The Effects of Intergenerational Programmes on Children and Young People
Personal Social Services Research Unit, LSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, UK
- *Corresponding Author:
- A-La Park
Personal Social Services Research Unit
LSE Health and Social Care
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: August 23, 2014; Accepted Date: March 16, 2014; Published Date: March 18, 2014
Citation: A-La Park (2015) The Effects of Intergenerational Programmes on Children and Young People. Int J Sch Cog Psychol 2:118. doi: 10.4172/1234-3425.1000118
Copyright: © 2015 Park A-La, This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: Schools can provide a powerful environment for shared learning among similar age groups as well as different generations. This study aims to explore the literature on the effectiveness and economic aspects of intergenerational interventions among children and young people in terms of academic performance and psychosocial outcomes. Methods: A literature review was conducted to assess current research regarding intergenerational activities and outcomes among young people. The search included English-language publications that reported original data from January 1986 to mid-2014. Studies were published in a peer-reviewed journal with no country restriction. Supplementary searched were conducted and a narrative synthesis was performed. Intergenerational interventions involving older people with dementia were excluded. Results: There were positive trends in mental health and social aspects of the outcomes such as positive changes in attitudes towards older people shown as better mutual understanding, decreased stereotyping of older people, and more respect for them. Better psychological outcomes were found, including reduced anxiety and an improved sense of self-worth. The intergenerational programmes in non-kin relationships also promoted better family relationships. In addition, classroom behaviours were improved among children in need of fostering pro-social behaviours and there was a non-significant improvement in early literacy development. Conclusion: More studies with larger sample sizes and longer term follow-ups are needed to explore the possible transferability of the results to different country contexts. Economic modelling techniques can be more utilised to explore the generalisability of the findings from one to another setting under various scenarios. This would facilitate a more optimal allocation of scare resources by justifying the decision on whether investments in intergenerational activities at a strategic level would be worth pursuing as a public health intervention for a whole society.