Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Improvements in health care and standards of living have resulted in the elderly becoming one of the fastest growing groups of people. Current estimates by the US Department of Health and Human Services (1990), projects by the year 2000, the 35 million people over age 65 will represent about 13% of the population and by 2030, 22%. The population of the "oldest old", those over age 85, will have increased by about 30% to a total of 4.6 million by 2000. These figures contrast with only 4% of those over 65 constituting the population in 1900 and 8% in 1850. These estimates create significant concerns for health care workers. Literature suggests attitudes toward the elderly may have a relationship to standard of care. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if age and/or educational achievements of nursing assistants have an effect on their attitude toward the rural elderly. Nursing assistants have the most direct contact with the elderly while performing cares, but few studies have used the nursing assistant as subjects. This investigation used 80 nursing assistants employed at three rural Western Kansas long term care institutions. The nursing assistants completed two questionnaires, Kogan's Old People Scale and the McReynolds Nursing Assistant Information Sheet. This investigation used a non-experimental design using descriptive statistics. To substantiate the findings, a Spearman Rank Correlation was performed on all positive statements, all negative statements, and on the total score of the Kogan Old People Scale in relationship to age and educational achievements. Findings of this investigation show no significant relationship between age and/or educational achievements and attitudes toward the elderly.


Mary R. Hassett

Date of Award

Fall 1995

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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