Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
A quasi-experimental repeated measures research design was used in this study to investigate ageist stereotypic attitudes of two nursing assistant groups and the affect of their attitudes on learned helplessness in the patients for whom they cared. This study researched differences in leanred helplessness behavior between a group of nursing home residents cared for by nursing assistants who received an educational program designed to increase their knowledge about the aging process and the abilities of elderly persons in the performance of self-care activities, and a group of residents cared for by nursing assistants who did not receive the educational program. The setting was two nursing homes in the southeastern United States. The sample was 19 nursing assistants and 10 nursing home residents for whom they cared. Nine nursing assistants from one nursing home received an educational intervention designed to foster positive aging attitudes and to promote self-care activity among the elderly. Control group nursing assistants (n = 10) received no educational intervention. Kogan's (1981) Attitudes Toward Old People Scale was administered to both groups before and after the educational intervention. Following the educational intervention, the investigator observed learning helplessness behavior in the nursing home residents cared for by the treatment and control nursing assistant groups. Learned helplessness was operationalized as self-feeding frequency. Treatment and control nursing home residertt groups consisted of five each. The first hypothesis to determine whether nursing assistants received an educational program to foster positive attitudes toward aging and independence in self-care activity among the elderly would demonstrate greater mean differences between pretest and posttest measurements of attitudes toward aging than nursing assistants who did not receive the program was supported at the 0.05 level of significance using independent tests for analysis. The second hypothesis which tested whether there would be less learned helpessness in a group of elderly nursing home residents cared for by nursing assistants who received an educational program than a group of residents cared for by nursing assistants who did not receive the educational program rejected at the 0.05 level of significance using the independen t- test for analysis. The results of this study demonstrated increased positive attitudes toward aging by the treatment nursing assistant group. The study did not find change in learned helplessness in the elderly nursing home residents for whom they cared.
Hyland, Shirley, "Nursing Assistants' Attitudes Toward Aging and Learned Helplessness Among Elderly Nursing Home Residents" (1987). Archived Theses. 169.