Describe about The Willingness of Young People for Pivotal Role.
According to Bloom et al. (2011), many countries currently faces the challenge of taking care of the increasing number of the older generation. University students have a pivotal role in providing care to older people and their willingness to work with them which is always affected by their attitudes. Arguably, improvement in healthcare programmes and medical advancements as well as improved living standards implies that most people are living longer than in the previous generations (Rechel et al., 2013). Similarly, the number of older people are expected to grow significantly in the developed nations and it is estimated that by the year 2047, the number of older people will outgrow that of young people worldwide for the first time (Bloom et al., 2011).
Essentially, longer expectancies in life represents a positive income, although, older generation might face numerous challenges. For instance increased negative attitudes towards them. This is because huge percentage of the older people have admitted that they have been discriminated due to their age (Eymard et al., 2012). In addition, past research also found out that ageism is the most commonly type of discrimination experienced ahead of gender, disability, ethnicity or religion based discrimination (Rechel et al., 2013). These problems facing the ageing population will continue to manifest themselves in accordance to the way the elder people receive healthcare services, social security, job opportunities as well as financial support. Besides, although, there are large number of adults who live longer, they are subject to negative attitudes as well as stereotypes.
Furthermore, according to Bloom et al (2011) when children get into contact with older people, they tend to generally express more positive attitude towards the older people. Similarly, young people who interact regularly with adults at places of work tend to express positive attitude towards older people in general (Koh, 2012). Moreover, younger people living with their older relatives tend to develop more positive and ageist attitudes. Specifically, this current research tends to investigate the willingness of young people to relate and work with the older people.
The number of elderly individuals has been on the rise compared to other age groups (Bloom et al., 2011). However, older people continue to face negative perception from the younger generation. The way the elder people are perceived by younger people, significantly influence the way they will be treated. According to Eymard et al. (2012), as individuals grow older, they negatively faces age stereotypes since they are usually perceived as incompetent, unattractive and senile. This makes the elderly people to feel that they are socially devalued. Besides, these stereotyping and perceptions as well as negative attitudes about the aging are common around the whole world (Bloom et al., 2011). Each and every person is in a continuous growing process and young individuals tend to be frustrated by the late life period. Generally, younger generation evaluates ageing like something which is bad and should be avoided at all costs (Gonçalves et al., 2011). Furthermore, there are certain beliefs about the aging population which rely on societal knowledge. For instance, a belief that the elderly should avoid engaging in strenuous activities and exercise because their bones will break. This is a myth because exercising is more beneficial to most elderly people as it relieves them of stress and makes them become more active.
The aim of this research is to explore young people’s attitude towards ageism. In line with this aim, the research intends to achieve the following objectives
- To evaluate the significance of multi age perspective on the students’ attitude towards ageism
- To examine the impact of contact quality on the students’ attitude towards ageism
- To investigate the impact of ageing anxiety on the attitude of students towards ageism
- To assess the impact of unfavourable attitude on the students towards ageism
- To evaluate the impact of favourable attitude on students towards ageism
- To examine the significance of willingness to work with older workers on the students attitude towards ageism.
According to Fritzsche & Marcus (2013), ageism represent a form of prejudice and discrimination experienced particularly by seniors. Similarly, North & Fiske (2013) defines ageism as an act of discrimination which is directed towards the elderly and takes the form of sexual apartheid or racial discrimination. Most of the elder people are active both physically and mentally regardless of their age and are willing to contribute. However, society marginalise seniors, disrespect them as well as make them to feel unwelcome. For instance advertisements in commercials depicts older people as outdated and lacks current knowledge concerning new technologies and modern culture Fritzsche & Marcus (2013). On the same note, Azulai (2014) points out that ageism involves psychological change process which occurs from birth to death of every human being. In addition, North & Fiske (2013) posits that elders are individuals with a lot of respect in the society. However, the constant changing family structures as a result of the living conditions have led to loss of respect for older people.
Significance of multi age perspective on the student’s attitude towards ageism
The decline in retirement security and economic uncertainty have made older people to return or remain in the workforce (Bloom et al., 2011). Previous research found out that older adults who seek for jobs spend longer time to get the jobs as compared to their younger counterparts (Gonçalves et al., 2011). Furthermore, evidence also exists that discrimination in employment based on age has been on the rise in recent years. Therefore, social workers are tasked with the responsibility of making sure that older people who ae low income earners are included in the workplace by forming strong coalitions and finding champions to move their issues to the forefront. This is supported by Koh (2012) who demonstrate that in order to create a positive work place, each and every employee must learn unique values of work of various generational groups. This is because learning the unique value of various generational groups leads to the creation of a more harmonious and cooperative workplace (Eymard et al., 2012). Besides, in creating a harmonious workplace, every employee should recognise that each and every generation group possess the right to do things in their own unique ways. Additionally, students should also take into account older people’s communication styles, values and experiences when they interact with such people (Koh, 2012)
Impact of contact quality on the students’ attitude towards ageism
According to Iweins et al. (2013), the quality of contact is effective and plays a significant role towards reducing ageism. Allan et al. (2014) and Boswell (2012) found out that children who experiences daily contact with older people in school developed positive attitude generally towards older people as compared to those children who do not get such contacts. Similarly, Iweins et al. (2013) argues that employees who interact with older people at their places of work tend to have more positive attitude towards the older generation as a whole. Likewise, Christian et al. (2014) believes that people living with their older relatives tend to develop ageist attitudes towards older people. The differences in the contact quality plays a pivotal role because the contact experienced at the places of work is different from that experienced at home. The contact at work place is more likely to be with competent and professional older individuals while home contact is most likely to be with older dependent adults (Allan et al., 2014).
Impact of ageing anxiety on the attitude of students towards ageism
Ageing anxiety represents both the physical and psychological effects of getting older (Koh, 2012). It represents the combined anticipation and concern of loses that surrounds the aging process. Allan et al. (2014) points out that ageing anxiety is different from other types of anxieties and it overlaps with psychological wellbeing concept as well as attitudes concerning aging. Additionally, Christian et al. (2014) discovered that an individual’s knowledge concerning aging are directly associated with anxiety level about aging that they experience. Furthermore, Boswell (2012) argues that students who have a higher anxiety levels about aging not only held bad attitudes towards the older people but also rated themselves more negatively when they grow old. Nevertheless, previous findings also revealed that young adults have greater negative stereotypes and attitude about aging and are the biggest proponents concerning aging. Nonetheless, younger people fear getting old because to them, growing old means they are closer to dyeing. Furthermore, growing old means that they will suffer mental disabilities and lose their independence (Koh, 2012).
Impact of unfavourable attitude on the students towards ageism
Previous research have revealed that there is a widespread negative attitude that students hold concerning the elderly. In this regard, some students view elder people as boring, depressing, and unexciting, have less technical skills and are more strenuous to manage (Boswell, 2012). Similarly, stereotyping and negative attitudes have also been reported by students concerning the older people. Besides, students have an attitude that older people are hard to train, lacks creativity, are too cautious and are not ready to be trained. Additionally, older people are viewed as those who cannot embrace and adopt to new technologies. According to Christian et al. (2014), improving attitudes leads to improvement of treatment given to the elderly. This is because attitude influence the way information will be interpreted, how knowledge will be acquired and ultimately results in changes in practice and behaviour.
Impact of favourable attitude on students towards ageism
Favourable attitudes by students such as older workers embrace quality of work and are committed employees in the organisation leads to positive work relations and contributes to high performances in a firm (Leung et al., 2011). Besides, Koh (2012) found out that younger people with positive attitude towards older generation like a belief that older people are dependable on the job and are willing to cooperate with others, have registered better relations with older individuals. Furthermore, a belief that older people are self-motivated helps in cultivating a positive culture in an organisation and improves the relationship between young people and older people.
Significance of willingness to work with older workers on the student’s attitude towards ageism
The society is ageing rapidly which makes the employment circumstances of older employees to become an important social issue (Bloom et al., 2011). Continued employment is considered a very important tool in old age as far as social integration is concerned. Ideally, active and engaged lifestyle gives older people brain benefits. Therefore, with the growing numbers of older workers and customers in the current business world, people should be willing to work and cooperate with the elderly in their jobs (Leung et al., 2011). Besides, younger people at the workplace should also be willing to help older workers at their jobs to enhance unity and foster harmony.
Research Design and Methods
This research will not only primary but also secondary research as well. Secondary research will entail using data collected from various journals, books, websites, newspapers as well as articles which discusses the attitude of students towards ageism. The secondary sources of data will be retrieved from reliable resources that are up date. However, this research will follow a mixed method of both qualitative and quantitative research to collect primary data (Smith, 2015).
The current research will take the form of cross sectional research design, although it is necessary to carry out a longitudinal research. This is as a result of the limited time and budget allocated. Therefore, positivism philosophy will be adopted since this research is objective based.
Justification of the research design
Deductive approach will also be adopted in this research since there are many theories that surrounds the concept of student’s attitudes towards ageism which can be tested through factual data. Deductive approach is concerned with testing whether the existing assumptions and theories are valid. It analyses information from general point of view to specific inferences. Besides, the current research will follow descriptive design (Bryman & Bell, 2011).
Mixed methodology will be adopted in the current research. Mixed methodology implies that the research will use both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. Quantitative methods will be more useful in getting the opinions and insights of larger demography (Smith, 2015). On the other hand, qualitative method will be useful in gaining understanding of the underlying reasons, opinions and motivations concerning this topic (Bryman & Bell, 2011).
This research will use questionnaires as data collection tools. Questionnaires will be of great help since it will enable the researcher to have a standardised data. Besides, findings from questionnaire are considered more reliable. This is due to the fact that questionnaires reflect the reality of the investigated phenomenon (Smith, 2015). Moreover, using questionnaires allows the researcher to collect sufficient data and information in order to realise the research objectives.
University students will be selected using convenience sampling to participate in the questionnaire survey. The technique of convenience sampling is beneficial to this research since it is fast, easy to use and readily available (Smith, 2015). Besides, convenience sampling is cost effective and therefore will save the researcher a substantial amount of money.
Data Collection Methods
The university students will presented with questionnaires which they are expected completed in order to establish their opinion concerning their attitudes towards ageism. Each student will be expected to administer the questionnaire and select one answer from a set of different questions. The questions will be mostly based on the attitudes of the students towards ageism. The students will be expected to respond to all the questions which are expected to last for between 5-10 minutes. The researcher will then collect all the questionnaires from the students for analysis purposes.
Data from the questionnaire survey will be analysed using statistical method which entails descriptive statistical analysis, regression as well as correlation analysis (Bryman & Bell, 2011). More specifically, SPSS software which involves generating statistical graphs, tables, charts, frequency analysis will be used (Smith, 2015). All the responses from questionnaire surveys will be keyed in the SPSS program where descriptive analysis will be conducted and the results displayed through charts, graphs and tables. Besides, qualitative data will be analysed in accordance to the data obtained from the literature review.
Value of the Study
This current research has a significant value and is important on various key issues.
It is important for the society and various business entities to understand the importance of student’s attitudes towards ageism. This will help in fostering a harmonious working relationship between young people and adults. For instance an understanding of the quality of contact and aging anxiety helps organisation to create a cordial working relationships between young people and adults (Koh, 2012). Likewise, such conclusions will enable students and academicians to gain valuable knowledge concerning significance of attitude towards ageism.
Most of the organisations still do not understand the relationship and attitude of young people towards the older generation more so at the work place (Bloom et al., 2011). Therefore, the outcome of this research will provide insights to management of organisations as well as employees to understand on how best to treat and understand older people in order to improve relationship and performance in an organisation.
Conclusion and recommendations
This research intends to show the causal relationship between multi age perspective, contact quality, ageing anxiety, unfavourable attitude, favourable attitude, willingness to work and student’s attitude towards ageism. This research anticipates that in creating a positive work place, employees must learn unique work values of various generational groups. Further, the research argues that students with higher anxiety level about ageing always have bad attitudes towards older people. Therefore, younger people are encouraged to develop a favourable attitude towards older people such as view older the elderly as more dependable at work place to foster harmonious working relationships.
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