Author(s): Jones ED, Herrick C, York RF
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Abstract This qualitative descriptive study examined the perceived benefits of an intergenerational program for low-income older adults residing in subsidized housing and youth who were part of a support group for emotionally disturbed youth. The intergenerational group met bimonthly for 11 months at the independent living facility for the elderly. Activities consisted of group discussions, games, talent expressions, trips, picnics, and crafts. Frequently a teen was paired with an older adult to complete a craft project. Bonding between each pair occurred over time, as the older adults became role models for the youth. The perceived benefits of including emotionally disturbed youth and vulnerable but well older adults in an intergenerational program were determined by a structured interview and then through categorization of the participants' responses to a series of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral questions using Yalom's (1985)Therapeutic Factors. The results indicated that both of the age groups' attitudes toward each other and relationships with each other changed positively. Behavioral changes among the youth included improved social skills observed by the co-facilitators of the group.
This article was published in Issues Ment Health Nurs
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology