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College Students' Attitudes toward Elderly Sexuality: A Two Factor Solution*

  • Jennifer L. Hillman (a1) and George Stricker (a1)

Abstract

The present study examined the ability of the Aging Sexuality Knowledge and Attitude Scale (ASKAS) to assess individuals' attitudes toward elderly sexuality. The instrument's primary assumption, that individuals' attitudes toward elderly sexuality are one dimensional, was challenged. Four hundred and fifty-eight college students, with a mean age of 27 (s.d. = 8.67), completed the attitude subscale of the ASKAS, responded to a series of elderly sexuality attitude items constructed by the authors, and provided self-report information regarding a number of demographic and personality variables. A factor analysis of all attitude items revealed a two factor solution in which items loading on the first factor appeared to represent more restrictive (i.e. less permissive) attitudes toward elderly sexuality, whereas items loading on the second factor appeared to represent more empathic attitudes. The validity of this bivariate attitude structure appears to be supported by the differentially predictive nature of a number of subject variables including religiosity, death anxiety, salience of elderly sexuality, and age. The discovery of this underlying, two factor attitude solution also is used to interpret previously discrepant findings regarding health care providers' attitudes toward elderly sexuality.

Cette étude examine la capacité de l'instrument de Connaissance et d'échelle d'attitudes de la sexualité des personnes âgées (ASKAS) à mesurer les attitudes des individus envers la sexualité des aînés. L'hypothèse principale selon laquelle les attitudes des individus envers la sexualité des aînés sont unidimensionnelles est remise en cause. Quatre cent cinquante huit étudiants de collèges, dont la moyenne d'âge était de 27 ans (écart-type = 8,67), ont rempli l'échelle d'attitude de l'ASKAS, ont répondu à une série d'énoncés portant sur les attitudes envers la sexualité des aînés élaborés par les auteurs, et ont fourni de l'information personnelle sur des variables démographiques et de la personnalité les concernant. Une analyse factorielle de l'ensemble des énoncés d'attitude révèle une solution à deux facteurs dans laquelle les énoncés regroupés sous le premier facteur semblent représenter des attitudes plus restrictives (c'est-à dire moins permissives) envers la sexualité des aînés. Par contre, les énoncés regroupés sous le deuxième facteur semblent représenter des attitudes plus empathiques. La validité de cette structure d'attitudes bidimensionnelle semble être soutenue par la nature prédictive d'un certain nombre de variables y compris la religiosité, l'angoisse face ' la mort, la visibilité de la sexualité des personnes âges et l'âge. On se sert également de cette attitude bidimensionnelle sous-jacente pour interpréter des résultats contradictoires précédents concernant les attitudes des prestateurs de soins envers la sexualité des aînés.

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References

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College Students' Attitudes toward Elderly Sexuality: A Two Factor Solution*

  • Jennifer L. Hillman (a1) and George Stricker (a1)

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