Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Dr David Wiles

Abstract

The exploration of issues relating to intergenerational contact and children's perceptions of seniors has received little attention in the area of gerontology. This study employed a survey research approach, utilising a questionnaire to explore this topic. This survey was given to a group of one hundred and six students in Year Six and Seven in a metropolitan Western Australian primary school. The aim of this research is to explore the relationship between intergenerational contact and the perceptions held by primary school aged children about seniors. Previous findings demonstrate that there was either no relationship between the variables or only a weak positive relationship between these two variables (Green, 1981 ). Moreover, measures of the frequency of contact used in these studies have typically been vague. Studies did not examine or take into account factors such as the duration of the contact, the type of contact, the quality of the contact or the context in which the interaction takes place (Thomas, & Hallebone, 1995). These results demonstrated that there was no correlation found between the amount of contact a child has and the perceptions that they hold. However, the results from the perception scale indicated that children in the particular sample contained very positive views about seniors and ageing. The results obtained, from both the quantitative and qualitative data, Indicate that there was no correlation between participants' perceptions and the number of seniors with whom they have contact. Thus, implications for further research in this area concerning intergenerational contact and children's perceptions of seniors should focus on factors including the type of contact, the frequency and the quality of the intergenerational experience.

Included in

Gerontology Commons

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