Ethics Adherence as a Predictor of Age Bias in Social Work Practice with Older Adults
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was the examination of age bias in social work professionals who have direct and influential contact with a growing segment of the population: older adults. Those who work most closely with older people may be at risk for age bias, although much of the research on age bias has been conducted with students rather than with those who work with older people. This study adds to the research on prejudice; the sources from which attitudes, values, prejudices, and stereotypical thinking arise were addressed. Key experiences with older individuals were found to predict age bias. Because social work ethical principles closely align with conditions known to reduce prejudice, it was hypothesized that higher ethics adherence would be associated with less age bias. Specific experiential factors were found to influence prejudice toward older people. Influences from family beliefs and from television and other media were associated with a non-biased attitude, as were influences from caregiving to older people. These sources of one's values and beliefs about older individuals were also found to predict the extent of one's knowledge of aging processes. Although ethics adherence was not a predictor of age bias, the discovery of the influence of family beliefs, media portrayals, and caregiving experiences revealed a need for awareness of ageist beliefs in a professional population that works extensively with older adults.
- Doctoral Dissertations