JTRM in Kinesiology - Sports Media

Journal " Teaching, Research, and Media in Kinesiology "

a peer reviewed journal - ISSN 0778-3906

Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Zan Gao and Co-Chief editor: Dr. Cools Wouter                            June 1st, 2017 #3

“Mind Blown” – Including Exercise Science Students as Research Assistants to Reduce Ageist Perceptions

Sam Forlenza, PhD

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Shippensburg University, USA


   The amount of older adults is increasing rapidly and the demands of an aging population will need to be met by professionals in many fields, including exercise science. However, many undergraduate students do not want to work with older adults. Therefore, this qualitative study sought to examine the experiences and perceptions of exercise science students who served as research assistants in a six-month walking program for senior citizens. Students recognized that their previous ageist views about older adults’ functioning (which originated from personal experiences, education, and society) were challenged by the walking program. Subsequently, more positive views on aging, being an older adult, and working with older adults were elicited by their assistance in the research study. Results from this investigation suggest that exercise science and allied health students be exposed to aging-sensitive experiences to dispel ageist perceptions and ultimately increase the workforce needed to serve this expanding population.

Keywords: aging, older adults, stereotypes, ageism, qualitative research

Category: Interdisciplinary

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Guy Van Damme - Managing editor of JTRM in Kinesiology

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