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The current study examined whether relationship quality with older adults currently and in childhood, as well as experience with older adults, was associated with biases toward older adults and interest in working with older adults as a possible career area. The authors sampled undergraduate students (N = 753, M = 18.97 years, SD = 2.11 years) from a Northern California university. In hierarchical regression analyses, higher perceived quality of relationships with older adult family members, higher perceived social support, and lower perceived conflict from relationships with older adults was significantly associated with positive attitudes toward older adults. Interest in working with older adults was significantly associated with taking courses in aging, providing care to an older adult, and volunteering with older adults. These results suggest that positive relationships with older adults are useful in reducing biases, though student interactions with older adults are key in helping to promote interest in working with older adults.


This is the Accepted Manuscript of an article that appeared in Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, volume 37, issue 2, 2016. The Version of Record (VOR) may be found at SJSU users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.

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