Using art in an intergenerational program to improve students attitudes toward people with dementia

January 19, 2017


  • Elizabeth "Like" Lokon
  • Yue Li
  • Jyotsana Parajuli

This study explored the effects of participating in an intergenerational service learning program called Opening Mind through Arts (OMA) on college students’ attitudes toward people with dementia. In this program, students were paired one-on-one with elders who have dementia to support the elders’ creation of visual art projects. They met weekly for one semester. The Dementia Attitude Scale was administered at the beginning and end of the semester to measure changes in students’ attitudes. The study included 156 students participating in OMA and assessed if their participation makes a difference in the degree of change in overall attitudes, knowledge, and comfort level toward people with dementia. Results revealed a significant improvement in students’ overall attitudes, comfort level, and attitude toward people with dementia. The results highlight the importance of intergenerational service learning in improving college students’ overall attitudes and increase their confidence and comfort working with people with dementia.

Gerontology and Geriatrics Education 38(4), 407-424. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2017.1281804

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  • Arts and Aging
  • Dementia