The effect of an intergenerational e-mail pen pal project on the attitudes of college students towards older adults

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dc.contributor.advisor Armstrong, Joseph L. en_US Chase, Carla A. en_US 2011-06-03T19:24:06Z 2011-06-03T19:24:06Z 2005 en_US 2005
dc.identifier LD2489.Z64 2005 .C49 en_US
dc.description.abstract Negative attitudes of college students toward older adults can be a barrier for universities that are attempting to prepare students for future career trends to meet the needs of an aging society. A growing number of college graduates will be needed to provide health and educational services for this population. Providing intergenerational opportunities through a variety of face-to-face interactions has demonstrated some success at improving attitudes of college students toward older adults. It is believed that improving the attitudes of college students through intergenerational experiences will expand their consideration of careers that provide support to this growing population. This study explored an intergenerational project that paired undergraduate college students with older adults through a series of e-mail communications rather than face-to-face interactions. With the increase in the use of e-mail by persons of all ages, this virtual meeting place provides a convenient communication tool for exploring ways to build relationships online.It was hypothesized that an intergenerational experience between undergraduate college students (18-28 years of age) and older adults (65 years old or older) through e-mail communication would have a positive effect on student attitudes toward older adults as measured by Polizzi's revised version of the Aging Semantic Differential (ASD) survey. Two classes of the same undergraduate course at a midwestern university participated in the project. Both groups were pre-tested using the ASD and then one group was randomly chosen to be the intervention group. Each student in the intervention group was paired with an older adult pen pal to complete six weeks of assigned e-mail exchanges designed to increase in depth of topic. Both groups were then post-tested using the ASD.Results: Although not significantly different at pretest, the attitude of the students in the intervention group was significantly more positive at posttest than the control group. There was a significant difference in the attitudes of the intervention group compared to the control group when post-tested. The students who participated in the intergenerational e-mail pen pal project had a more positive attitude toward older adults following the six-weeks of sharing stories and thoughts with the older generation. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Educational Studies
dc.format.extent vii, 38 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Pen pals. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Older people. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh College students -- Attitudes. en_US
dc.title The effect of an intergenerational e-mail pen pal project on the attitudes of college students towards older adults en_US Thesis (D. Ed.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3121]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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