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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Beliefs about elderly people among social workers and the general public in Hong Kong.

Author: Cheung, Chau Kiu; Chan, Cheung Ming; Lee, Jik Joen
Author Background:
Date 6/1/99
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Cross-Cultural-Gerontology
Volume/Pages Vol 14(2): 131-152
Subject Matter Asian Pacific Islander
Abstract The role of social work and self-esteem may be factors explaining ageism at the individual level. The study surveyed 902 Hong Kong Chinese people (aged < 30 yrs-60+) including members of the general public, social workers, students, and elderly center members to; (1) determine the extent of ageism in terms of beliefs about physical, social, and psychological dimensions of elderly people, and (2) test hypotheses deriving from social learning and scapegoat theories. Ss completed questionnaires for measuring demographic characteristics, self-esteem and stereotyped beliefs. Analysis of data showed that Ss < 60 yrs were more favorable regarding the social dimension and less favorable regarding the psychological dimension of beliefs about elderly people. Ss with higher self-esteem tended to be more favorable in beliefs about social and psychological dimensions of elderly people but less favorable in the belief about the physical dimension. Although, gerontological social workers were more favorable in the beliefs regarding the social dimension of elderly people, this difference might be attributable to their higher self-esteem. Hence the role of social work did not necessarily improve one s image of elderly people in Hong Kong. ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)