and treatment. Because
of the violation of homogeneity-of-slopes assumption, the
standard ANCOVA could not be used, and the hypothesis
could not be tested.
Regression lines for the treatment groups were
examined to clarify the interaction effects between


113
Bader, J.E. (1980). Attitudes toward aging, old age, and
old people. Aged Care and Services Review, 2, 1-14.
Baggett, S. (1981). Attitudinal consequences of older
adult volunteers in the public school setting.
Educational Gerontology, 7, 21-31.
Bailey, S. (1976). The purposes of education.
Bloomington, IN: Phil Delta Kappa Educational
Foundation.
Barron, M.L. (1953). Minority group characteristics of
the aged in American society. Journal of Gerontology,
3, 477-482.
Baumhoner, L. & Jones, J. (1977). Handbook of American
aging programs. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press
Beall, P. (1982). Understanding aging: A curriculum for
grades K-6. Acton, MA: Learning About Aging Project.
Bengston, V.L., Smith. D., & Inkeles, A. (1975).
Modernization, modernity, and perceptions of aging: A
cross-cultural study. Journal of Gerontology, 30,
688-695.
Bennett R. (1976). Attitudes of the young toward the
old: A review of research. Personnel and Guidance
Journal, ^5_, 136-139.
Bennett, R. & Eckman, J. (1973). Attitudes toward aging:
A critical examination of recent literature and
implications for future research. In C. Eisdorfer and M.
Lawton (Eds.), The psychology of adult development and
aging (575-598). Washington, DC: American Psychological
Association.
Binstock, R. (1983). The aged as scapegoats. The
Gerontologist, 23, 136-146.
Blau, Z. (1956). Change in satus and age identification.
American Sociological Review, 21, 185-203.
Borges, M.A. & Dutton, L. (1976). Attitudes toward
aging. The Gerontologist, 6, 215-219.


63
posttest scores were used as the dependent variable. The
first hypothesis was of main interest.
HO -L : There will be no significant difference among
the adjusted posttest means of the four
groups on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old
People Questionnaire (TL).
As shown in the upper panel of Table 4-4, the
interaction between subjects' initial attitudes toward
old people determined by pretest scores, and the
treatment had no significant effect on posttest scores
(F=.48 with p > .70 at 3 and 8 degrees of freedom).
Because of the nesting of classes within treatments, the
mean square (MS) for the interaction of pretest with
classes within treatments, TC*CL(TRT), was used as the
error term in constructing the F statistic. This result
indicates that the assumption of homogeneity in slopes,
required for the use of ANCOVA, was met.
The ANCOVA for the reduced model was utilized for
further analysis. As shown in the lower panel of
Table 4-4, the F test for the covariate remained
significant at p > .0001 and a significant treatment
effect was found at p > .03. The mean square for the
nested class-within-treatment factor served as the error


31
Immorlica (1980) identified an increasing need for
factual information about the aging process and that the
omission of this content area would allow erroneous myths
about the aged to continue.
Olejnik and LaRue (1981) found that adolescents'
attitudes toward persons over the age of 60 were improved
by two months of daily intergenerational contact. Sixth
through eighth graders expressed more positive
perceptions of the aged and fewer negative stereotypes
after the researchers set up unstructured daily contact
between the two age groups during the social setting of
lunchtime. To measure perceptions of the aged, items
from the Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (Tuckman
& Lorge, 1953a) were adapted for the study.
Comparing pre- and posttest results, both males and
females showed less negative and fewer stereotypic
perceptions about the elderly after the treatment
program. There was a significant change in the
percentage of affirmative responses, especially regarding
physical characteristics and reported feelings of
insecurity of older persons. Younger students changed
more following the contact period than did older students
in the study (Olejnik & LaRue, 1981).
Britton and Britton (1969) and Kastenbaum and Durkee
(1964) found that respondents were able to assess


APPENDIX C MODIFIED TUCKMAN-LORGE OLD PEOPLE
QUESTIONNAIRE AND ATTITUDE TEST
QUESTIPNNIARE
The attitude questionnaire will require the teacher to
read each item. All of the statements are short and easy
to read, however, teachers are encouraged to read each
item twice to insure the students' comprehension. The
following directions may be utilized in administering the
questionnaire.
Please write your name at the top of your test sheet.
(Instruct students to use both first and last name.)
Now write in the name of our school on the line marked
"School." (Teachers may write the name of the school on
the blackboard for students to copy.)
Listen carefully while I read each of the statements
listed on your sheet. As I read each item, circle TRUE
if you agree with the statement. If you do not agree
with the statement, circle FALSE. (Pause.) Let me
repeat, if you think the statement is true, then circle
TRUE on your worksheet. If you think the statement is
false, then circle FALSE on your worksheet. Does
everyone understand? (Please make sure that all students
understand the directions.)
Now look at number one. MOST PEOPLE OVER 60 YEARS OLD
WOULD LIKE TO BE YOUNG AGAIN. If you think that
statement is true, then circle TRUE. If you think that
statement is false, then circle FALSE. I will read
number one again. MOST PEOPLE OVER 60 YEARS OLD WOULD
LIKE TO BE YOUNG AGAIN. If you agree with that
statement, circle TRUE. If you do not agree with that
statement, circle FALSE. (Pause.)
Number two. MOST PEOPLE OVER 60 YEARS OLD LIKE TO KEEP
BUSY. (Pause.) MOST PEOPLE OVER 60 YEARS OLD WOULD LIKE
TO KEEP BUSY. If you agree with that statement, circle
TRUE. If you do not agree, circle FALSE. (Pause.)
101


CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter presents a review of the professional
literature relating to children's attitudes toward old
people and documented educational projects involving
children and the elderly. The initial section deals with
research findings concerning attitudes toward old people
with a focus on children's perceptions. The second
section identifies the various instruments that have been
used in analyzing attitudes toward the aged and those
assessing children's attitudes toward the elderly are
examined. The final section addresses specific
educational programs and projects which have involved
children and older persons.
Research Findings on Attitudes Toward Aging and the Aged
The important influence in the aging process is
found in younger generations, not in the elderly. It is
the youth who shape attitudes as they go through their
own aging process. As Borges & Dutton (1976), Cameron
(1971), and Rosow (1962) have proposed, it is persons
other than the elderly who determine the role of the
older person in society. Tuckman and Lorge (1953a),
found in an early sample that individuals had limited
12


2
unavailable for many children in today's society (Atwood,
1975; Pribble & Trusty, 1981).
Attitudes which develop in childhood influence one's
life and can cause an individual to act in consistent
ways toward people, objects, situations, or ideas
(Brubaker & Powers, 1976; Green, 1981; Mussen, Conger,
& Kogan, 1969; Thomas, 1981). Furthermore, attitudes
formed early in life remain relatively stable as a person
grows older (Klausmeier & Ripple, 1971; Seltzer &
Atchley, 1971). Thus, Jantz, Seefeldt, Galper, and
Serock (1977) proposed that because attitudes are
developed during childhood and influence later behavior,
concern about aging education is all important for
today's children as their attitudes will affect us all.
With the increasing emphasis on accountability, the
attitudes that schools are promoting must be examined
(Moramarco, 1978). Education should not allow important
values to be unintended outcomes of school curriculum
(Khan & Weiss, 1973). The more positive children's
attitudes toward the elderly, the more completely they
will live their own lives. When people are able to
identify with older persons, stereotyping may be avoided.
However, the educational system isolates students from
the realities of human growth and maturation and


89
The eight lessons include:
2 topics in the language arts/reading area
2 topics in the mathematics/computations area
2 topics in social studies related activities
1 topic in health/science area
1 topic involving a film focusing on the
relationships between children and old persons
*Each lesson has been tied to the fourth grade skills
list that is part of the Marion County Basic Skills
Continuum. Additional skills from other grade levels
are also included.
The class involving spelling instruction being taught by
an RSVP volunteer will also meet twice a week for the
same time period. The instruction will focus on the
spelling words for each week and presented through
dictionary use, word meanings, sentence construction
and/or completion, word searches, and crossword puzzles.
The pre- and posttest will have two components. The
first being a knowledge test which is part of the aging
curriculum's focus and the second involving the students'
attitudes toward elderly persons. All of the classrooms
will have this test administered before the volunteers
begin teaching and after the volunteers complete their
instructional activities.
The RSVP program of Marion County has offered its
services through the Ocala Vision Office. Several
individuals have volunteered and every attempt will be
made to find individuals who will be able to adjust to
the school program.


40
volunteers ended up being tutors in the class and the
program had aimed for a broader concept with the older
persons being active in the classroom rather than the
traditional passive assistant. Baggett found that
teachers were fearful that the elderly might become ill
or possibly die in the classroom. He believed a program
for sensitizing teachers to the potential value of older
volunteers would reduce their fears.
A study by Lambert, Guberman, & Morris (1964) and
data collected by Worthington (1973) found that
community service agencies were reluctant to use aged
persons as volunteers. Lambert et al. found that there
are specific obstacles in using seniors as volunteers.
One major difficulty is the cultural stereotype of the
older person. Worthington (1973) suggested that an
orientation or training program be completed for the
older volunteers with additional efforts directed toward
educating agencies on using the potential of older
adults. Sainer and Zander (1971), in employing senior
citizens as volunteers for Project SERVE, used
Worthington's recommendations for orientation sessions
and overcame the hesitation in community agencies' use of
senior volunteers.
The studies of Rosenblatt (1966), Lambert et al.
(1964), and Worthington (1973), support the finding that


3
children do not really understand the normal aging
process or what older people are like (Harris, 1975;
Jantz et al., 1977).
The concept that children need to be made aware of
their own status in relation to the process of aging is
one which is found in several investigations (Bennett,
1976; Jacobs, 1969; Jantz et al., 1977; Looft, 1971;
Lorge, Tuckman, & Abrams, 1954; Seefeldt et al., 1977;
Serock et al., 1977; Sheehan, 1978). If children are to
recognize their own position in the aging process and
realize that old age can also be a fulfilling time of
life, they will need exposure to a range of elderly
persons. Several authors (Bailey, 1976; Kawabori, 1975;
Wass, Fillmer, & Ward, 1981) maintain that schools have a
responsibility to develop such age awareness in their
students, and Bennett (1976) and Marks & Newman (1985)
recommend that contacts between the young and the old
should be initiated early in the educational process.
Research literature provides many examples of how
intergenerational contact and related materials support
children's development of more accurate knowledge of and
positive attitudes toward aging and the elderly. There
is a lack, however, of evidence as to what method is most
effective with children in creating improved attitudes


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08554 6702


24
It was found that the young people perceived differences
between adult age groups. Results demonstrated that the
older the adult, the less pleasant the image young
respondents held.
In order to better assess children's age-related
biases, the Children's Attitudes Toward the Elderly
(CATE) by Jantz et al. (1977) was developed to analyze
behavioral and knowledge components of attitudes. The
assessment items are based on four measurement
techniques, including a modified word association with
open-ended questions, a semantic differential format, a
picture series, and a final subtest based on Piagetian
concepts using three conservation tasks (designed to
determine the levels of cognitive development concerning
concepts of age). The individually administered CATE has
some limitations which may influence results. Although a
majority of the older population are women, the pictures
used in the CATE picture series are all men. A large
number of children could have a grandmother who is the
only older person that they know and with whom they have
interacted. If the picture series were more reflective
of older persons with whom children have experience, the
subjects might respond differently to questions that are
asked. The CATE also has limited scoring procedure for
some items. In response to the question asking children


21
agree with the statement or not. Tuckman and Lorge
attempted to correct possible respondent-set problems by
having subjects estimate the percentages of old people
possessing various characteristics. Subjects were asked
to estimate the percentage of old people whom they
thought possessed certain characteristics. Axelrod and
Eisdorfer (1961) found that 96 of the 137 items have
stimulus-group validity.
Following the work of Tuckman and Lorge, Golde and
Kogan (1959) attempted to test the hypothesis that
attitudes toward old people are measurably different from
those involving "people in general." Sentence completion
procedures were used so that paired experimental items
and control items could be constructed. A comparison of
the experimental and control forms yielded statistically
significant differences for the majority of items. There
was a large amount of ambivalance in the attitudes of
younger subjects. The young subjects viewed their own
aging negatively or could not conceive of it and did not
interact with old people. The researchers suggested that
if the younger subjects believe the older generation is
old fashioned and narrow-minded, their interpersonal
relationships with older persons probably reflect these
views (Golde & Kogan, 1959). Sadowski used the Age-
Appropriate Attitude Technique (AAAT) developed by


RATIONALE
We all know something about aging, but often what we
"know" is based on myths and stereotypes. These myths
that concern aging are pervasive throughout our culture
and are reinforced through our language, humor, and the
media. Because of this, our society looks upon aging
from a very negative view and expects those who are aged
to behave according to stereotypes that we hold as
truths. In our society, we also tend to separate people
by age groups, particularly the young from the old, in
housing, work, recreation, and other areas. The lack of
contact between young and old strengthens and perpetuates
these misrepresentations of aging. As a result of the
socialization process, most Americans, especially the
young, have false information and negative attitudes
concerning older persons.
Because the children now being educated in our
schools will be the most longevous generation of
Americans so far, it would be an injustice to let these
attitudes go unchallenged. Individuals can influence how
they will grow older and to let students continue with
the perception that it is inevitably bad to grow old is
to write off their futures for both themselves and our
society.
This experimental project is designed to dispute
some of the prevailing myths about growing old, to
provide students with more complete information and to
assist in the development of more positive attitudes
about aging and older persons. The unit will investigate
the students' attitudes about aging by questionnaires and
activities which assess their knowledge on particular
topics relating to aging. The effect of using older
volunteers and classroom teachers in teaching about aging
will also be explored. A curriculum package has been
formulated for this project and will be used for
instructional purposes in the designated classrooms.
Ultimately, it is hoped that students will begin to
recognize older people as individuals who have their own
ideas, values, and attitudes, many of which are similar
to those of the students themselves.


23
In 1978, the FAQ (Palmore, 1977) was used by Allen
in three grades in three Florida public schools and two
university classes (for a comparative college sample).
Using Palmore's procedure for determining positive and
negative bias demonstrated that all subject groups showed
a negative tendency with middle schoolers the least
biased and high schoolers the most. On some knowledge
dimensions, increased age and education level showed
higher error rates in information about the elderly.
Based on the data collected in Allen's study, it was
demonstrated that students lack accurate information
about older people. The findings associated with
youngsters who have contact with an older person living
in the same household are somewhat ambiguous. The data
that Allen gathered, suggests that direct contact with
dependent elderly living in the household may convey an
unrealistic depiction of the aged in general.
Hickey et al. (1968) studied the perceptions of
third graders in both private and public schools. The
young children produced stereotypic stories describing
old people as having ambulatory problems, being lonely,
bored, and inactive. The researchers also examined
perceptions of adult ages with third grade, junior high,
senior high, and college students by a 20-item
questionnaire of both evaluative and descriptive items.


13
experience and lacked accurate knowledge about aging.
What was known came from the subjects' observations of
others or through their own aging. Subjects in the study
characterized old age as a time of poor health, economic
insecurity, loneliness, and failing physical and mental
processes. In a later study, Tuckman and Lorge (1958)
discovered that interpersonal contacts with old persons
could influence individual's attitudes in a positive way.
This was found in comparison to persons whose contacts
lacked depth and were restricted.
Research has indicated that attitudes and
stereotypes develop early in life and remain fairly
stable (Carp, 1967; Havighurst, 1974; Klausmeier &
Ripple, 1971; Seltzer & Atchley, 1971; Thomas & Yamamoto,
1975). Attitudes and stereotypes that relate to aging
and the aged influence behaviors directed toward older
people and influence the development of an individual's
self concept (Hendricks & Hendricks, 1977). Because
growing older is irreversible and unavoidable negative
attitudes about aging and maturation can be very
damaging. Neugarten (1976) believes stereotypes about
aging create a fear of aging and this can lead to ageism
and hostile feelings between age groups. Research has
demonstrated that children's general attitudes toward the
elderly as a group are not positive and literature


Abstract Of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
School of the University of Florida in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor
of Philosophy
THE EFFECT OF UTILIZING OLDER PERSONS IN THE CLASSROOM
UPON ELEMENTARY STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD AGING
By
Betty J. Towry
December 1986
Chairperson: Dr. Hannelore Wass
Major Department: Foundations of Education
Literature review indicates that programs involving
intergenerational contact or prepared materials on aging
can increase young persons' knowledge and positive
attitudes regarding aging and the elderly. Comparison of
these approaches are lacking. Combining academic skills
and aging facts would enhance schools adoption of such
curricula. A curriculum unit on aging combined with
academic skills was developed expressly for this study.
Twelve fourth grade classrooms were randomly
assigned to one of the following conditions: instruction
on aging from an older volunteer; instruction on spelling
from an older volunteer; instruction on aging from the
regular classroom teacher; no special treatment for a
control condition. Three classrooms were nested in each
condition. All students were pre- and posttested, using
vii


CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS,
RECOMMENDATIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS
Summary
This study examined the effectiveness of
intervention strategies in changing fourth grade
elementary students' attitudes toward old people. The
three strategies investigated included an old person
teaching a curriculum unit on aging, an old person
teaching a regular spelling lesson, and the regular
classroom teacher teaching a curriculum unit on aging.
The three schools involved in the study were part of the
Marion County Public School System in Ocala, Florida. Of
the 12 classrooms participating in the study, one class
from each school was randomly assigned to one of the
three treatment groups or to the control group.
The total study lasted for eight weeks. During the
first week, the students in the experimental and control
groups were pretested using a modified version of the
1953 Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (first used
by Olejnik and LaRue in 1981) and a locally developed
knowledge survey and attitude test. During weeks three
through six, students in the experimental groups
participated in one of the three treatment sessions.
73


87
Each lesson in the curriculum package on aging
addresses the fourth grade skills list that is part of
the Marion County Basic Skills Continuum. The teacher's
guide includes information pertaining to the specific
skills that are included in the activities. Although
these materials do not provide documentation of these
skills, it may prove helpful in providing students
practice on those identified.
After the project has been completed, teachers that
are involved with the volunteers in the classroom and/or
preparation will be awarded inservice points for the time
spent in these activities. This will be given through
component number 1-86-0147 of Marion County's inservice
program.


86
DIRECTIONS FOR PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION
Prior to beginning the program utilizing the
volunteers and the aging curriculum package, the
knowledge test and the attitude questionnaire will be
administered in each fourth grade classroom (including
the control group). Instructions for using these
materials are included in the teacher's guide. It will
also be necessary to have the students complete the
student information sheet. These activities will involve
the regular classroom teacher through reading the
directions accompanying each assessment and answering
questions the students may have.
The attitude questionnaire, knowledge test and
student information sheet must be administered the week
before the older volunteers begin working in the
classroom. (Estimated time for all preliminary
activities: 25 to 30 minutes.) These activities will
probably best fit into one's regular schedule by handling
each separately, rather than during one time period.
There will be four conditions utilized in this
program. The materials have been developed based on
fourth grade skill requirements and involve eight
lessons. The specific conditions include the following:
Classroom 1
Classroom 2
Classroom 3
Classroom 4
RSVP VOLUNTEER teaching the aging
curriculum package
RSVP VOLUNTEER teaching the weekly
spelling lesson
REGULAR TEACHER teaching the aging
curriculum package
CONTROL GROUP with no special activities
other than pre- and post
testing and student
information sheet.
Classes will meet twice a week for at least thirty
minutes each lesson. The eight topics will be covered in
four weeks. After the completion of the lessons, the
regular classroom teachers will administer the knowledge
test and attitude questionnaire to the students in the
week following the last session.


APPENDIX A
A SAMPLE FROM THE CURRICULUM UNIT ON AGING
(A complete curriculum unit on aging is available for a
nominal charge through the researcher. Write Post Office
Box 373 Ocala, FL 32678 to order a copy of the
materials.)
THE EFFECT OF UTILIZING OLDER PERSONS
IN THE CLASSROOM UPON STUDENTS ATTITUDES
TOWARD AGING
South Ocala Wards Highlands Wyomina Park
Elementary Schools
84


104
10.
Most people over
60
years
old
are fussy about food.
TRUE
FALSE
11.
Most people over
hopeless.
60
years
old
think their future is
TRUE
FALSE
12.
Most people over
time.
60
years
old
feel tired most of the
TRUE
FALSE
13.
Most people over
60
years
old
have many friends.
TRUE
FALSE
14.
Most people over
age homes.
60
years
old
are better off in old
TRUE
FALSE
15.
Most people over
60
years
old
are lonely.
TRUE
FALSE
16.
Most people over
enough money.
60
years
old
worry about not having
TRUE
FALSE
17.
Most people over
coordination.
60
years
old
have poor
TRUE
FALSE
18.
Most people over
or dominoes.
60
years
old
like to play checkers
TRUE
FALSE
19.
Most people over
60
years
old
are old fashioned.
TRUE
FALSE
20.
Most people over
others.
60
years
old
are a bother to
TRUE
FALSE


119
Kirchner, W., Lindbora, T. & Paterson, D. (1952).
Attitudes toward the employment of older people.
Journal of Applied Psychology, 36, 153-156.
Kivnick, H.Q. (1983). Grandparenthood: An overview of
meaning and mental health. The Gerontologist, 33, 59-
66.
Klausmeier, H. & Ripple, R. (1971). Learning and human
abilities. New York: Harper and Row.
Knapp, B. & Moss, A. (1963). A comparison of direct and
attributed attitudes of younger and older age groups.
The Gerontologist, 2/ 30-33.
Kogan, N. (1961). Attitudes toward old people in an
older sample. Journal of Abnormal and Social
Psychology, 62, 44-54.
Kogan, N. (1979). A study of age categorization.
Journal of Gerontology, 34, 358-367.
Kogan, N. & Wallach, M. (1961). Age changes in values
and attitudes. Journal of Gerontology, 16, 272-280.
Kuypers, J. and Bengtson, V. (1973). Social breakdown
and competence. Human Development, 16, 181-201.
Lambert, C., Guberman, M., Morris, R. (1964). Reopening
doors to community participation for older people: How
realistic? Social Service Review, 38, 42-50.
Lane, B. (1964). Attitudes of youth toward the aged.
Journal of Marriage and Family, 36, 229-231.
Lang, M.R. (1980). An exploratory study of children's
perceptions of grandparent-grandchild relationships
(Doctoral disseration, Columbia University Teachers
College, 1980). Dissertation Abstracts International,
41, 4201A.
Leslie, C.R., Larson, R.E., and Gorman, B.C. (1973).
Introductory Sociology: Order and Change. New York:
Oxford University Press.
Linden, M. (1975). Effects of social attitudes on the
mental health of the aged. Geriatrics, 12, 109-115.


120
Long, S. (1982). An American profile: Trends and issues
in the 80's. Educational Leadership, 39, 460-464.
Looft, W. (1971). Children's judgments of age. Child
Development, 42, 1231-1284.
Lorge, I., Tuckman, J., & Abrams, A. (1954). Attitudes
of junior high and high school students toward aging.
Washington, DC: Committee on Problems of the Aged.
Marks, R. & Newman, S. (1981). Latency-aged children's
views of aging. Journal of Gerontology, 12, 89-99.
McTavish, D.G. (1971). Perceptions of old people: A
review of research methodologies and findings. The
Gerontologist, 11, 90-101.
Mead, M. (1970). Culture and commitment: A study of the
generation gap. New York: Doubleday & Company.
Merrill, F.E. (1961). Society and Culture. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Minimum Student Performance Standards for Florida
Schools 1981-1985. (1981). Tallahassee, FL: Student
Performance Standards Section of the Florida Department
of Education.
Monk, A., & Cryns, A. (1974). Predictors of
voluntaristic intent among the aged: An area of study.
The Gerontologist, 14, 425-429.
Moramarco, S.S. (1978). Teaching about aging: You owe it
to yourself. Learning, 6, 44-48.
Murphy-Russell,S., Die, A., & Walker, J. (1986).
Changing attitudes toward the elderly: The impact of
three methods of attitude change. Educational
Gerontology, 12, 241-251.
Mussen, P., Conger, J. & Kogan, J. (1969). Child
development and personality. New York: Harper and Row.
Neugarten, B. (Ed.). (1973). Middle age and aging.
Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.


98
was best. Other times the children and
Winifred would wild flowers into a
long and hang the flowers in the trees.
They even would play to see who was
fastest at the line.
Winifred also had a magic ball that the children
liked to to each other.
When most of the students finish, read the story again
and call on students to fill in the blanks with the
correct words. See the teacher answer key for the
correct answers.
5. The last section is optional, but if there is time
left, ask the students to write a story using five
words from the spelling list for this week. Then
allow the students to read their stories to the
class.
6. Take up the worksheets and their folders. Make sure
each student returns their name tag to their folder
before taking the folders up.
7. Return the folders and the worksheets to the
designated area. Separate the worksheets into one
group.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!
COMMENTS ON LESSON:


37
transportation needs were met, and there was consistent
leadership available. Program reports indicated that in
working with the elderly, brief, one-time contacts do not
yield results in recruiting older volunteers.
Freund (1971) believes that school volunteer
projects help the young and old to close the generation
gap between the two age groups. The Dade County Schools
study (1975) found that both senior citizens' and
children's perceptions of each other changed through the
volunteer experience. Older volunteers reported that
they understood students much better as a result of their
volunteering and the students felt they understood the
old people through working with them in their roles as
senior school volunteers.
The work of volunteers is becoming established due
to the increasing number of healthy retired persons (Cull
& Hardy, 1974). Many volunteers are becoming involved
in school-related activities. "Because of the early
retirement, better health care, and education, the senior
citizen population is increasing yearly, and is a potent
resource with the capacity to meet the needs of our
schools" (Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, School
Volunteer Program, 1975, p. 26). Older citizens want to
share their talents if they are needed and valued.
Senior volunteers can provide vital tasks toward the


61
Table 4-2
Reliability Estimates Computed By
The Kuder-Richardson Formula 21
Treatments
Control
1
2
3
4
Test
Pre
Post
Pre
Post
Pre
Post
Pre
Post
TL
.82
.86
.87
.81
.81
.91
.77
.89
KS
.76
.92
.93
.84
.83
.94
.88
.88
AT
.96
.99
.94
.96
.93
.99
.95
.96


102
Does everyone understand what you are supposed to do on
this questionnaire? (Pause.) Okay, we will work
together on these. Please listen carefully and then mark
your answer choice.
Number three. MOST PEOPLE OVER 60 YEARS OLD ARE AFRAID
TO DIE. (Pause.) MOST PEOPLE OVER 60 YEARS OLD ARE
AFRAID TO DIE. Mark your answer. (Pause.)
Continue through the questionnaire to the last item.
Observe children to determine if they have questions or
are not keeping up and attempt to clarify any statements
that they do not understand.
When the questionnaire is completed, please collect the
forms and turn these into the Elementary Learning
Specialist. If you have any problems, please add your
comments to this direction sheet.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comments:


53
the 12 fourth grade teachers involved in the study,
two were male. One male was assigned to treatment two
and one to the control group.
Each teacher who participated in the study received
"county inservice points" which accumulate toward teacher
certificate renewal. Point accumulation depended on
attendence at all training sessions, the completion of
study questionnaires and activities (such as assisting
volunteers, written evaluations of study units and total
study, and collection of data concerning student comments
and responses). Teachers were awarded varying point
totals (based on the extent of their participation) in
the Marion County Schools inservice component for use of
paraprofessionals.
Volunteers were recruited through the Ocala, Florida
office of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Upon
contacting the RSVP office and making a request for six
volunteers, a mailout asking for interested persons was
issued. There were no stipulations as to sex, age, race,
or experience. Of the 12 indiviudals who responded,
telephone contact was made to answer general questions
regarding the study. Six female volunteers from (60 to
78 years of age) were invited to participate in the study
after interviewing those individuals who responded to the


60
three test measures. The reliability coefficients, which
were considered adequate for this study, are provided in
Table 4-2.
Table 4-3 presents the adjusted means and standard
error of the mean for the three experimental and single
control groups on the posttest measures. These scores
are for the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire (TL), the knowledge survey (KS) and the
attitude test (AT).
Effects of Instructional Strategies
Three separate analyses of covariance were performed
using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) general
linear models procedure on the Northeast Regional Data
Center computer system at the University of Florida. One
model was completed for the modified 1953 Tuckman-Lorge
Old People Questionnaire (TL), the second for the
knowledge survey (KS), and the third for the experimenter
designed attitude test (AT).
The first analysis was for the modified version of
the Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (TL). The TL
was administered to classrooms in the experimental groups
and the control group. For the analysis of covariance,
pretest scores on the TL were used as the covariate and


116
Fossbender, A.J. (1980). A descriptive study of the
relationship between adolescent attitudes toward old
people and behavioral intentions (Doctoral dissertation,
Columbia Teachers College, 1979). Dissertation
Abstracts International, 40, 1190A.
Freund, J. (1971). The meaning of volunteer services to
the schools, to the educator, and older adult. The
Gerontologist, 11, 205-208.
Frost, G. (1981) Confrontation: Aging in America.
Acton, MA: McCarthy-Towne School.
Galper, A., Jantz, R., Seefeldt, C., & Serock, K. (1981).
The child's concept of age and aging. International
Journal of Aging and Human Development, 12, 149-157.
Glass, J.C., & Knott,
workshop on aging in
attitudes toward the
359-372.
E.S. (1982). Effectiveness of a
changing middle-aged adults'
aged. Educational Gerontology, 3,
Glass, J.C., & Trent, C. (1980). Changing ninth graders'
attitudes toward old persons. Research on Aging, 2,
499-512.
Golde, P. & Kogan, N. (1959). A sentence completion
procedure for assessing attitudes toward old people.
Journal of Gerontology, 14, 355-363.
Gordon, S. & Hallauer, D. (1976). Impact of a friendly
visiting program on atttudes of college students toward
the aged. The Gerontologist, 16, 371-376.
Gray, R. & Kasteller, J. (1970). An evaluation of the
effectiveness of a foster grandparent project.
Sociology and Social Research, 54, 181-189.
Green, S.K. (1981). Attitudes and perceptions about the
elderly: Current and future percetions. International
Journal of Aging and Human Development, 13, 99-117.
Handbook for instruction on aging in California public
schools: Kindergarten through grade twelve. (1978).
Sacramento: California State Department of Education.
Harris, L. (1975). The myth and reality of aging in
America. Washington: National Council on Aging.


107
44. Most old people complain a lot about younger people.
TRUE FALSE
45. Most old people enjoy their lives.
TRUE FALSE
46. Most old people are not very neat.
TRUE FALSE
47. Most old people are wrinkled and do not look very
good.
TRUE FALSE
48. A person of any age should live to the fullest and
do all that he or she can.
TRUE FALSE
49. Most old people do not take care of themselves.
TRUE FALSE
50. I am glad that I am growing older every day.
TRUE
FALSE


16
identified a social breakdown syndrome by which older
people are believed to become less competent in meeting
role expectations, utimately creating a self-fulfilling
prophecy for the individuals themselves. Other factors
which can influence old age are education on aging
attitudes and the opportunities generally accompanying
educational activities (Thorson, 1975). Tuckman and
Lorge (1952) found that as individuals become less able
to function autonomously, there is a tendency to believe
and act out (to a greater degree) the misconceptions and
stereotypes of old age. Data suggest that individuals
who believe old people should be in old age homes, are
difficult to get along with, etc., may have these
attitudes due to their personal perceptions of themselves
or their acquaintances.
Additional external factors considered by Ivester
and King (1977) showed that a majority of rural
adolescents in their study had positive attitudes toward
the elderly. The authors concluded that rural children
may have more contact with the elderly than the urban
children used in the comparison group. This supports
the finding of Tuckman and Lorge in their 1958 study that
individuals with contacts among a variety of aged persons
will have more positive attitudes toward aging and the
aged. Butler and Lewis (1976) believe that a feeling of


115
Communications and mathematics skills for elementary
grades. (1983). Ocala, FL: Marion County Public School
System.
Cull, J. & Hardy, R. (1974). Volunteerism; An emerging
profession. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas
Publishing.
Davis, R. (1981). Growing up growing older: The
intergenerational dialogues program. Sacramento: Andrus
Gerontology Center at University of Southern California.
Davis, R. & Westbrook, G.J. (1981). Intergenerational
dialogues: A tested educational program for children.
Eudcational Gerontology, 7, 383-396.
Dewey, R. (1971). The senior citizen as volunteer.
Volunteer Administration, 5, 8-15.
Dodson, A. & House, J.B. (1981). "Realistic" portrayal
of aging, teaching, and learning about aging.
Acton, MA: McCarthy-Towne School.
Downey, G. (1974). The greying of America. Nation1s
Schools and Colleges, 1, 30-36.
Doyle, R. & Pappas, A.A. (1982). Math activities for
teaching about aging. Acton, MA: McCarthy-Towne
School.
Drevenstedt, J. (1976). Perceptions of onsets of young
adulthood, middle age, and old age. Journal of
Gerontology, 31, 53-57.
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. (1975). School
Volunteer Program of Miami, Dade County Public Schools.
Miami, FL: Dade County Public School System.
Eisdorfer, C. (1966). Attitudes toward old people: A
re-analysis of item validity of the stereotype scale.
Journal of Gerontology, 21, 455-457.
Eisdorfer, C. & Altrocchi, J. (1961). A comparison of
attitudes toward old age and mental illness. Journal of
Gerontology, 16, 340-343.
Fillmer, J. T. (1982). Stereotyping of the elderly by
children. Educational Gerontology, 77-85.


55
materials were understood and all questions regarding the
presentation were answered. The final meeting reviewed
the project and discussion was held on the volunteers'
reactions to assignments, lessons, students, and the
overall study.
Each of the three schools in the project had school
volunteer programs in operation and were organized to
accept the RSVP volunteers on campus. The state of
Florida encourages public schools to utilize volunteers
and gives statewide recognition to those schools having
exemplary volunteer activities. The volunteers who
participated in this study were counted as part of the
elementary schools' volunteer programs (one of the
elementary schools received a state award for the program
and the study volunteers were part of the individual
school's project). All volunteers reported being well
received and treated with courtesy and respect by
students and staff alike.
One week prior to the beginning of the treatment
sessions, the three test measures were administered by
the classroom teachers to all groups. The treatment
condition lasted for the next four weeks, and one week
following the end of the treatments, the three test


38
schools'effectiveness and add an extra dimension to
children's lives by sharing knowledge, experience, and
talents. "Through the senior citizens' interaction with
the youth ... a greater understanding and respect
between generations will evolve" (Edna McConnell Clark
Foundation, School Volunteer Program, 1975 p. 28).
Freund (1971) stated that, "one major change taking place
in education is the increasing use of supportive
personnel in schools" (p.205).
Seltzer and Atchley (1971) felt stereotypes
concerning old people are learned early in life, are
relatively enduring, and have consequences for both
behaviors toward old people and the development of one's
self-concept as an old person. Stereotyping of senior
citizens has been shown to exist among young children and
contact with senior volunteers may be a way of lessening
the stereotyping. Lane (1964) has suggested that contact
between senior citizens and school students is important,
in fact, "contact with well-adjusted oldsters who view
their later years as positive will aid the learner in
modifying his concept of older persons as cranky, ill-
tempered, and 'sour on life'" (p. 230).
Given the chance to interact with older persons in an
educational setting, children will have better


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This has truly been a God-directed journey in love.
So many dear and wonderful people have shown me love
through sharing their encouragement, strength, and
inspiration. Dr. Hannelore Wass has given me every
support possible throughout my doctoral program. Her
wisdom, love, and enthusiasm have made all the difference
in keeping me going. Dr. Linda Crocker has cleared my
vision, shared her intellect and her laughter, and
strengthened my faith. Dr. Don Avila started the journey
with me and has been near every step. Dr. Paul
Fitzgerald has been visible and supportive at the
important points along the way. I am grateful to each of
these individuals in making this moment a reality.
My family and friends have remained supportive, even
through the crazy times. They continue to love me, pray
for me, and encourage my growth. Such lessons of love I
have learned from them! Grandmother and Grandaddy have
been a very important part of my journey. And Mother and
Daddy have been and remain close, giving me a gentle push
(as needed) to get around the next bend.
ii


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Paul Fitzgerald 7^
Professor of Counselor Education
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of
the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was
accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December 1986
Chairman, Foundations of Education
irman
Dean, College df Educatioh
Dean, Graduate School


8
culture, provide the ideal setting for confronting
stereotypes and myths regarding aging and the aged.
Seefeldt et al. (1981) suggest that schools be specific
concerning attitudes perpetuated by the institution and
develop strategies for teaching about aging.
In 1981, during the third White House Conference on
Aging, the United States Congress reaffirmed the Older
American Act which identifies several objectives related
to the aged and the American belief about the dignity of
the individual. The need for aging education was also
a concern of the two previous White House Conferences on .
Aging in 1961 and 1971. These conferences developed
specific recommendations concerning education about aging
for children and youth in school. The problem remains
that attempts to develop such programs occur only if
there is interest and support in local school districts
(Johnson, 1982). Furthermore, those who undertake
development of such programs in the future need the
results of empirical studies to guide their decisions
about content, learning activities, and roles to assign
to older volunteers in classrooms.


6
are lacking. Margaret Mead (1970, p. 19) stated, "A
concomitance to the fear of aging is a fear of the aged.
There are far too many children in American who are badly
afraid of older people because they never see any."
Utilizing the elderly (65 years and older) in the
classroom setting could provide potential advantages
while improving intergenerational relationships and
attitudes of students, teachers, and elderly involved.
According to Rosow (1967), the most important influence
in the aging process is found in the younger generations,
not the elderly. Rosow suggests that it is persons other
than the elderly who determine the role of the older
person in society. Tuckman and Lorge, who completed the
majority of early studies regarding attitudes toward
aging, found in a 1958 study that personal contact with a
variety of old persons can influence individuals'
attitudes more positively as compared to persons whose
acquaintances lack depth and are of a restricted nature.
Older persons can benefit from such involvement
through increased activity, stimulation, and enhanced
opportunities for personal growth (Hunter & Linn, 1981;
Linden, 1975; Monk & Cryns, 1974). In fact, Downey
(1974) found that self-esteem and self-worth of the older
person can be renewed by the elderly participating in


123
Sears Foundation (Producer) (1980). Growing up--growinq
older. St. Petersburg, FL: Modern Talking Picture
Service, Incorporated.
Seefeldt, C., Jantz, R., Galper, A., & Serock, K. (1977).
Children's attitudes toward the elderly: Educational
implications. Educational Gerontology, 2, 301-310.
Seefeldt, C., Jantz, R., Galper, A., & Serock, K. (1981).
Healthy, happy and old: Children learn about the
elderly. Educational Gerontology, 1_, 79-87.
Seltzer, M. & Atchley, R. (1971). The concept of old:
Changing attitudes and stereotypes. The Gerontologist,
11, 226-230.
Serock, K., Seefeldt, C., Jantz, R. & Galper, A. As
children see old folks. Today's Education, 66, 70-73.
Sheehan, R. (1978). Young children's contact with the
elderly. Journal of Gerontology, 33, 657-664.
Sheehy, G. (1976). Passages. New York: Dutton Press.
Silverman, I. (1966). Response-set bias and predictive
validity associated with Kogan's attitudes toward old
people scale. Journal of Gerontology, 21, 86-88.
Speulda, F. (1973). Gerontology Research Instructional
Program. Washington, DC: Office of Health, Education,
and Welfare.
Sussman, M.B. (1976). The family life of old people. In
R.H. Binstock & L. Shanas (Eds.), Handbook of aging and
the social sciences. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold
Company.
Thomas, E. & Yamamoto, K. (1975). Attitudes toward age:
An exploration in school-age children. International
Journal of Aging and Human Development, 6, 117-129.
Thomas, W. (1981). The expectation gap and the
stereotype of the stereotype: Images of old people.
The Gerontologist, 21, 402-407.


118
Ivester, C. & King, K. (1977). Attitudes of adolescents
toward the aged. The Gerontologist, 17, 85-89.
Jacobs, H.L. (1969). Youth looks at aging. Iowa City:
Institute of Gerontology at the University of Iowa.
James, J.R. (1981). Children's association with an older
affiliated family, reading achievement, and attitudes
toward the elderly (Doctoral dissertation, University of
South Carolina, 1980). Dissertation Abstracts
International, 41, 2932A.
Jantz, R., Seefeldt, C., Galper, A., & Serock, K. (1976).
Curriculum guide: Children's attitudes toward the
elderly. Annapolis: Division of Human and Community
Resources at the University of Maryland.
Jantz, R., Seefeldt, C., Galper, A., & Serock, K. (1977).
Children's attitudes toward the elderly. Social
Education, 41, 518-523.
John, M.A. (1977). Teaching children about older family
members. Social Education, 41, 524-527.
Johnson, H.R. (1982). Perspectives on the 1981 White
House Conference on Aging. The Gerontologist, 22,
125-126.
Kahana, B. & Kahana, E. (1970). Children's views of their
grandparents: Influence in the kinship system. The
Gerontologist, 9_, 267-277.
Kart, C., Metress, E. & Metress, J. (1978). Young
peoples' perceptions of adults. Journal of Gerontology,
23, 215-219.
Kastenbaum, R. & Durkee, N. (1964). Young people view
old age. In R. Kastenbaum (Ed.), New thoughts
on old age. New York: Springer Books.
Kawabori, C. (1975). The aged: An opportunity for the
educator. Health Education, 1_, 6-7.
Khan, S. & Weiss, J. (1973). The teaching of affective
responses. In R. M. Travers (Ed.), Second handbook on
research in teaching. Chicago: Rand McNally.


83
educational practice. The curriculum and instruments,
which appear reliable, should be used in other settings
and may have usefulness for other research efforts. The
findings indicate that older persons may make a positive
contribution to the elementary school curriculum when the
goal is to affect attitudes toward aging. Furthermore,
it does not seem especially beneficial to restrict the
older volunteer to only teaching about aging. Schools
should encourage interaction between older persons and
children through involving old people in school volunteer
programs, special projects such as this study, and as
informational resources to teach on particular topics,
including academic subjects.
The pretest treatment interactions detected for the
third instrument in this study is a phenomenon that would
also merit future investigation. It would be interesting
to determine if this patttern of interactions occurs in
future studies using other samples of students, teachers,
and older volunteers.


10
Marion County Basic Skills Continuum Based on
required skill instruction by the Florida Department of
Education, Marion County Public School System developed
an expanded skill program for all levels of the school
curriculum. The skill continuum for fourth grade was
used in developing the curriculum unit on aging.
Regular Classroom Teacher A reference to the
regularly assigned teacher for each classroom. In three
classrooms or treatments, the regular classroom teacher
taught the curriculum unit on aging.
Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) A
volunteer program for any person 60 years of age and over
who wants to be involved in various types of community
service. This agency assisted in the recruitment of
volunteers for this study.
Spelling Activities Eight different activities
based on the spelling words required for study in three
different classrooms (treatment group 2) were designed by
the experimenter. The exercises were the same for all
three classrooms, but the spelling words in each school's
spelling textbook varied.


65
term in testing for a treatment effect. There was no
significant effect due to classes within treatments.
The post hoc follow up of pairwise comparisons of
adjusted posttest means (LS means) is displayed in
Table 4-5. There was a significant difference found
between treatment group 2 and control group 4 with
F(1,2)= 14.12, p > .01.
HO 2 : There will be no significant difference among
the adjusted posttest means of the four
groups on the Knowledge Survey (KS).
The second model included the knowledge survey
pretest scores as the covariate and the knowledge survey
posttest scores as the dependent variable. The upper
panel of Table 4-6 displays the results of testing for
the effect of interaction between student knowledge about
aging, as determined by pretest scores, and treatment on
posttest scores. The KS pretest treatment interaction
was not significant (F = 1.07 with p > .41 at 3 and 8
degrees of freedom) supporting the assumption of
homogeneity of slopes.
The ANCOVA for the reduced model revealed no
significant effect of the treatment on posttest scores.
There remained a significant covariate effect, but again
the class-within treatment effect was not significant.


88
THE UTILIZATION OF OLDER VOLUNTEERS IN THE CLASSROOM
Objective: To study the effects of aging education
curriculum and utilization of older persons
in the classroom setting on the attitudes and
knowledge of elementary school children
toward the elderly.
Design: Three elementary schools will be involved,
with the focus being on fourth grade
classrooms, there will be 3 "treatment"
groups and one control group. The specific
activities will be as following:
1.
RSVP
volunteer
teaching aging
curriculum package
pre- and
testing
post-
2.
RSVP
volunteer
teaching regular
spelling program
pre- and
testing
post-
3.
Classroom teacher
teaching aging
curriculum package
pre- and
testing
post-
4.
Control group
no special
activities-only
observed
pre- and
testing
post-
The volunteers and teachers will be involved in short
weekly preparations on the lessons to be presented.
Volunteers will also be in training specifically designed
to enable them to work effectively with students.
*Teachers who are involved in this project will receive
INSERVICE POINTS for working with the project
volunteers.
*The schools utilizing this project may count the
volunteers' service hours as part of their current
school volunteer program.
The Curriculum Unit on Aging consists of eight 30 to 45
minute lessons. These lessons will be taught twice a
week, lasting four weeks in the school.


94
4. Go through each word listed on the sheet. You may
write the word's meaning on the blackboard to help
students stay together. Go slowly so that everyone
can find the correct page the word is on in the
dictionary. The guide words are written at the top
of the pages. After students have completed the
first two or three words, they will understand better
what is expected of them. Be sure to call on
students who raise their hands to give the page
number. Then after everyone turns to the correct
page, the student can read the meaning for that word.
5. At the end of the sheet is a question concerning
stereotypes. You may need to help the students get
started by giving a stereotype that they will be able
to use as a springboard for coming up with their own.
This might include something like, "Old people are
always hard of hearing," or "Old people are always
sick." Stress the fact that a stereotype is not true
of all people, but something others believe to be
true even though there are no facts to support the
idea. The directions on the worksheet are as
follows:
Can you think of some stereotypes people have about
elderly persons? Write your ideas on the lines
below. You may use the back of this sheet if you
know of several different stereotypes.
6. Ask the students to be sure that they have put their
names on the papers. Give them time to attempt at
least two stereotypes of their own about lederly
persons (not using the one of two examples that you
give in class). Then ask each student to place
their name tags back into their folders and collect
the folders and worksheets.
Please leave the student folders and tags in the
classroom. Return the completed worksheets to the
designated area for project use.
PLEASE write your comments concerning this lesson on the
back of this direction sheet 1


105
21. Most people over 60 years
because of illness.
TRUE
22. Most people over 60 years
grandchildren.
TRUE
23. Most people over 60 years
health.
TRUE
24. Most people over 60 years
TRUE
25. Most people over 60 years
across the street.
TRUE
26. Most people over 60 years
TRUE
27. Most people over 60 years
other people do.
TRUE
28. Most people over 60 years
themselves.
TRUE
29. Most people over 60 years
programs on the radio.
TRUE
30. Most people over 60 years
TRUE
31. Most people over 60 years
old spend much time in bed
FALSE
old spoil their
FALSE
old worry about their
FALSE
old walk slowly.
FALSE
old like to be helped
FALSE
old are hard of hearing.
FALSE
old interfere with what
FALSE
old feel sorry for
FALSE
old like religious
FALSE
old are poor eaters.
FALSE
old get upset easily.
TRUE
FALSE


49
HO 3 : There will be no significant difference
among the adjusted posttest means of the four
groups on the locally developed attitude
test.
In using the analysis of covariance, the assumption
is made that there is no interaction between covariate
and treatment (i.e., between pretest and treatment).
Therefore in each analysis, an additional hypothesis
(homogeneity of regression line slopes) was tested for
the four groups.
Research Design
The research design used in this study was a quasi-
experimental-control group pretest-posttest design (Ary,
Jacobs, & Razavieh, 1979). The experimenter worked with
intact classes as it was not possible to use
randomization procedures with individual students. Of
those classes used in the study, each was randomly
assigned to experimental and control conditions through
the use of a table of random numbers.
Instruments
Three separate measures were used in this study. All
pre- and posttesting was done in the classrooms by the
regular classroom teachers. The three instruments in the


APPENDIX D KNOWLEDGE SURVEY
-- Teacher Directions --
Knowledge Survey
The students will need to be told, before taking this
knowledge survey, that they are not expected to know the
answers to all the items. Explain to the students that the
survey is only to see what information they do know in
relation to these questions. Ask the students to do the best
they can and to choose the answers they think are right.
Begin: Please write your name and the name of our school at
the top of your paper. I am going to read each item on this
worksheet and I want you to choose the answer you think is
correct. When you choose your answer, put a check mark next
to your answer choice. You are not expected to know all the
answers. Just answer each item as best you can.
Listen carefully as I read each question. I will then read
each answer choice. Check the answer you think is correct by
putting a check mark in the space in front of the answer.
Does everyone understand? (Pause.) Okay, now we will begin.
Number one: The word elderly means
old or past middle age.
to be worn out or tired.
Mark your answer choice.
(Monitor students to make certain that they are following
directions. Read the questions slowly so that every student
understands and can follow along with each item.)
Number two: A stereotype is a
belief about a group of people that is not
true.
a special way of making records.
Mark your answer choice.
Number three...
Continue to read each item and the answer choices. There may
be a need to read items a second time if students do not
listen or understand. Again, the students are not expected
to know this information unless they have already completed
the curriculum unit on aging. Please turn in the student
papers and your comments to the Elementary Learning
Specialist. Please add your comments and suggestions for
changes/improvements to this copy!
THANKS!!!!!!!!
108


56
measures were again administered by the regular classroom
teachers to all groups.
Analyses
Based on its usefulness for controlling initial
random differences between levels of experimental groups,
the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was selected to
analyze the data collected. The analysis of covariance
controls for initial random differences among groups on
the pretest and also reduces within-group variance on the
posttest due to pretest differences. In this way it
provides for a more powerful analysis of treatment
effects.
Before applying ANCOVA, the homogeneity of
regression slopes (no interaction between pretest and
treatment) was tested. Other conditions of normality,
independence, and equality of error variance were also
assumed, but ANCOVA is considered to be fairly robust
against slight violation of the latter three assumptions.


36
Gerontology Center at the University of Southern
California (in cooperation with AARP). This was the
first in age-related projects developed for national use
(Briley & Jones, 1982).
"The best way to avoid senile dementia is to find
regular intellectual stimulation in the later years,"
stated Pfeiffer (in Downey, 1974, p. 36). Volunteering
offers older persons increased involvement, stimulation,
and enhanced opportunities for personal growth. Dewey
(1971) found that self-esteem and self-worth are
by-products of seniors being involved in volunteer
programs. In addition, studies involving the School
Volunteer program in Miami (Dade County Public Schools),
the Foster Grandparents Project, and Project SERVE, have
found that older volunteers gained by improved self-
concepts and increased life satisfaction (Edna McConnell
Clark Foundation, 1975; Gray & Kasteller, 1970; Sainer &
Zander, 1971).
Sainer and Zander (1971) determined that certain
conditions were important to seniors who volunteer.
Their work in the Older Volunteers Community Service
Project (SERVE: Serve and Enrich Retirement by Volunteer
Service) indicated that older persons are willing to
volunteer if the need was real and observable,
appropriate volunteer assignments were made,


29
attitudes do not represent a single unidimensional
concept which is either good or bad in regards to aging.
Children were found to have positive general perceptions
of old people, but negative perceptions of the aging
process. Based on the results of the study, however, the
researchers could not prove that having old persons in
the schools would improve students' attitudes toward
aging and/or learning. The study did suggest that
constructive interactions between older people and
children in schools would reduce the children's knowledge
deficits about aging and contribute to the development of
more positive attitudes.
Education Projects on Aging
Projects have been attempted within school systems
to examine and modify students' attitudes toward aging.
To assess the extent to which aging education was
included in the Ohio public schools, Russell (1979)
surveyed a sample of school personnel. The data
indicated that aging, when taught, was more often part of
the secondary school program. Respondents believed aging
to be a nontraditional subject with inadequate materials
or resources and little teacher training. Based on the
information collected, Russell found that the limited
efforts to teach about aging were not systematic or
supported by school administrators.


32
chronological ages of adults based on physical
characteristics. Other research indicates that
chronological age is frequently associated with
stereotypic behavior expectations (Aaronson, 1966;
Altrocchi & Eisdorfer, 1962; Neugarten, Moore, & Lowe,
1965; Silverman, 1966; Traxler, 1971; Tuckman & Lorge,
1953b). Since physical age cues are consistently and
immediately on display, a stranger's perceived age may
affect any subsequent interaction, with possibly a
significant influence on the formation of personal
impressions.
Baggett (1981) considered the effect of interaction
in overcoming stereotypes. The importance of the
relationship between children and elderly was found to be
a factor in determining satisfaction of elderly
volunteers working with adolescents. The foster
grandparent program encourages such interaction as it is
basically a one child to one elderly person activity. It
involves children who are mentally retarded, multi
handicapped, or institutionalized. Several studies have
cited the importance of the child-to-older person
relationship which challenges age related stereotypes
(Cardwell, 1972; Gray & Kasteller, 1970; Hoyer &
Kasteller, 1973; Saltz, 1971).


Every member of my Central Florida Community College
family has also been a part of this process. Very special
thanks go to Dolores, Jan, Joan, Linda, and Rose Marie
for supporting me through it all. They have worked as my
guardian angels! Wayne has helped me grow by walking
with me and sharing his faith and love. Linda has earned
her heavenly halo through an outpouring of love unlike
any other person I have known.
Finally, this journey could not have been completed
without the support of Dr. Henry Goodlett. He has made a
very powerful and lasting impression on my life, forever
changing me and the person I am. My prayer is that I may
fulfill the dreams he has inspired.
1 Corinthians: 13


33
The Generational Dialogues Program film series was
used in a study by Davis (1981). The films involve
arousal of curiosity and the development of commonalities
between the generations, the exploration of the old age
experience, and the students' personal identification
with the process of aging. Using the CATE Semantic
Differential Test (Jantz et al., 1977), Davis had four
fifth grade classes as treatment subjects with film/tape
dialogues and one fifth grade class served as the control
group (having on the test). The children experiencing
the treatment (i.e., the films and intergenerational
dialogues) were reported to be more comfortable,
familiar, and curious about the elderly. These students
also increased in the reported percentages of old people
with whom they spoke and interacted.
A major study by Seefeldt et al. (1981) examined
the effectiveness of an aging curriculum in encouraging
positive attitudes toward the elderly and the aging
process. Two teachers at each grade level from
kindergarten through sixth grade were selected, with one
class randomly assigned to the control group and the
other to the treatment group. The program was
implemented over a period of six weeks and involved
direct lessons on the aging process and several lessons
which involved activities. Children's attitudes were


122
Porter, K. & O'Conner, N. (1978). Changing attitudes of
university students to old people. Educational
Gerontology, 3_, 139-148.
Pratt, F. (1981). Education for aging: A teacher's
sourcebook. Acton, MA: McCarthy Towne School System
Pribble, D. & Trusty, K. (1981). Gerontology and social
studies education: Learning activites for eliminating
negative stereotypes. Educational Gerontology, 6,
181-190.
Ramoth, J. (1975). A plea for aging education. Health
Education, 7, 4-5.
Rosenblatt, A. Interest of older works in volunteer
actions. Social Work, 2, 87-94.
Rosencranz, H. & McNevin, T. (1969). A factor analysis
of attitudes toward the aged. The Gerontologist, 9,
55-59.
Rosow, I. (1967). Social integration of the aged.
New York: The Free Press.
Russell, J. (1979). Aging in the public schools.
Educational Gerontology, _4, 9-24.
Sadowski, B. (1978). Attitude toward the elderly and
perceived age among two cohort groups as determined by
the AAAT. Educational Gerontology, 3, 71-77.
Sainer, J. & Zander, M. (1971). SERVE: Older volunteers
in community service. New York: Community Services
Society.
Saltz, R. (1971). Aging persons as child-care workers
in a softer grandparent program: Psychological effects
and work performance. Aging and Human Development, 2,
314-340.
Saxe, A. (1977). The young look at the old: Curriculum
building in the area of aging. San Jose, CA: San Jose
State University.
Scott, M. & Wass, H. (1977). Aging: A resource unit.
Gainesville, FL: Department of Educational Foundations
at the University of Florida.


47
on materials, absences (three or more) during treatment
activities and/or testing procedures, and withdrawal from
the school center. The fourth grade level was selected
due to its relationship to the third and fifth grade
Florida State Student Assessment Tests (having specific
skills sequenced into the fourth grade program) and the
Marion County Basic Skills Continuum (which identifies
basic skills taught in the fourth grade). These two
skill programs were combined in the aging curriculum unit
so students would review and/or be exposed to skills
which fourth grade classroom teachers are responsible to
teach. The experimenter also had teaching experience at
this grade level and was familiar with student needs and
learning levels. The effort to combine academic skill
work with aging information was to encourage the adoption
of aging education as an integral part of the curriculum.
The sample of 381 fourth graders serving as subjects
consisted of 52% female, 48% male, 92% white, 6% black,
1% Hispanic, and 1% Asian. Students in the sample ranged
from 9 to 11 years of age with the mean age of 9.6 years.
The class groups were randomly assigned to one of
three treatment and one control groups in each of the
three schools.


39
information to deal with the stereotypes society projects
toward aging and the elderly (Seefeldt et al., 1977).
Off Our Rocker (an intergenerational volunteer
program) is a project which gives older individuals the
opportunity to be a "special friend" to elementary school
children. The project strives to utilize older persons
as an intergenerational volunteer; to challenge
stereotypes about older persons and fulfill older
persons' needs for stimulation. Baggett (1981)
considered kindergarten through third grade students who
were selected on the basis of their need for special one-
to-one adult attention given through the Off Our Rocker
project. The CATE was used to measure attitude change
(only the first three sections were administered). There
was a significant decrease found in negative responses to
active things done with older people and a significant
increase in positive attitudes toward the concept of
"old."
The authors found an unexpected change in increased
positive attitudes toward the aged shown by the control
group and suggested it was due to the situation, the
projects design, and the implementation of the CATE
(creating study limitations). Further, Baggett (1981)
believes that informal interactions alone may not
contribute to desired results in attitude change. The


58
the curriculum unit on aging; students in Group 2
received instruction on regularly assigned spelling
lessons from an RSVP volunteer teacher; students in Group
3 received instruction in the curriculum unit on aging by
the regular classroom teacher; and students in Group 4
served as the control group and received only pre- and
posttesting.
Pre- and posttest data from the three measures used
in the study were collected for 381 students. An
analysis of covariance was used to test each of the null
hypotheses at the .05 level. Pretest scores were used as
covariates. Independent variables were treatment and
classroom nested within treatment. Post hoc pairwise
comparisons of groups means were completed where a
significant treatment effect was found.
Descriptive Statistics
Table 4-1 presents the means and standard
deviations for the three experimental and single control
groups on the pre- and posttest measures. Specifically,
the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (TL)
and the two locally developed tests, the knowledge survey
(KS) and the 14-item test on attitudes toward aging and
the aged (AT). The Kuder-Richardson formula 21 was used
as the reliability estimation procedure for each of the


96
7.geriatrics -
guide words:
8.longevity -
guide words:
9.stereotype -
guide words:_
10.discrimination -
guide words:
11.life cycle -
guide words:
Can you think of some stereotypes people have about
elderly persons? Write your ideas on the lines below.
You may use the back of this sheet if you know of several
different stereotypes.


19
Hallauer had college students enrolled in an adult
development course to participate in a visitor program at
a health facility for older persons. The researchers
found that the course alone changed students' attitudes,
but those who participated in both the course and the
visitor program had a more significant attitude change.
In examining a sample of individuals who experienced only
the visitor program, no significant change was reported.
However, Olejnik and LaRue (1981) found that adolescents'
attitudes toward old persons became less negative after
two months of daily contact.
Glass and Trent (1980) and Trent, Glass, and
Crockett (1977) found a positive attitude change in
adolescents were exposed to the three basic strategies to
change attitudes (Glass & Knott, 1982; Triandis, 1971).
The adolescents were given the opportunity to discuss the
aged with their peers, have direct contact with elderly
persons, and increase their knowledge about older
persons. While attitude change was reported, neither
study evaluated the effectiveness of the individual
methods.
Assessment Procedures Examining Aging Attitudes
Techniques involved in developing measurement
devices to assess attitudes toward aging and the aged
vary greatly. Several Likert-type scales of attitudes


Index of Skills
This listing of skills is taken from the Marion County
communication and mathematics skills continuum for fourth
grade. Although this aging curriculum does not contain
sufficient numbers of items to document mastery, the
practice involved in each activity supports the
development of required specific skills.
Lesson Area Skill
Being Wise at an Early Age!
R
C16
R
F29
W
G54
Living Each Day of Your Life
R
BIO
R
C13
R
C15
R
C16
W
C23
At a Good Age!
R
C13
M
F47
M
F49
M
F50
M
Qlll
(Exposure to
M
Q115
higher level
of diffi
culty)
Life at its Best!
R
F25
R
F26
W
B15
M
E39
M
E40
M
E42
Looking at Social Security
R
C15
R
F26


109
Name School
KNOWLEDGE SURVEY
1. The word elderly means
old or past middle age.
to be worn out or tired.
2. A stereotype is a
belief about a group of people that is not true.
special way of making records.
3. A stereotype about an old person might be which of the
following?
All old people are mean and grouchy.
Many old people live in Florida.
4. A person who has reached the age of retirement is called
a:
senior citizen.
young adult.
5. If a person talks about how many years he has lived, he
is talking about his
longevity.
retirement.
6. The branch of medicine that works mostly with old people
is called
geriatrics.
oncology.
7. The life cycle for humans includes the time period of
morning through night.
birth through death.


APPENDIX B
A SAMPLE SPELLING LESSON
Teaching Directions for Spelling Lesson One
1. Have the students take their name tags out of their
folders and wear the tags during your presentation.
2. Pass out their worksheets for lesson one.
3. Read the directions.
SCRAMBLED WORDS I !
Look at the words below. Each word is from your
spelling list for this week. Can you figure out what
the correct spelling is without looking at your book?
Write the word correctly in the column marked
UNSCRAMBLED WORDS.
If the students want to use their books, they may. When
most of the children have finished, go over each word.
Call on the children to give you the correct spelling for
each word.
The sentences on the following page are optional, you may
go on to the second page of the exercise. Ask the
students to turn their sheets over.
4. Listen as I read you the following story. When the
story is finished, use your spelling words to fill in
each blank. Be sure to spell each word correctly.
Once upon a time, there was a good little
named Winifred. She lived in a very
forest, and there was only one to get to her
house. Every she got, Winifred would sneak
to the village that lay at the edge of the forest.
Winifred loved to the children magic
tricks. The children liked her and were always glad
to see her. The children were all fourth graders
would be in the grade next
year. All the adults in town were afraid of
Winifred. The children laughed about this because it
seemed silly that the grownups were .
Winifred and the children would play together in a
clear in the woods. Sometimes they
would do tricks for each other and then try to choose
97


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Perpetuation of negative stereotypes related to
aging is a serious problem which faces older persons.
Some research findings notwithstanding, (Thomas &
Yamamoto, 1975), many studies have shown that old people
are perceived as past-bound and that old age is viewed
unpleasantly. These perceptions are particular evident
when considering children and youth (Ansello, 1978;
Arnoff & Lorge, 1960; Hickey & Kalish, 1968; McTavish,
1971; Seefeldt, Galper, & Serock, 1977). Further, a lack
of knowledge about and contact between older and younger
persons has been found to support the development of
prejudice and promote discrimination (Marks & Newman,
1985; Nusberg, 1980; Page, Olivas, Driver, & Driver,
1981) and children who are isolated from contact with
older people have less accurate perceptions of old age
(Long, 1982). Havighurst (1974) found that typically
children's first contact with older persons is through
their grandparents. Yet, many children live away from
their grandparents and older relatives with no chance for
a loving relationship to exist. Teachers and parents
have voiced concern that this life experience is
1


42
develop and test the effectiveness of such an integrated
curriculum.
This study was designed to determine whether greater
change in attitudes toward the elderly would be effected
by (1) a curriculum on aging taught by an older
volunteer, (2) an older volunteer teaching a classroom
subject such as spelling, or (3) a curriculum on aging
taught by a classroom teacher. A control group with no
special instruction was also used.
Several instruments assessing attitudes toward old
people were also reviewed here. A modified version of
the Tuckman-Lorge Old People Questionnaire (Tuckman &
Lorge, 1953a) developed in a study by Olejnik and LaRue
(1981) was utilized. This questionnaire was chosen
because it had been widely used in previous research.
The study by Olejnik and LaRue (1981) simplified the
wording to facilitate comprehension by young subjects. A
locally developed knowledge survey and attitude test was
also utilized.


76
treatments and pretest scores. While interpretations are
based on visual inspection of data and not on tests of
statistical significance, the lines in Figure 4-1 show
that the posttest scores were generally higher for
treatment groups 1 and 2 (both taught by older persons)
than for groups 3 and 4 (taught by the regular teacher
and the control group). Moreover, differential effects
were observed depending on the student's initial attitude
twoard old people. Considering those students who
initially had low atttiudes, the order of predicted
posttest scores was Y* > y' > y' > y' where Y*
12 4 3
indicates the predicted posttest score and the subscript
indicates the treatment group. If an individual
initially had positive attitudes as measured by a high
attitude pre-test score, the order of predicted posttest
scores was Y* >y' >y' >y' .
2 13 4
It is interesting to note that for treatment
groups 1 and 2, students with lower pretest scores
(e.g., pretest scores less than 10) had higher posttest
scores if taught about aging by an older person than if
taught spelling by an old person. In contrast, students
with higher pretest scores (e.g., above 11) had more
positive posttest scores if taught spelling by older
person than when taught about aging by an old person.


68
HO 3 : There will be no significant difference among
the adjusted posttest means of the four
groups on the locally developed Attitude Test
(AT).
The third model of analysis was for the locally
developed attitude test (AT). The AT was administered to
classrooms in the three treatment groups and the single
control group. Pretest scores on the AT were used as the
covariate, AT posttest scores were used as the dependent
variable. As displayed in the upper panel of Table 4-7,
a significant interaction between pretest level and
treatment was found with F = 5.38, p > .02 with 3 and 8
degrees of freedom, indicating that the assumption of
homogeneity of slopes was violated. Therefore, a
standard analysis for ANCOVA on AT scores could not be
done, and HO 3 could not be tested.
To illustrate the nature of the significant
interaction of treatment and pretest, Figure 4-1 displays
four lines depicting the general relationship between
pretest and posttest for each of the four treatment
groups. Strictly speaking, these are only approximations
of the regression lines, as the slope for each line was
calulated by averaging the slopes of the three separate
class-within-treatment regression lines and the


50
pre-test condition were administered one week prior to
the initiation of treatments and one week following the
treatment condition the postesting was completed. Each
assessment measure was read by the teacher using specific
instructions and reading each item aloud.
A modified version of the Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire (Tuckman & Lorge, 1953a) developed through
a study by Olejnik and LaRue (1981) was utilized. To
measure perceptions of the aged, a list of 36 statements
were read to the students. Subjects were asked to
respond to items as "true" or "false" according to
whether they agreed with the statement (or not) as
related to old people. This questionnaire was chosen
because it has been widely used in previous research and
because the stimulus-group validity of the instrument had
been previously established (Axelrod & Eisodrofer, 1961).
In the study by Olejnik and LaRue (1981), the wording of
several items was simplified to facilitate comprehension
by young subjects (see Appendix C). The measure, referred
to as the TL, was administered as a pre- and posttest
for all experimental and control groups.
A knowledge survey was developed by the experimenter
for use in this study. The survey consists of 22
multiple choice items and is based on concepts presented


74
Treatment 1 consisted of an RSVP volunteer teacher
teaching a curriculum unit on aging which lasted for four
weeks. Treatment 2 involved an RSVP volunteer teacher
teaching the regular spelling lessons for a period of
four weeks. Treatment 3 consisted of the regular
classroom teacher teaching a curriculum unit on aging
during the four week period. During week eight, students
assigned to both the experimental and control groups were
posttested utilizing the three test measures (the same as
pretests).
The data collected through the three instruments
were examined using an analysis of covariance to analyze
the results of each test. Pretest scores served as
covariates, with independent variables being treatment
and classroom nested within treatment.
Three null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level
of significance. The first null hypothesis to be
examined focused on the determining if there were
differences among the adjusted postest means of the four
groups on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire. The ANCOVA revealed a significant
treatment effect. Post hoc pairwise comparisons of the
adjusted posttest means showed a significant difference
between treatment group 2 and control group 4. Overall,


41
older persons are willing to volunteer, but they are
selective in the work they do. Older persons do not
volunteer just to keep busy. Lambert et al. identified
the factors of transportation, payment, times, job
preferences, and emotional support as being influential
for older persons volunteering in the community. All
three studies stress the older persons' desires to
volunteer if the jobs made them feel useful. Rosenblatt
(1966) found that the older individual does not find just
any job worthwhile.
Summary
The literature reviewed has shown that educational
programs featuring intergenerational contact and programs
using prepared materials on aging can increase young
people's knowledge and positive attitudes regarding aging
and the elderly. There has been a lack of research,
however, which provides a direct comparison of these two
approaches or a comparison of either of these approaches
with a combination of intergenerational contact and a
curriculum on aging in relation to children. Furthermore,
there have been few documented efforts to combine
learning about aging with specific academic skills. This
combination could enhance the adoption of curricula on
aging by schools. The present study was designed to


48
Treatment Group 1 The students received direct
instruction on aging through the prepared curriculum unit
on aging taught by an RSVP volunteer teacher.
Treatment Group 2 The students received
instruction on spelling through prepared spelling lesson
activities by a RSVP volunteer teacher.
Treatment Group 3 The students received direct
instruction on aging through the prepared curriculum unit
on aging taught by the regular classroom teacher.
Control Group 4 The students served as the control
group and received only the pre- and posttesting.
Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested to address
the research questions listed in Chapter 1. The .05
level of significance was used as the minimum for
rejection of each null hypothesis.
HO 1 : There will be no significant difference
among the adjusted posttest means of the four
groups on the Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire.
HO 2 : There will be no significant difference
among the adjusted posttest means of the four
groups on the knowledge survey.


121
Neugarten, B. (1976). Grow old with me: The best is yet
to be. In S. White (Ed.), Human Development in Today's
World. Boston, MA: Educational Associates.
Neugarten, B. & Gutmann, D. (1958). Age-sex roles and
personality in middle age: A thematic apperception
study. Psychological Monographs, 72, 470.
Neugarten, B., Moore, J. & Lowe, J. (1965). Age
norms, age contraints, and adult socialization.
American Journal of Sociology, 70, 710-717.
Newfield, K. (1970). Orientation to later maturity: The
wishes and expectations of employed men for their post-
65 years. The Gerontologist, 11, 50-55.
Nusberg, C. (1980). Access to grandchildren, a growing
problem. Aging International, 7, 221-224.
Older adult volunteers in schools: The project for
academic motivation. (1969). Winnetka, IL: Winnetka
Public School System.
Olejnik, A.B. & LaRue, A.A. (1981). Changes in
adolescent's perceptions of the aged: The effects of
intergenerational contact. Educational Gerontology, 6,
339-351.
Page, S., Olivas, R., Driver, J, & Driver, R. (1981).
Children's attitudes toward the elderly and aging.
Educational Gerontology, 1_, 43-47.
Palmore, E. (1977). Facts on aging: A short quiz. The
Gerontologist, 17, 315-320.
Palmore, E. (1981). The facts on aging quiz: Part two.
The Gerontologist, 21, 431-437.
Payne, B.P. (1977). The older volunteer: Social role and
continuity and development. The Gerontologist, 17, 366-
361.
Pini, J. (1981). Aging education curriculum guide for
grades four through eight. Rockland, MA: Project CLASP,
Rockland Public Schools.


CHAPTER IV
RESULTS OF THE STUDY
This study was an attempt to identify the
effectiveness of intervention strategies in changing
fourth grade elementary students' attitudes toward old
people. The three strategies investigated include an old
person teaching a curriculum unit on aging, an old person
teaching a regular spelling lesson, and the regular
classroom teacher teaching a curriculum unit on aging.
Two attitude tests were used to examine students'
attitudes and one knowledge test was used to identify
concepts students learned through the curriculum unit on
aging.
Students in the three experimental and one control
groups were pre- and posttested using the modified
version of the 1953 Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire (Olenjik & LaRue, 1981) and the two locally
developed instruments, the 14-item attitude test and the
knowledge survey. The knowledge survey was based on the
concepts presented in the aging curriculum unit.
Students in the four fourth grades at the three
elementary schools were randomly assigned to the
experimental treatments. Students assigned to Group 1
received instruction from an RSVP volunteer teacher in
57


I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
.a-
tfannelore Wass, Chairman
Professor of Foundations of Education
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Don Avila
Professor of Foundations of Education
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Linda Crocker
Professor of Foundations of Education


82
10. When using older volunteers, in-service programs
are vital to the success of the project. The older
volunteers in this study were anxious to know their exact
responsibilities and what was expected. The follow up
activities and regular support was very important to each
individual.
11. Older persons should be utilized in a variety
of levels within the schools. This could include in
classrooms, the school office, the library, and other
appropriate facilties or programs at schools. To have the
older volunteers working only as a teacher's helper
restricts their role and the perceptions of both students
and school staff regarding the elderly.
Implications for Research and Practice
Longitudinal studies would be important and an
appropriate next step in examining children's attitudes
about aging and old people. With the appropriate
instrumentation, classroom cohorts within schools could
be followed in order to identify developmental patterns
of aging attitudes and to determine effective strategies
which influence children's attitude development regarding
aging and the aged.
Study findings and the curriculum and instruments
developed for this study have useful implications for


34
pre- and posttested using the CATE. Indication was that
positive attitudes were encouraged through the
curriculum, but it did not, however, significantly alter
childrens negative attitudes about their own aging. The
authors suggest that the curriculum be redesigned and
implemented over a longer period of time to change these
negative perceptions.
The Counteracting Age Stereotyping with Young
Children Project attempted to intervene in the early
development of negative stereotypes toward aging
(Hauwiller & Jennings, 1981). This project took place in
selected sites across Montana. It allowed teachers
working with children in second, third and fourth grades
to develop methods of instruction integrating concepts of
aging into classroom materials. Another effort at
developing an aging curriculum was a structured program
called Children Learning About Aging. Project CLASP is
funded by ESEA Title IV and is committed to aging
education for fourth through eighth grades; based on the
need for all persons to know and understand aging and
better prepare for its arrival (Pini, 1981).
The Gerontology Research Institution Program (GRIP)
was developed and implemented in the Dallas Public School
System in 1970. Its goals included determining the
concepts held by elementary and secondary students about


a modified version of the Tuckman-Lorge Old People
Questionnaire, a knowledge survey, and an attitude test
designed by the experimenter.
Test data were collected for 381 students with
increases in pre- and posttest raw scores observed on all
three tests for treatment groups. A separate analysis of
covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test for significance.
Pretest scores were covariates with independent variables
being treatment and classroom nested within treatment.
A significant difference (p < .05) among treatments
and the control group on the modified Tuckman-Lorge Old
Person Questionnaire was found. Post-hoc comparisons
indicated that an older person teaching spelling was
significantly different than the control group in
attitude gain.
No significant differences among the four groups
were found on the locally developed knowledge survey.
A significant interaction occurred between pretest level
and treatment effect on the locally developed attitude
test. Pretest and posttest regression lines for the
groups indicated that the control group and the treatment
with the classroom teacher teaching about aging scored
lower on the posttest than treatments utilizing the older
persons. Differential treatment effects were observed
viii