0-6 – 60-∞ Hand in Hand: Reflections from an Intergenerational Interaction Study
Keywords:Intergenerational interaction,, early childhood education, older adults, nursing home
This study aims to bring together a group of preschool children and older adults residing in a nursing home through some intergenerational interaction activities to examine the interaction between these two groups from the point of view of parents, teachers, older adults, and children. This basic qualitative research was carried out with a study group of 10 preschool children, 11 parents, 3 teachers, and 8 older adults residing in a nursing home, all of whom were determined via a criterion sampling method. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with the participants and analyzed through an inductive approach. Intergenerational interaction practices provided in the context of the study were considered to be favorable, original, encouraging, positive experiences. The practices were found to be pleasing for both children and the older adults, as well as being awareness raising, interaction and empathy boosting, positive behavior yielding, educative, exciting for children and making them embrace of older adults and feel responsible. For the older adults, it has been concluded that intergenerational interaction practices were pleasing, fulfilling of longing for affection, satisfying, motivating and presenting different experiences. Moreover, adult participants made some suggestions regarding increasing the duration, extending the content and integrating intergenerational interaction activities with school program. As a result, it can be concluded that intergenerational interaction practices have yielded positive outcomes for all of the participants and initiatives and researches should be carried out to disseminate these studies.
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