College Students as Informal Caregivers and Their Attitude toward Their Older Relatives

By Gungeet Joshi, Salvador Gezan, Christine Stopka, Morgan Pigg and Mark Tillman.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 24, 2015 $US5.00

The 2010 U.S. census predicted that the U.S population will include 88.5 million (more than 21 %) over age 65 by 2050. Health care services face a major burden in delivering quality care to this important population, who tend to suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Furthermore, due to lack of professional caregivers, the burden of care tends to fall on family members including young adults. The dependency of aged individuals cultivates different attitudes towards them and influences general care, and the amount and quality of services elderly receive. Thus, it is essential to understand the attitude of young adults towards older adults and their role as informal family caregivers. A cross-sectional survey research method was used to understand the attitudes which included the Refined Aging Semantic Differential scale (RASD), and demographic profile information. Hierarchical Multiple Regressionwas performed to test association between independent variables and the attitude of students towards their older relatives. Mean scores revealed a positive attitude of the students towards their older relatives (56.2±26.4, 95% CI = 53.2-57.2) and other older adults (66.7 ± 24.2, 95% CI = 64.5-68.1). Implications of the study are three- fold, for health care providers including geriatrics, health educators, and patient educators, to involve, educate, and develop strategies to assist this particular group of young adults in providing care to older population.

Keywords: Instrumental Activities, Daily Living, Interaction, Quality of Experience, Attitudes

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.47-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 24, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 533.920KB)).

Dr. Gungeet Joshi

Ph.D Candidate, Health Education and Behavior, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Dr. Salvador Gezan

Assistant Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Dr. Christine Stopka

Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Dr. Morgan Pigg

Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Dr Mark Tillman

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA