Date of Award:

1989

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Gerald Adams

Abstract

An attitude is a mental state that influences the way an individual responds to relevant objects and situations. Attitudes toward the elderly have a potential impact on all Americans, as the population is growing older. These attitudes constitute an important area of study because their nature is unclear and their impact extensive. The Kogan Attitudes Toward Old People Scale (OP) was examined to establish reliability and validity estimates. A questionnaire, consisting of this scale and four others, was administered to a sample of adults. Factor analysis of the OP revealed two factors, which were somewhat ambiguous. Internal consistency estimates for these factors and the total OP ranged from .72 to .92. Validity estimates were in the expected direction and ranged from -.13 to .36. Gender, age, education level, and degree of tolerance for others immerged as predictive variables for reported attitudes toward the elderly. It was concluded that the use of the OP is of questionable utility. If one must use it, the total OP score or only the items from Factors 1 and 2 should be utilized, as long as the discussed weaknesses, such as the sampling and validation procedures, are taken into account

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Included in

Psychology Commons

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