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EGO-DEFENSIVENESS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO ATTITUDES OF REGISTERED NURSES TOWARD THE ELDERLY

BARBARA WHARTON MCCABE, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to determine the relationship between ego defensiveness and attitudes of female registered nurses toward the elderly. This research study was designed to explore the relevance of Katz's Functional Theory of Attitudes in furthering the understanding of factors which may influence the attitudes of registered nurses toward the elderly.^ The primary questions which were addressed are as follows: (1) What are the attitudes of registered nurses toward the elderly? (2) Is there a relationship between ego defensiveness and attitudes of registered nurses toward the elderly? (3) Is there a relationship between certain demographic and personal characteristics and the attitudes of registered nurses toward the elderly?^ The Kogan Old People Scale, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and a Personal Profile Questionnaire were mailed to 318 randomly selected registered nurses residing in the State of Nebraska. A total of 255 usable questionnaires were returned and comprised the final sample for this study.^ Using multiple regression analysis a regression equation was developed which accounted for 29% of the variation in attitudes. Analysis of the data revealed a significant positive relationship between the denial component of the Marlowe-Crowne scale and attitudes as measured by the Kogan Old People Scale. This finding implies that responses on the Kogan Old People Scale may be biased by the degree of ego-defensiveness of the respondents. That is, highly ego defensive individuals may respond in a positive socially acceptable manner; thus their scores may not reflect their true attitudes. Other significant variables were respondents' age, whether or not they had previously had a close personal relationship with an elderly person and their perception of that relationship.^ The results obtained in this study call into question the conclusions of previous studies which used the Kogan Old People Scale and which found primarily positive attitudes toward the elderly. Further research should be directed at replicating this study with another sample to validate the findings. ^

Subject Area

Gerontology|Health Sciences, Nursing

Recommended Citation

BARBARA WHARTON MCCABE, "EGO-DEFENSIVENESS AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO ATTITUDES OF REGISTERED NURSES TOWARD THE ELDERLY" (January 1, 1984). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Paper AAI8509868.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI8509868

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