Dimensions in Attitudes Toward the Aged

Edro I. Signori, Dorcas Susan Butt, John F. Kozak


A description of attitudes toward the aged is based on a factor analysis of ratings by 456 participants, aged 14 to 40, on 69 bipolar variables. The five major dimensions emerging and subsequently used to describe the aged are: Integrity, Fortitude, Social Appeal, Dependableness and Open-mindedness. Initial ratings on the 69 variables arc, for the most part, strongly in the socially desirable direction yielding a very positive portrait of the aged. The results suggest a necessary reconsideration of the negative social images of the aged imparted within much literature on gerontology.

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