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Korean Children's Attitudes Toward the Elderly

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

Children's attitudes toward the elderly in Korea were examined. A total of 480 children, 240 in the rural area of the Kyunggi Province and 240 from the urban area of Seoul were randomly selected from kindergarten, second, fourth and sixth grades of elementary schools. The test, Children's Attitudes Toward the Elderly (The CATE), (1980), the Word Association, Semantic Differential, and parts of the Pictures Series, were used to assess attitudes. Chi-Square and the Hotelling t-test statistics were used to analyze the data. Korean children, those living in both rural and urban areas, evaluated YOUNG PEOPLE more positively than OLD PEOPLE. On the total score of the Semantic Differential, and on six of the individual items, YOUNG PEOPLE were rated more positively than OLD PEOPLE. The young were rated as more helpful, healthier, cleaner, prettier, happier, and richer than the old. Old people were evaluated as more good and friendlier. There were no differences on the items wonderful/terrible and right/wrong. The results indicated few differences between rural and urban Korean children's attitudes toward the elderly. Children in the rural areas of Korea felt more positive about their own aging than the urban children and were able to give an alternative name for elder. They also rated elders as happier and richer than urban children, and young people as friendlier and more right.


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