Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Psychology

Additional Departmental Affiliation

Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Exercise science professionals often work with older adults to help maintain function and independence. Ageism may begin during undergraduate training, as most have not interacted with older adults. Intergenerational service-learning (ISL) may be a useful pedagogy to facilitate interactions with older adults. PURPOSE: To determine if exercise science students’ knowledge of older adults and ageism are significantly improved by incorporating ISL into an exercise science course. METHODS: Students (n =10) enrolled in Exercise and Aging and from two additional exercise science courses (n = 17) completed pre and post assessments of attitudes towards and knowledge of older adults. Students implemented Bingocize™, a combination exercise program and bingo game, once a week for 15 weeks at assisted living facilities. Curriculum focused on physical and psychosocial changes with aging. Independent t-tests were used to determine significant differences (p < .05). RESULTS: No significant differences were found in students’ ageism (t (25) = .099, p = .922) or knowledge of older adults compared to controls (t (25) = .729, p = .473). CONCLUSIONS: Although significant improvements were not found, students were positively affected by the service-learning experience based on written and oral reflections. It is important for exercise science faculty to continue fostering quality intergenerational contact.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. K. Jason Crandall

Disciplines

Exercise Science | Kinesiology

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