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A study on children's concept about elderly

By 蕭怡筠 and Hsiao Yi-Yun


[[abstract]]This research aimed to understand young children’s concept about elderly. Qualitative (interview) method was used to explore young children’s concept about senior citizens. The objectives of this study were to discuss young children’s definition and feeling of aging, understand young children’s impression of life cycle, discuss the criterion by which young children identify elderly, understand young children’s comprehension of senior citizens in the society, recognize young children’s perception of elderly, understand the interaction between young children and their grandparents, and discuss young children of different background’s concept about elderly (gender, living regions, family structure, and living experience with elderly). A total of 40 six-year-old kindergarten children were selected as subjects (20 from Taipei City (Neihu and Xinyi Districts), and 20 from Guanxi Town, Hsin-Chu County). Semi-structured interview outline and relevant illustrations were used in the interview to explore young children’s concept about elderly. The main findings were: a.Young children’s concept about elderly contained personal emotions, and was affected by living experiences. b.Kindergarten children of six-year-old had the ability to distinguish elderly, and the main distinguishing criteria were physical aging and societal aging. c.Young children had diverse impressions about aging. d.Young children in Taiwan had positive impressions toward elderly, and most of them used grandparents as an outline to describe their impressions. e.Young children’s concept about elderly and family structure was relevant to their life style. Three suggestions were made based on the findings of this study: a.Suggestions for parents: giving children more chances to contact and spend time with elderly can diminish children’s stereotype and fear of senior citizens, and can enhance children’s positive attitude toward aging. b.Suggestions for educators: appropriate interactive activities between elderly and children in daily lives should be arranged. In addition, classes featuring aging and elderly should be added to the curriculum in order to convey correct knowledge of aging. c.Suggestions for future research: include children of a wider range of age to the study sample. Besides, the interview outline of this study can be used as a base to develop quantitative methods and questionnaires to collect data. key words:young children 、elderly、concept

Topics: 幼兒;老人;概念, young children;elderly;concept, [[classification]]18
Year: 2011
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