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Knowledge, Attitudes, and Intention of Students Majoring fin Food and Nutrition on Working with the Elderly

  • Cha, Myeong-Hwa (Department of Hotel Restaurant Institution Management & Dietetics, Kansas State University) ;
  • Park, Jyung-Rewng (Department of Food and Nutrition, Yeungnam University)
  • Published : 2004.12.01

Abstract

With the increase of elderly people, educators have begun designing experiences to prepare students to work with elderly group. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of students majoring in food and nutrition for the elderly and their intentions to provide services for the elderly. The knowledge level of the students was in a medium range, and no relationship was found between knowledge and attitudes using Pearson correlation. The knowledge did not significantly differ across gender and academic level when compared using t-test and ANOVA, but knowledge level was significantly different based on residential experiences with elderly over 65 years of age (p < 0.05). Students had neutral attitudes toward working with elderly employees and working for elderly. Students had positive intentions to work with elderly employees, seek employment in an organization for elderly clients/customers, and seek opportunities for positive social interaction with the elderly. However, students do not have positive work preference with elderly employees. As a result of multiple regression analysis, it was found that knowledge was not a predictor of intentions to provide services to the elderly. However, attitudes toward working with elderly employees, attitudes toward elderly, residential experiences with elderly > 65 years have been predicted the intentions to work with elderly employees. Attitudes working with elderly employees and attitudes toward elderly influenced the intentions to work in the organizations to provide services to elderly. This study can be identified the need for additional didactic preparation and experiences to prepare students to work with elder aging population.

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