+AA
Fr
Back
Evidence Summary

What is an Evidence Summary?

Key messages from scientific research that's ready to be acted on

Got It, Hide this
  • Rating:

Intergenerational programs improve attitudes, behaviours, and quality of life of children and older adults

Giraudeau C, Bailly N. Intergenerational programs: What can school-age children and older people expect from them? A systematic review European Journal of Ageing. 2019; 1-14.

Review question

      What are the benefits of intergenerational programs for children and older adults?

Background

      An intergenerational program involves ongoing and organized interactions between members of younger and older age groups for the benefit of all participants.

      They generally arise from practical concerns about strengthening social cohesion, creating links between generations, and setting up and encouraging community initiatives.

      This systematic review examines the literature to better understand intergenerational programs and their benefits for both children and older adults.

How the review was done

      A comprehensive literature search was conducted in major social science bibliographic databases, including PsycINFO, MedLine, and PubMed.

      Additional articles were searched by exploring references from retrieved publications.

      The searches were carried out using a variety of key words, including: intergenerational, children, elderly, and aging.

      A total of 60 English-language articles were retrieved from the initial search and 11 were selected for inclusion in the final review.

      This research was supported by the EA-2114 Psychologie des âges de la vie (Francois-Rabelais University).

What the researchers found

      Of the 11 included studies, three were identified as “educational programs”, three were “artistic programs” with interaction through music and reading, one was organized “around a citizen’s project”, one promoted a “health program”, and three involved “open-ended activities.”

      Seven of the 11 studies were conducted in the USA, three in Japan, and one in Israel.

      Results indicate that children had more positive attitudes toward the older people and understood them better after participation in an intergenerational program. Other studies further revealed that children benefited from discovering that they could be good teachers.

      Four of nine studies found that intergenerational programs had a positive effect on older adults. These positive effects included the perception of a greater sense of meaningfulness and manageability, increased empowerment, more positive views of children, and increased the frequency of their communication with children.

Conclusion

      Concerning the benefits of intergenerational programs for children and older adults, some studies highlighted significant differences in positive attitudes, behaviors, confidence, and competence for the children, in mental and physical health, and quality of life for older adults. It should be noted, however, that these benefits are not systematic.



Related Topics


Glossary

Systematic review
A comprehensive evaluation of the available research evidence on a particular topic.

Related Evidence Summaries

Related Web Resources

DISCLAIMER These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Register for free access to all Professional content

Register
Want the latest in aging research? Sign up for our email alerts.
Subscribe

Support for the Portal is largely provided by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. AGE-WELL is a contributing partner. Help us to continue to provide direct and easy access to evidence-based information on health and social conditions to help you stay healthy, active and engaged as you grow older. Donate Today.

© 2012 - 2019 McMaster University | 1280 Main Street West | Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L8 | +1 905-525-9140 | Terms Of Use