Attitudes toward elderly nursing home residents among nursing home aides of three Black cultural groups

Arnette Doris Robinson, Fordham University


This study was designed to assess attitudes toward the elderly nursing home residents among aides from three different Black cultural groups: Afro-Americans, English-speaking Caribbeans (including Jamaicans, Trinidadians, and Barbadians), and Haitians. The study is important for social work and health service providers because perceptions of caregiver toward the elderly are likely to be reflected in the care they give. A review of the literature suggested that cultural factors are important determinants of attitudes toward the elderly. The placement of older adults in nursing homes is atypical in each of the three cultural groups under study, raising the possibility that caregivers from these groups may view nursing home residents as stigmatized by virtue of their placement. The presence of negative attitudes toward elderly nursing home residents among any or all of the cultural groups under study suggests the need for education aimed at improving the caregivers understanding of the role of nursing homes. Participating aides (80 per cultural group, 255 overall) completed a survey assessing perceptions of the elderly in general and attitudes toward older persons residing in nursing homes. A sample of 246 nurse's aide was drawn from five nursing homes. The items included in the sociodemographic questionnaire were selected on the basis of previous research related to perceptions of the elderly. The items used to assess attitudes toward the elderly and toward nursing home residents were drawn from several scales measuring perceptions of and attitudes toward the elderly, including those of Morgan and Bengtson (1976), the National Council on the Aging (1975), and Kilty and Feld (1976). Analysis of variance techniques and discriminant analysis were employed to determine the significance of group differences on attitudes toward the elderly. Results indicate that the aides had favorable attitudes toward the elderly. Nevertheless, there were significant differences among the three groups, with the English-speaking Caribbean expressing most favorable attitudes. Results were interpreted as indicating the need for in-service training in cultural diversity for nursing home aides, as well as training and cultural diversity for social work.

Subject Area

Social work|Gerontology|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Robinson, Arnette Doris, "Attitudes toward elderly nursing home residents among nursing home aides of three Black cultural groups" (1992). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9403304.