ASSESSING AN INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE THERAPY PROGRAM                FOR ELDERLY ADULTS AND PRESCHOOL CHILDREN      ...
ASSESSING AN INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE THERAPY PROGRAM                   FOR ELDERLY ADULTS AND PRESCHOOL CHILDREN   ...
Several variables were shown to affect the outcome of research. The first variable discussed is theeffect of the staff, vo...
may be a useful activity for intergenerational programs with a goal of increased interaction andrelationship development. ...
ACKNOWLEDGMENTSThe completion of this research project and thesis could not have been possible without the assistanceand s...
TABLE OF CONTENTSI. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....
VI. Appendices      Appendix A: Separate Age Group Activity Participation Chart - Children . . . . . . . . . . .          ...
INTRODUCTIONThe chapters in this thesis were written as separate articles to be submitted to different journals forpublica...
PERSPECTIVES ON INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE THERAPYHorticultural TherapyHistorically, horticulture has proven to be an ...
situations over the past several years, but the results of these studies are mostly inconclusive orcontradictory (Dellman-...
Intergenerational contact is seen as equally important for all generations, even though the benefits foreach group varies....
these inconsistent findings.” Previous studies indicate possible reasons for these negative results andsolutions that may ...
adapted to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities such as arthritis, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’sdisease, and deme...
and “more unrestricting play activities” to support the importance of play in a child’s developmentand learning (Henniger,...
Carstens, D.Y. 1985. Site Planning and Design for the Elderly: Issues, Guidelines, and Alternatives.        Van Nostrand R...
Therapeutic Hort. 8:72-82.Newman, S. 1989. A history of intergenerational programs J. of Children in Contemp. Society 20:1...
M. Francis, P. Lindsey, and J.S. Rice (eds.). The Healing Dimensions of People Plant        Relations. Center for Design R...
Newman, S. and C. Ward. 1993. An observational study of intergenerational activities and behavior        change in dementi...
INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE THERAPY RESEARCH VARIABLES           INTRODUCED BY STAFF, VOLUNTEERS, AND VIDEOWorking with...
affected by administrators, other staff members, and volunteers that play a role in the implementationand success of activ...
group led to a lack of interactions between the staff and the other group present. This not onlyexcluded the new group and...
At the same time, this mediator (the volunteer or staff member) must remain focused on the largergoals of interaction and ...
including the ability to be flexible and adaptable when integrating with a research program. Thefacility’s attitude toward...
participants’ safety and well-being. Breaking any of these rules, even if the purpose for them is notunderstood, will incr...
around their weaknesses.Respect is an important factor in determining the volunteers’ enjoyment and success. In order for ...
interpreting data. This may be achieved through the use of video recording. Using video offers bothadvantages and disadvan...
part of the room from view. Lastly, the angle of the cameras view was a problem in severalcircumstances where a participan...
Knowing the possible problem areas and how to avoid or minimize the effects can change how theresearch project is designed...
INTERGENERATIONAL INTERACTIONSIntroductionThe goal of this research project was to determine if introducing intergeneratio...
According to these guidelines, HT has excellent potential as a focus for intergenerational interactionbecause it provides ...
Day Service room which was larger. A video camera on a tripod was used to record activities thattook place in the enclosed...
and preschool children during the intergenerational activities. At the completion of the 10-weekproject, the video tapes f...
Results and DiscussionChildren’s Separate ActivitiesDuring children’s separate activities (Table 1), few ‘O’ scores were o...
weeks of the study. During these first six weeks, the Child Development Lab School started the daywith a group time where ...
variation in the scores as the children’s activities. The average participation time varied with theamount of materials av...
structured and allowed the participants to work independently but in a group setting.Table 3. Attendance, average time, an...
Elderly AdultsThe elderly adults’ participation scores (Table 5) show an increase in ‘O’ scores in 8 of the 10activities c...
and experience in working with both populations and in meeting their needs more efficiently, theproblems of excessive dire...
other and more comfortable interacting, and the volunteers became more comfortable working withboth groups and encouraging...
Without a shared product to encourage cooperation very little interaction took place. During activity#8, the participants ...
physical and cognitive abilities, this research may indicate that two groups in this study may not bethe best combination ...
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children
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Assessing An Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Program For Elderly Adults And Preschool Children

  1. 1. ASSESSING AN INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE THERAPY PROGRAM FOR ELDERLY ADULTS AND PRESCHOOL CHILDREN by Mary Lorraine Predny Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE in HORTICULTURE ____________________________ Dr. P. Diane Relf Committee Chair____________________________ ____________________________Dr. J. Roger Harris Dr. Andrew J. Stremmel KEY WORDS: Volunteers, Staff, Video, Activities, Day care
  2. 2. ASSESSING AN INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE THERAPY PROGRAM FOR ELDERLY ADULTS AND PRESCHOOL CHILDREN by Mary Lorraine Predny Dr. Diane Relf, Chair Horticulture Department ABSTRACTThe goal of this research project was to determine if introducing intergenerational interactions wouldsupplement or detract from the use of horticulture as a therapeutic tool when working with elderlyadults and preschool children. The program was set up to compare independent group activities withintergenerational activities. A group of elderly adults in the University Adult Day Service and a groupof preschool children in the University Child Development Laboratory School took part in bothseparate age group and intergenerational activities. There were three sessions each week: one for thechildren’s group, a second one for the elderly adults’ group, and a third one that combined bothgroups. The same activity was done during all three sessions each week, with modifications to makethe activity appropriate for each age group and to make it more interactive for the intergenerationalgroup. These activities took place in the campus building where the day care centers are located. Fourvolunteers assisted with the activities. Two worked with the children’s group both during separateand intergenerational activities, and two volunteers similarly assisted with the elderly adult group.Video cameras were used to record each session. These videos were viewed and evaluated after the10-week horticulture therapy program was completed to score attendance and participation duringseparate age group activities, and attendance, participation, and interaction between the two groupsduring intergenerational activities. This data was used to determine if introducing intergenerationalinteractions affected the individual’s attendance or participation, and to determine if the interactionsbetween the two groups showed any change over time.
  3. 3. Several variables were shown to affect the outcome of research. The first variable discussed is theeffect of the staff, volunteers, or administration on the participants and the activities. Staff andvolunteers can greatly affect intergenerational interactions by: 1) failing to encourage participationfrom participants of all ages, 2) lacking experience or having discomfort in working with specialpopulations, 3) failure to establish adequate communication with the researcher or with each other,or 4) demonstrating a negative attitude towards the project. The second variable in research is thelimitation introduced by data analysis using video. While video recording is useful in evaluating data,it can cause problems due to a limited viewing area, limited viewing angles, blocked screens, orunfamiliarity with recording equipment.Videos were used to assess participation and interaction. Participation scores include three categories:“no participation” for present but inactive participation, and “working with direct assistance” or“independent participation” for active participation. Participation was affected by the horticultureactivities’ set up, difficulty level, and availability of assistance from volunteers. Children’sparticipation during separate group activities was affected mainly by the difficulty level and set up ofactivities. Elderly adult’s participation during separate age group activities was affected mainly byeach individual’s abilities and availability of assistance. Children’s intergenerational participationscores show an increase in the category of “working with direct assistance”, while elderly adults’intergenerational scores show an increase in the categories of “no participation” and “independentparticipation”. In part, the change in intergenerational participation was due to a decrease in theassistance available from volunteers for each individual.Lastly, the percentage of total interaction time between the generations during activities increasedover time. However, the introduction of intergenerational interactions detracted from the use ofhorticulture as a therapeutic tool for elderly adults and preschool children. It is recommended thatintergenerational programming may not be useful to fulfill specific horticulture therapy goals for thesegroups. At the same time, the intergenerational activities involving horticulture plant-based activitieswere more successful at increasing interactions than the craft-type activities. Therefore horticulture iii
  4. 4. may be a useful activity for intergenerational programs with a goal of increased interaction andrelationship development. iv
  5. 5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTSThe completion of this research project and thesis could not have been possible without the assistanceand support of many individuals. Thanks to my advisor Dr. Diane Relf for her enthusiasm, guidance,and constructive criticism which helped turn a good idea into a rewarding project. Her innovativeideas, resourcefulness, and practical solutions made it easier to face the many challenges that arosethroughout the course of this project. I also thank my committee members Drs. Roger Harris andAndrew Stremmel for their advice and support throughout this study.I am grateful to the Virginia Tech Adult Day Service and the Child Development Lab School forthe use of their facilities, their patient and advising staff, and most of all for allowing me the pleasureof working with their clients, many of whom made this research project an incredibly enjoyable andrewarding experience.I owe many thanks to the four horticulture therapy volunteers who offered their time and energy, theVirginia Tech Greenhouses, Floral Design Lab, and Dave Angle for donating horticultural supplies,the staff in the Office of Consumer Horticulture who read and revised this manuscript, and AlanMcDaniels for his statistical consultations. Without their assistance this project would not have beensuccessful.Lastly, I extend my infinite love and appreciation to my family and friends who offered me theencouragement, advice, and support that gave me the strength and courage to follow my dreams, andthe love and happiness to enjoy life along the way. v
  6. 6. TABLE OF CONTENTSI. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1II. Perspectives on Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Horticulture Therapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Intergenerational Programming Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Implementing a Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Gardening for Elderly Adults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Gardening for Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Literature Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Additional References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9III. Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Research Variables Introduced by Staff, Volunteers, and Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Working with Staff and Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Literature Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21IV. Intergenerational Interactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Materials and Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Results and Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Recommendations for Future Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Literature Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37V. Horticulture Therapy Activities for Preschool Children, Elderly Adults, and Intergenerational Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Activity Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Testing of Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Elderly Adult Activity References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Preschool Children Activity References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Intergenerational Activity References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 vi
  7. 7. VI. Appendices Appendix A: Separate Age Group Activity Participation Chart - Children . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Appendix B: Separate Age Group Activity Participation Chart - Elderly Adults . . . . . . 58 Appendix C: Intergenerational Activity Participation Chart - Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Appendix D: Intergenerational Activity Participation Chart - Elderly Adults . . . . . . . . . 65 Appendix E: Total Participation - Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Appendix F: Total Participation - Elderly Adults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Appendix G: Total Separate Age Group Activity Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Appendix H: Total Intergenerational Activity Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Appendix I: Intergenerational Interaction Chart - Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Appendix J: Intergenerational Interaction Chart - Elderly Adults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Appendix K: Total Individual and Activity Intergenerational Interaction . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 vii
  8. 8. INTRODUCTIONThe chapters in this thesis were written as separate articles to be submitted to different journals forpublication. Because of this, there is some repetition among the chapters which is necessary to clarifythe information within them. Even though each article results from the same research study, theyaddress different issues and do not repeat results and conclusions.The first two articles, “Perspectives on Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy” and“Intergenerational Horticulture Therapy Research Variables Introduced by Staff, Volunteers, andVideo” will be submitted to the Journal of the American Horticulture Therapy Association.The third article, “Intergenerational Interactions” will be submitted to HortTechnology.The last article, “Horticulture Activities for Preschool Children, Elderly Adults, and IntergenerationalGroups” will be submitted to Activities, Adaptation, and Aging. 1
  9. 9. PERSPECTIVES ON INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE THERAPYHorticultural TherapyHistorically, horticulture has proven to be an effective means of therapy for many differentpopulations. Horticultural Therapy (HT) generally refers to the use of horticultural activities that areadapted to meet specific goals of an individual with special needs in treatment (Relf, 1997). Manyindividuals benefit from these activities, including elderly adults, disabled children, mentally andphysically disabled adults, or other individuals who could benefit from participating in horticulturalactivities, but who require special adaptations or modifications to do so (Relf and Dorn, 1995).Horticulture therapy programs are usually led by a professional who is trained to “tailor the use ofplants to fit the therapy and rehabilitation needs of those individuals with whom they are working”(AHTA publication). Although the specific needs of any particular population and even the needs ofseveral individuals within a certain population may vary, the main goals of a HT program remain thesame. As Relf states, “the specific goals toward which a HT program is directed may differ distinctlyfrom one institution to another and from one population to another. However, the ultimate goal ofthese programs is the improved physical and mental health of the individual” (Relf [Hefley], 1973).Horticulture has become a valuable therapeutic tool because the activities can easily be adjusted andadapted to meet the needs of any specific population without altering the main objectives of theprogram.Intergenerational Horticultural TherapyRecently, intergenerational HT programs have been used in order to add to a horticulture programthe opportunity for diverse social interactions for special groups that could benefit from suchexperiences (Abbott et al., 1997; Epstein and Greenberger, 1990; Kerrigan and Stevenson, 1997).Intergenerational HT programs have not been widely used or studied, so the impacts of suchprograms are unknown. Non-horticultural intergenerational programs have been studied in various 2
  10. 10. situations over the past several years, but the results of these studies are mostly inconclusive orcontradictory (Dellman-Jenkins et al., 1991; Seefeldt, 1989). It is important, therefore, to study theseinteractions to determine if they could become an asset to HT programming.Intergenerational Programming ResearchGenerations United, a group formed in the mid 1980s to promote intergenerational activities, definesintergenerational programming as “the purposeful bringing together of different generations inongoing planned activities designed to achieve the development of new relationships as well asspecified program goals” (in Ventura-Merkel et al., 1989). The idea of intergenerational exchangesemerged in the 1960s with programs such as ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ and other similar programs thatconnected young, school-aged children to elderly adults (Newman, 1989). These programs weremainly started in response to decreased contact between the generations. Despite the increasingpopulation of elderly persons in our society, young people have infrequent or ineffectual connectionswith them due to a “breakdown of the extended family network [and] increased ageism and agesegregation” (Cohon, 1989). Sally Newman, founder of the University of Pittsburgh’s GenerationsTogether program developed to research intergenerational programs, states that “for our elderly,there has been (an observed) decline in self-esteem and self-worth, and an increase in feelings ofloneliness. For our children and youth, there has been an observed loss of the traditional elder/childnurturing, a loss of cultural and historical connections, and an increase in their fear of aging. Agesegregation, furthermore, seems to have resulted in an increase in myths and stereotypes between theyoung and the old” (Newman, 1989). The goal of intergenerational programs has been to alleviatethe isolation and negative attitudes that result from a lack of contact between these groups. Theseprograms also serve to expose individuals to the diversity of human life in order to promoteunderstanding and acceptance of the differences that exist between the generations. “When we learn,work and play only with our age-peers, we begin to accept a homogenous view of the world as ourversion of reality. This leads not only to a shallow, one-dimensional view of how things are, butinevitably begins to limit the possibilities of how they can become” (Tice, 1985). 3
  11. 11. Intergenerational contact is seen as equally important for all generations, even though the benefits foreach group varies. Although these programs can refer to interactions between any generations, moststudies have focused on exchanges between elderly adults and young children. These groups areassumed to receive the greatest benefit from intergenerational experiences due to their limited contactwith each other in everyday life and their similar status as ‘dependent’ in society.Today’s elderly adult population experiences fewer social contacts and increased isolation due to thenegative perceptions of younger populations (Cohon, 1989). Developing positive relationships withthe younger generation are reported to increase feelings of self-esteem and life satisfaction, whiledecreasing isolation and loneliness for elderly adults in our society (Seefeldt, 1989). A study byPastorello et al. “noted that institutionalized elderly reported not only less loneliness and depressionbut feelings of youthfulness following volitional interaction with preschool children” (in Kocarnik andPonzetti, 1991).For children, changes in family structure and a loss of connection with their grandparents may causea lack of continuity (Chamberlain et al., 1994) and misunderstandings or misconceptions about elderlyadults and the aging process (Seefeldt, 1989). Exchanges with the older generation are said to“influence moral and personal development of the maturing child” (Cohon, 1989) and help theyounger generation shape their value systems “by seeing their linkages to the past” (Chamberlain etal., 1994). Not only do relationships with elderly adults help to shape morals and values and preventnegative stereotypes about aging, but a study by Kerschner and Harris also indicated that the“children often thrive on the individualized attention the seniors can provide” (in Kocarnik andPonzetti, 1991).Not all studies on intergenerational experiences have shown these positive effects. Seefeldt (1987)cites several studies of programs that had inconclusive or negative effects on the participants. In alater study, a group of preschoolers that visited infirm elderly adults actually showed an increase intheir negative attitudes toward their own aging (Seefeldt, 1989). Seefeldt (1987) hypothesizes that“differing research methodologies, samples, and types of programs and contacts may account for 4
  12. 12. these inconsistent findings.” Previous studies indicate possible reasons for these negative results andsolutions that may prevent undesirable experiences. These include making the contact beneficial forboth groups rather than having one group serve the other (Tice, 1985), designing projects that “havea definite purpose or end product” (Aday et al., 1991), establishing programs that are long-term sothe individuals have a chance to establish relationships with one another (Seefeldt, 1989), andensuring that positive attitudes develop as a result of discovered similarities between the groups(Chapman and Neal, 1990). Seefeldt (1987) proposed recommendations for ensuring successfulprograms that reinforce these points and include “protecting the prestige of elders as well as children;limiting frustration for both adults and children by arranging for contact that is intimate, not casual;planning for interaction that has integrity and is functional for both groups; and ensuring that contactbetween old and young is rewarding and pleasant for both groups.”Implementing a ProgramAccording to these guidelines, HT has excellent potential as a focus for intergenerational interactionbecause it provides benefits for all persons involved, a definite end product to share and discuss, along-term project with intrinsic rewards, and a common interest in order to establish a connectionbetween the groups. The horticultural activities could also be adapted to meet the needs of bothgroups involved. However, it is not as certain that intergenerational interactions would complementa HT program. For example, the specific goals of gardening with elderly adults and gardening withchildren have some conflicting objectives that may make the combination of the two groupsinappropriate.Gardening for Elderly AdultsAccording to past studies, gardening is one of the preferred leisure activities for elderly adults(Burgess, 1990; Hill and Relf, 1983; Relf, 1989). Horticulture can offer many opportunities forexercise and socialization for elderly persons who are learning to deal with limitations such as sensoryloss, physical decline, and loss of status in society (Carstens, 1985). Many tools and activities can be 5
  13. 13. adapted to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities such as arthritis, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’sdisease, and dementia (Bubel, 1990; Kerrigan and Stevenson, 1997; Whittier, 1991). Some researcheven shows that gardening can alleviate specific psychological problems (Langer and Rodin, 1976;Rodin and Langer, 1977). According to Haas et al. (1998), “health conditions affect an older person’sability to perform a range of common activities needed for personal self-maintenance and independentcommunity residence.... Rehabilitation and supervised care that includes HT can help reduce personallosses and restore an older person’s level of functioning.” Some possible benefits include improvedquality of life, control and independence, a greater sense of personal responsibility and autonomy,social interaction, mental stimulation, sensory stimulation, decreased boredom, creative expression,stimulation of long- and short-term memory, and physical exercise on various levels (Burgess, 1990;Carstens, 1985; Haas et al., 1998; Hill and Relf, 1983; Langer and Rodin, 1976; Rodin and Langer,1977; Rothert and Daubert, 1981). Studies indicate that elderly adults prefer gardens that containpopular plants from their youth, produce that they can enjoy, and a place that is clean and well-keptwhere they can relax in peace and quiet (Mooney, 1994).Gardening for ChildrenChildren’s gardening as a means of environmental education has gained popularity in recent years andis now supported by many schools, botanic gardens and arboreta, cooperative extension, and otheragencies or groups (Relf and Dorn, 1995). Many studies show that environmental attitudes areformed at a young age, so it is important to encourage positive views of nature early in a child’sdevelopment (Eberbach, 1990; Wilson, 1995, 1996). Using hands-on gardening while teachingprinciples of environmental conservation and basic science can be very effective because childrenlearn mainly through physical contact and manipulation of the world around them (Eberbach, 1988,1990; Moore, 1996; Palmer, 1994; Straw, 1990; Wilson, 1995). Horticulture can also be used toteach math, art, history, language skills, social studies, and literature (DeMarco, 1997). Adaptinghorticultural activities to meet the needs and stages of development can “appeal to a child’s interest,encourage experimentation in the physical world, and foster perspective taking and cooperation inthe social world” (DeVries and Zan, 1995). The outdoors can also offer a “greater sense of freedom” 6
  14. 14. and “more unrestricting play activities” to support the importance of play in a child’s developmentand learning (Henniger, 1994). According to Wilson, “once children learn to respect and love theworld of nature, they will be ready and eager to learn more about the scientific aspects of the worldaround them” (1995). Some additional goals of gardening with children of any age include developingpatience, perseverance, reverence, responsibility, cooperation, physical health, good work habits,motivation for learning, confidence, empathy, a sense of wonder and excitement, and respect andappreciation for nature (Bunn, 1986; Green, 1994; Waters, 1993; Wilson, 1995). Children’s gardensshould be designed to offer freedom to move and play, plants that are interesting and exotic, and“leftover, wild places that they have the freedom to manipulate. They tend to be wild, messy places”(Hart, 1993).ComparisonThe needs of elderly adults and children that are addressed by HT have many similarities includingincreased autonomy, a sense of wonder and excitement, physical and mental stimulation, socialinteractions, sensory stimulation, and creative expression. However, the conflicting energy levels ofthe two groups, and the opposing needs for quiet and cleanliness for elderly adults and freedom toexplore and play for children, may result in frustrations and negative attitudes between the twogroups.Literature CitedAbbott, G., V. Cochran, and A.A. Clair. 1997. Innovations in intergenerational programs for persons who are elderly: The role of horticultural therapy in a multidisciplinary approach, p. 27-38. In: Wells (ed.). Horticultural Therapy and the Older Adult. Hawthorne Press, NY.Aday, R.H. 1991. Youth’s attitudes toward the elderly: The impact of intergenerational partners. J. Applied Gerontology 10(3):372-384.American Horticultural Therapy Association, A Career in Horticultural Therapy, unpublished.Bubel, N. 1990. A therapy garden. Country Journal (September/October):74-76.Bunn, D.E. 1986. Group cohesiveness is enhanced as children engage in plant stimulated discovery activities. J. Therapeutic Hort. 1:37-43.Burgess, C.W. 1990. Horticulture and its application to the institutionalized elderly. Activities, Adaptation and Aging 14(3):51-61. 7
  15. 15. Carstens, D.Y. 1985. Site Planning and Design for the Elderly: Issues, Guidelines, and Alternatives. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., NY.Chamberlain, V.M., E. Fetterman, and M. Maher. 1994. Innovation in elder and child care: An intergenerational experience. Educ. Gerontology 20:193-204.Chapman, N.J. and M.B. Neal. 1990. The effects of intergenerational experiences on adolescents and older adults. The Gerontologist 30(6):825-832.Cohon, D. 1989. Intergenerational program research to refine theory and practice. J. Children in Contemp. Society 20:217-230.Dellman-Jenkins, M., D. Lambert, and D. Fruit. 1991. Fostering preschoolers’ prosocial behaviors toward the elderly: The effect of an intergenerational program. Educ. Gerontology 17:21-32.DeVries, R. and B. Zan. 1995. Creating a constructivist classroom atmosphere. Young Children 50(9):4-13.DeMarco, L.W. 1997. The Factors Affecting Elementary School Teachers’ Integration of School Gardening into the Curriculum, unpublished thesis. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.Eberbach, C. 1988. Garden Design for Children, unpublished thesis. U. Of Delaware.Eberbach, C. 1990. Children’s gardens: The meaning of place, p. 80-83. In: P.D. Relf (ed.). The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and Social Development: A National Symposium. Timber Press, Portland, OR.Epstein, S.G. and D.S. Greenberger. 1990. Nurturing plants, children, and older individuals: Intergenerational horticultural therapy. J. Therapeutic Hort. 5:16-19.Green, K. 1994. Encouraging nurturing behavior of two to seven year olds by introducing plants and flowers, p. 395-408. In: J. Flagler, and R. Poincelot (eds.). People-Plant Relations: Setting Research Priorities, A National Symposium. Hayworth Press, NY.Haas, K., S.P. Simson, and N.C. Stevenson. 1998. Older persons and horticultural therapy practice, p. 231-255. In: S.P. Simson and M.C. Straus (eds.). Horticulture as Therapy: Principles and Practice. Haworth Press, NY.Hart, R. 1993. Kids need wild places, gentle guidance. Amer. Horticulturalist 72(11):3.Henniger. 1994. Planning for outdoor play. Young Children 49(4):10-15.Hill, C.O. and P.D. Relf. 1983. Gardening as an outdoor activity in geriatric institutions. Activities, Adaptation and Aging 3(1):47-54.Kerrigan, J. and N.C. Stevenson. 1997. Behavioral study of youth and elders in an intergenerational horticultural therapy program, p. 141-154. In: Wells (ed.). Horticultural Therapy and the Older Adult Population. Hawthorne Press, NY.Kocarnik, R.A. and J.J. Ponzetti. 1991. The advantages and challenges of intergenerational programs in long-term care facilities. J. Gerontological Social Work 16(½):97-107.Langer, E.J. and J. Rodin. 1976. The effects of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged: A field experiment in an institutional setting. J. Personality and Social Psych. 34(2):191- 198.Mooney, P.F. 1994. Assessing the benefits of a therapeutic horticulture program for seniors in immediate care, p. 173-194. In: M. Francis, P. Lindsey, and J.S. Rice (eds.). The Healing Dimensions of People-Plant Relations. Center for Design Research, Davis, CA.Moore, R.C. 1996. Compact nature: The role of playing and learning gardens on children’s lives. J. 8
  16. 16. Therapeutic Hort. 8:72-82.Newman, S. 1989. A history of intergenerational programs J. of Children in Contemp. Society 20:1- 15.Palmer, J.A. 1994. Acquisition of environmental subject knowledge in preschool children: An international study. Children’s Environments 11(3):204-211.Relf (Hefley), P.D. 1973. Horticulture- a therapeutic tool. J. Rehab. 39(1):27-29.Relf, P.D. 1978. Horticulture as a recreational activity. Am. Health Care Assn. J. 4(5):68-70.Relf, P.D. 1989. Gardening in Raised Beds and Containers for the Elderly and Physically Handicapped. Virginia Cooperative Extension publication.Relf, P.D. 1997. Defining Horticultural Therapy, unpublished.Relf, P.D. and S. Dorn. 1995. Horticulture: Meeting the needs of special populations. HortTechnology 5(2):94-103.Rodin, J. and E.J. Langer. 1977. Long-term effects of a control-relevant intervention with the institutionalized aged. J. Personality and Social Psych. 35(12):897-902.Rothert, E.R. and J.R. Daubert. 1981. Horticultural Therapy for Nursing Homes, Senior Centers, Retirement Living. Chicago Horticultural Society, Chicago, IL.Scheid, D.T. 1976. An Approach to Teaching Children About the Aesthetics of Plants and Gardens, unpublished thesis. U. Of DelawareSeefeldt, C. 1987. Intergenerational programs. Childhood Educ. (October):14-18.Seefeldt, C. 1989. Intergenerational programs: impact on attitudes. J. of Children in Contemp. Society 20:185-194.Straw, H. 1990. The nursery garden. Early Child Development and Care 57:109-120.Tice, C.H. 1985. Perspectives on intergenerational initiatives: Past, present, and future. Children Today 14(5):6-11.Ventura-Merkel, C., D.S. Liederman, and J. Ossofsky. 1989. Exemplary intergenerational programs. J. of Children in Contemp. Society 20:173-180.Waters, M. 1993. Down in the dirt with kids: Tips on raising a crop of young gardeners. Horticulture 71(3):18-22.Whittier, D. 1991. Horticultural activities for physical disabilities of the elderly. NCTRH Newsletter 6(1):3-5.Wilson, R.A. 1995. Nature and young children: A natural connection. Young Children (September):4-8.Wilson, R.A. 1996. Environmental education programs for preschool children. J. Env. Educ. 27(4):28-33.Additional ReferencesAngelis, J. 1992. The genesis of an intergenerational program. Educ. Gerontology 18:317-327.Bocian, K. and S. Newman. 1989. Evaluation of intergenerational programs: Why and how. J. Children in Contemp. Society 20:147-163.Browne, C.A. 1994. The role of nature for the promotion of well-being of the elderly, p. 75-79. In: 9
  17. 17. M. Francis, P. Lindsey, and J.S. Rice (eds.). The Healing Dimensions of People Plant Relations. Center for Design Research, Davis, CA.Brummel, S.W. 1989. Developing an intergenerational program. J. Children in Contemp. Society 20:119-133.Eberbach, C. 1987. Gardens from a child’s view- an interpretation of children’s art-work. J. Therapeutic Hort. 2:9-16.Ellis, W.S. 1992. The gift of gardening. National Geographic 181(5):52-81.Ezell, D.O., E.V. Jones, and A.P. Olson. 1981. Outdoor Gardening for the Handicapped. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service publication.Galvin, E.S. 1994. The joy of seasons: With the children, discover the joys of nature. Young Children (May):4-8.Gardening Science Manual, New York Board of Education publication.Haas, K. 1996. The therapeutic quality of plants. J. Therapeutic Hort. 8:61-67.Hamby, A. 1996. Intergenerational Activities: An Observational Study of the Experiences of Children and Adults, unpublished thesis. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.Henkin, N.Z. and S. W. Sweeney. 1989. Linking systems: A systems approach to intergenerational programming. J. Children in Contemp. Society 20:165-172.Hochstein, R. 1994. Partners in growing. Parents (July):134-138.Hoover, R.C. 1994. Healing gardens and Alzheimer’s disease, p. 283-299. In: M. Francis, P. Lindsey, and J.S. Rice (eds.). The Healing Dimensions of People-Plant Relations. Center for Design Research, Davis, CA.Houseman, D. 1986. Developing links between horticultural therapy and aging. J. Therapeutic Hort. 1:9-14.Howell, D.C. 1997. Statistical Methods for Psychology. Duxbury Press, NY.Jaus, H.H. 1994. The development and retention of environmental attitudes in elementary school children. J. Env. Educ. 15(3):33-36.Kaplan, M.J. 1994. Use of sensory stimulation with Alzheimer’s patients in a garden setting, p. 291- 306. In: J. Flagler, and R. Poincelot (eds.). People-Plant Relations: Setting Research Priorities, A National Symposium. Hayworth Press, NY.Kuehne, V.S. 1992. Older adults in intergenerational programs: What are their experiences really like. Activities, Adaptation and Aging 16(4):49-67.Labreque, C. and L. Tremblay. 1996. The evolutive prosthetic garden: A new concept for elderly living in nursing facilities. J. Therapeutic Hort. 8:56-60.Matsuo, E. 1990. What we may learn through horticultural activity, p. 146-148. In: P.D. Relf (ed.). The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and Social Development: A National Symposium. Timber Press, Portland, OR.Meyer, H.G. 1973. Children grow in gardens. Flower and Garden (March):50-51.Moore, B. 1989. Growing with Gardening. Univ. of NC Press, Chapel Hill, NC.Moore, R.C. 1993. Plants for Play. MIG Communications, Berkley, CA.Moore, S.H. 1981. Horticultural therapy and the aging client. In: NCTRH publication, The Comprehensive View of Horticulture and the Aging 1(2):55-59.National Gardening Association. 1987. Successful Senior Citizen Gardens. NGA publication.Neer, K. 1990. A children’s garden. The Herbalist 56:69-76. 10
  18. 18. Newman, S. and C. Ward. 1993. An observational study of intergenerational activities and behavior change in dementing elders at an adult day care center. Intl. J. Aging and Human Development 36:321-333.Nordvig, O.K. 1975. Horticultural therapy in public education. California Hort. Journal 36(1):36-37.Rae, W.A. and D.A. Stieber. 1976. Plant play therapy: Growth through growth. J. Pediatric Psych. 1(4):18-20.Relf, P.D. 1990. Dynamics of horticultural therapy. Rehab. Lit. 42(5-6):147-150.Stremmel, A.J., S.S. Travis, P. Kelley-Harrison, and A.D. Hensley. 1994. The perceived benefits and problems associated with intergenerational exchanges in day care settings. The Gerontologist 34(4):513-519.Travis, S.S., A.J. Stremmel, and P.A. Duprey. 1993. Child and adult day care professions converging in the 1990s: Implications for training and research. Educ. Gerontology 19:283-293.Van Zandt, K. and J.R. Crace. 1981. The role of horticultural therapy in a retirement community. In: NCTRH publication, The Comprehensive View of Horticulture and the Aging 1(2):49-54.Whiren, A.P. 1995. Planning a garden from a child’s perspective. Children’s Environments 12(2):250-255. 11
  19. 19. INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE THERAPY RESEARCH VARIABLES INTRODUCED BY STAFF, VOLUNTEERS, AND VIDEOWorking with Staff and VolunteersEarlier this year a research project was conducted on a horticultural therapy program involving bothelderly adults and preschool children at day care centers in adjoining facilities. This project focusedon the interactions between the two groups and the success of horticulture in allowing for meaningfulintergenerational activities. The design of this project allowed preschool children and elderly adultsto be observed both during separate age group activities and similar intergenerational activities. Eachweek during the 10-week study included one day for the children’s activity, one day for the elderlyadults’ activity, and a third day for the intergenerational activity. The horticulture activities aimed tomeet the needs of both the children and the elderly adults, and to allow for social interaction duringintergenerational sessions. Although participation fluctuated due to attendance and interest, therewere an average of 11 children and 7 adults who regularly chose to participate in the horticulturalactivities. Two horticulture student volunteers assisted with the children’s group both during theseparate and intergenerational activities, and two additional volunteers similarly assisted with theelderly adult group.During intergenerational activities, older adults and children separated into four small groups eachled by one volunteer. This design was meant to facilitate supervision of the activities and to encouragecasual interaction among the participants. Although it was not the intention of this project to studythe influence of the volunteers on research, this set up allowed for observations that showed thesuccess of the intergenerational activities was directly related to the volunteers’ attitudes andexperience. The staff members at both the Adult Day Service and the Child Development LaboratorySchool also had a noticeable influence on the project although their involvement in the research wasindirect. At the conclusion of the study several observations were made about factors that influencethe success of intergenerational HT research projects. Many of these factors related to the staff andvolunteers’ influence on the participants and activities. Many other HT research programs are also 12
  20. 20. affected by administrators, other staff members, and volunteers that play a role in the implementationand success of activities. In research these interactions can alter the data collected. It is importanttherefore to recognize possible problem areas before implementing HT research so that personnelfactors can be minimized.I will begin by citing several examples of these variables and the effects I observed during my study.From my discussions with other researchers I believe that these examples are fairly common, eventhough they have not been widely addressed in HT research. I would then like to suggest possiblestrategies that can be supported by observations made throughout this program which could preventor minimize the variables introduced by other staff or volunteers. In this study the main areas ofconcern involving other staff and volunteers are: 1) their attitudes toward the intergenerational HTprogram, and 2) the interactions between the personnel and the participants. I would like toemphasize that although the variables introduced by the numbers and diversity of personnel involvedin HT research can affect the success of the project, these variables may be limited in order to reducepossible negative effects.Before this project began I met with both the directors of the Adult Day Service and the ChildDevelopment Lab to discuss the interest and possibility of conducting HT research between these twogroups. The general attitudes were very positive for both the horticulture program and theintergenerational activities. Both centers are located in the same campus building, separated only bya small room designed to allow for intergenerational activities and research. As both centers are partof the university they were designed to facilitate research and observation, with observation roomsand video equipment for recording activities.One main area of concern is the interaction between the personnel and the participants. Both the staffmembers at the Adult Day Service and the Child Development Lab were knowledgeable andexperienced in working with their own groups and meeting their specific needs during activities.However, during intergenerational activities most of these staff members did not interact with theother group members present. A lack of experience or possible discomfort in working with a new 13
  21. 21. group led to a lack of interactions between the staff and the other group present. This not onlyexcluded the new group and decreased the social interactions, but the close assistance from the staffalso reduced the independent involvement and self motivation of the participants during the HTactivities. Without the encouragement from the staff the older adults and children would not interactduring activities. For this study, these staff members were asked not to assist so the trainedhorticulture volunteers could conduct their intergenerational groups without distractions ordisruptions. If time and money allow, a better solution would be offering training for working withboth groups, or education in both gerontology and child development to alleviate these negativeeffects on intergenerational interaction (Kocarnik and Ponzetti, 1991; Seefeldt, 1987; Stremmel etal., 1994; Travis et al., 1993). This could also decrease the negative effects caused by a lack ofexperience. The four horticulture student volunteers who assisted in this project had varying degreesof experience with either elderly adults or preschool children. As each intergenerational activity wasbroken down into small groups supervised by each volunteer, it was possible to observe the effectsof their experience or lack of it. The two volunteers who had more experience were more comfortableworking with their groups and encouraging participation and interaction. The small groups theysupervised were more active, and therefore the volunteers concluded that the intergenerationalprogram was a success and beneficial for both groups involved. The two volunteers who lackedexperience working with either elderly adults or children were less likely to encourage participationand interaction from either age participants, and therefore concluded that the intergenerationalprogram was not successful, or even interesting.For intergenerational activities to be successful they must be thoroughly planned and organized. Goodleadership and encouragement are essential in promoting interactions. Simply placing the two groupsin a room together and passively observing for interactions will produce poor results. According toKocarnik and Ponzetti (1991), a mediator is needed to help “make sense of the encounter..., initiateconversations, respond to questions, facilitate the formation of relationships..., and discuss anyquestions or concerns [the participants] might have.” The role of this mediator is crucial for success,as “each friendship requires nurturing and guidance if it is to benefit both the young and the old”(Kocarnik and Ponzetti, 1991). 14
  22. 22. At the same time, this mediator (the volunteer or staff member) must remain focused on the largergoals of interaction and relationship development. In a study by Kerrigan and Stevenson (1997),intergenerational interaction was decreased when the mediator intervened to make corrections duringthe steps of the activity. The mediator must always keep in mind that achieving the larger goals ismore important than the specific process or the end product (Kerrigan and Stevenson, 1997).Many of these factors that play a role in the overall perception of the research program could beprevented or at least minimized to have less of an effect on the outcome of the study. Because thestaff and volunteers involved in the program are not always credited with the success and becausehuman resources can be difficult to find these variables that could potentially be controlled are oftenoverlooked. As a result of the large number of staff and volunteers involved in this study additionalprocedures were identified that could improve communication and facilitate research implementationand success.The first step before implementing any research program is to establish good communication with theadministrators and staff at the facility where the research will take place. Some important concernsthat need to be discussed are the facility’s interest and support for HT research, their knowledge ofresearch and methodology, flexibility and adaptability in integrating into a research project, theirphilosophies and goals for their clients, their awareness of the constraints and requirements forconducting horticulture activities, the available space and resources, scheduling, and any rules orregulations that could affect how the research is designed or implemented. The nature of supplies andtools used in HT must be clearly explained to staff and administrators (Relf, 1978).Having the support of the facility is essential for successful research (Angelis, 1992; Brummel, 1989).Without their full support it would be impossible to receive approval from the clients and/or theirfamilies to conduct the research. As many of the staff members work closely with the participants,their attitude can greatly influence the participants’ desire to take part in the HT activities. At somefacilities this could also influence the resources and funds that could be made available for activities.The administration and staff should have a clear understanding of research and methodologies, 15
  23. 23. including the ability to be flexible and adaptable when integrating with a research program. Thefacility’s attitude toward the program will determine if the HT will be continued after the researchhas been completed. For the well-being of the participants who enjoy the horticulture program andfor the growth of the field of HT it should always be a goal to find long-term support and interest incontinuing the program.It is necessary to discuss the facility’s philosophies and their goals for the clients before designing theresearch project. The best way to gain support is to design the program to reinforce the center’sobjectives for the clients. This way the program will be viewed as an additional ally instead of athreat. No program will survive if it is perceived as detrimental, counterproductive, or unnecessaryfor the clients’ health or happiness. Because horticulture is so adaptable, many activities could easilybe designed to meet the needs of both the facility and its participants. Also, the researcher mustcarefully and sensitively adjust procedure so to be least disruptive to ongoing curriculum andprogramming at the facilities.The next step is to agree on the space and resources to be used and the time schedule of the project.At a center where there are many different programs and activities it is important to understandterritorial areas. Whether a designated area will be allotted, or whether an area will be shared, discussthe requirements and intentions for the area to be used to prevent misunderstandings or frustrationswith other staff. Scheduling both the frequency and duration of the project and receiving approvalfrom all staff will also decrease possible conflicts (Hill and Relf, 1983). Anyone who feels that theyare losing space, resources, or time to a new program will understandably become agitated.Disagreements about or competitions for resources could negatively influence the success of theresearch and limit the support and growth of the program. Rather than feeling that these resourcesare being taken away the staff members must feel that they are allowing them to be used and sharedby others. This will allow them to feel more secure with their position instead of threatened andpowerless.Lastly, be sure to discuss the rules and regulations of the facility that are designed to protect the 16
  24. 24. participants’ safety and well-being. Breaking any of these rules, even if the purpose for them is notunderstood, will increase the perceived threat of the research on the participants. This could decreasesupport both for this research and for any future research projects.Other than the administration and staff, the volunteers can also affect the success of research.Volunteer management is best achieved by good training, communication, and respect. Regardlessof a volunteer’s past experience, it will be necessary to offer orientation and training before theproject begins. Screening volunteers and evaluating their personalities will allow for a match of theirstrengths and interests to the necessary tasks. Allowing volunteers to use their strengths and exploretheir interests will decrease frustration, promote initiative and responsibility, and enhance theirenjoyment of the volunteer experience. Discuss the objectives and goals with all volunteers so thatthe importance and purpose of the research are understood. Provide information and resources forworking with the specific population, and if possible, allow time for the volunteers to get to knowthe participants. This will increase both their self-confidence and their competence. Discuss both thefacility’s rules and your own guidelines for working with participants to ensure safety and success.Establish a clear list of responsibilities and expectations of the volunteers. Ensure that all volunteersunderstand the guidelines, responsibilities, and expectations before the project begins to preventmisunderstandings and confusion. Having volunteers that enjoy their work and are competent withthe tasks to which they are assigned will reduce frustration both with the volunteer and with theresearcher.Establish comfortable communication with volunteers by emphasizing that their ideas and concernsfor the project are important and appreciated. In order for any volunteer to enjoy his/her experiencethey must feel valuable. Allowing them to express their opinions will not only reinforce theirimportance to the research, but may also offer new insights and ideas to improve activities. Havingvolunteers keep a journal of the activities will encourage them to evaluate both the program and theirown performance. Reading these journals will allow for a better understanding of the successes andfailures that occur. Supporting volunteers with repeated reinforcement and evaluation of theirprogress will allow the volunteers to appreciate their strengths while discovering ways to work 17
  25. 25. around their weaknesses.Respect is an important factor in determining the volunteers’ enjoyment and success. In order for anyvolunteer to be successful he/she must be enthusiastic for the program and enjoy being a part of theresearch. Expressing appreciation for their time and energy and acknowledging their efforts areessential for promoting good relations. Lastly, despite the personal satisfaction and enjoyment HTcan offer through volunteering, demands on time, energy, and emotions can lead to burn out. Somevolunteers may also discover that they simply do not enjoy horticulture or the clients with whom theyare working. If this occurs it is best to allow them to leave the program without feelings of guilt orresentment. Convincing unhappy volunteers to continue working with the program will be selfdefeating, as their lack of energy and enthusiasm will decrease the success of the activity and theirparticipants’ enjoyment. Replacing these volunteers introduces more variables in HT research andaccording to Flagler (1992) it can also upset participants and administrators and decrease continuityand stability. However, it may ultimately lead to more successful activities due to the correlationbetween the volunteer’s satisfaction and their performance as a mediator. “Without a competent staff,a program will fall apart or stagnate in a monotonous, uninteresting routine” (Brummel, 1989).Many of the variables introduced by personnel who are involved in HT research can be controlledwith careful planning. Most important, simply acknowledging these factors and their effects canchange how data is collected and interpreted. Working with people is like working with the weather;as horticultural researchers must deal with environmental factors beyond their control in the field,horticultural therapy researchers must deal with the variables introduced by human nature. Whenworking with people, as in working with the weather, one must always be prepared. By understandingthe necessity for good communication many variables introduced by personnel can be prevented orminimized to allow for more successful HT research.VideoThe bias introduced by personal attitude and beliefs requires an unbiased method of collecting and 18
  26. 26. interpreting data. This may be achieved through the use of video recording. Using video offers bothadvantages and disadvantages that need to be considered before implementing research, as theseobstacles may change how the program is designed. Some factors to be considered are the availabilityof video equipment, knowing how to use the equipment correctly, and the limitations of using thisequipment. Video has many advantages in data collection and evaluation because it allows anunbiased observer to assess the data, it allows more time for assessment, it allows stopping andrewinding to clarify actions, and it can be retained for future analysis or teaching purposes. Somedisadvantages are that it can be expensive, it can be difficult to use correctly, it has time and viewingscreen limitations, it may not adjust to changes in the activities, and it may not offer adequate clarityfor assessing data.The facility where this research took place had a video system with cameras installed in severalrooms. A small observation room containing the operation console, viewing screen, and audio controlwas separate from the rooms where the cameras were located. Because this video system was rarelyused, some of the cameras were blocked by props or furniture and the observation room was utilizedas a storage closet and copy room. This caused several problems as large boxes and a copy machineleft little space to access the video controls and almost no space for adjusting controls or observation.The videos were set up each day before the HT session. Because the observation room was separatefrom the activity rooms and because the research director was responsible for both the videos and theactivities, no adjustments could be made to the video’s volume or viewing area after the activitiesbegan.This system was quite useful although not without imperfections. The quality of the videos wasexcellent, while the sound was variable. Despite the excellent quality of the videos, there were someproblems that affected the visibility of the activity and the participants. The cameras did not cover theentire room where the activities took place, so if any participants moved out of the viewing field theiractivity was not recorded. The cameras could not be adjusted to record these participants withouthaving additional personnel at the controls, which was not available. Another significant problem wascreated by staff or volunteers standing in front the cameras, not realizing they were blocking all or 19
  27. 27. part of the room from view. Lastly, the angle of the cameras view was a problem in severalcircumstances where a participant was not facing the camera, and his/her activity and facial expressionwas not observable.The sound quality of the video tapes adds several more considerations. Because the volume in theroom could be adjusted it could be raised so that quiet activities and quiet participants could still beheard on tape. At the same time, loud activities in other rooms could also be picked up. When severalparticipants are talking at once it becomes difficult to discern one particular voice on tape. Lastly,because the volume controls in the activity room were separate from the volume control in theobservation room, it was easy to forget to turn on the volume for the video resulting in a silent tape.As the video cameras in this system were only located in two rooms at the facility, a video cameraon a tripod was used for outdoor activities. This set up could be used for almost any HT researchsituation. Compared to the indoor video system, the camera on a tripod was easier to operate andoffered similar results. The disadvantages associated with limited viewing area and blocked screensalso apply, but because the camera is located in the same room as the activities adjustments easily canbe made.Before starting a research project where video will be used, a pretest of the equipment will be usefulin indicating possible limitations that may change how the research is designed or implemented. It willalso be important to train volunteers and staff members who assist with the research to ensure thatthe activities remain within the camera’s view and that blocked screens are minimized.Scoring video data can be done in many ways. This research project used participation and interactionscores based on charts by Kerrigan and Stevenson (1997) and another by Kuehne (1992). Severalother charts are available for other observable behaviors. These charts allow an observer to recordboth the amount and duration of behaviors, which can be very useful in quantifying qualitative data.These advantages and disadvantages should be considered before choosing video for data collection. 20
  28. 28. Knowing the possible problem areas and how to avoid or minimize the effects can change how theresearch project is designed or implemented. Knowing how this data will be viewed and by whom isalso important to ensure that the necessary information is included in the video, and that othernecessary data that is not seen on tape can be accounted for. Combining video along with journalingwill offer more complete data assessment, and it may also decrease the severity of problems causedby blocked or limited viewing areas, silent or confusing audio quality, or a missed day of recording.Literature CitedAngelis, J. 1992. The genesis of an intergenerational program. Educ. Gerontology 18:317-327.Brummel, S.W. 1989. Developing an intergenerational program. J. Children in Contemp. Society 20:119-133.Flagler, J.S. 1992. Horticulture therapy: Potentials for master gardeners, p. In: P.D. Relf (ed.). The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and Social Development: A National Symposium. Timber Press, Portland, OR.Hill, C.O. and P.D. Relf. 1983. Gardening as an outdoor activity in geriatric institutions. Activities, Adaptation and Aging 3(1):47-54.Kerrigan, J. and N.C. Stevenson. 1997. Behavioral study of youth and elders in an intergenerational horticultural therapy program, p. 141-154. In: Wells (ed.). Horticultural Therapy and the Older Adult Population. Hawthorne Press, NY.Kocarnik, R.A. and J.J. Ponzetti. 1991. The advantages and challenges of intergenerational programs in long-term care facilities. J. Gerontological Social Work 16(½):97-107.Kuehne, V.S. 1992. Older adults in intergenerational programs: What are their experiences really like. Activities, Adaptation and Aging 16(4):49-67.Relf, P.D. 1978. Horticulture as a recreational activity. Am. Health Care Assn. J. 4(5):68-70.Seefeldt, C. 1987. Intergenerational programs. Childhood Educ. (October):14-18.Stremmel, A.J., S.S. Travis, P. Kelley-Harrison, and A.D. Hensley. 1994. The perceived benefits and problems associated with intergenerational exchanges in day care settings. The Gerontologist 34(4):513-519.Travis, S.S., A.J. Stremmel, and P.A. Duprey. 1993. Child and adult day care professions converging in the 1990s: Implications for training and research. Educ. Gerontology 19:283-293. 21
  29. 29. INTERGENERATIONAL INTERACTIONSIntroductionThe goal of this research project was to determine if introducing intergenerational interactions wouldsupplement or detract from HT goals when working with elderly adults or preschool children. Thesegoals included increased autonomy, physical stimulation, mental stimulation, and sensory stimulation.Recently, intergenerational HT programs have been used in order to add to a horticulture programthe opportunity for diverse social interactions for special groups that could benefit from suchexperiences (Abbott et al., 1997; Epstein and Greenberger, 1990; Kerrigan and Stevenson, 1997).Intergenerational HT programs have not been widely used or studied, so the impacts of suchprograms are unknown. Intergenerational programs have been studied in various situations over thepast several years, but the results of these studies are mostly inconclusive or contradictory (Dellman-Jenkins et al., 1991; Seefeldt, 1989). It is important, therefore, to study these interactions todetermine if they could become an asset to HT programming, and conversely to see if horticultureis an appropriate activity for intergenerational programming with this population.Previous research indicates several guidelines that can lead to more successful intergenerationalprogramming. These include making the contact beneficial for both groups rather than having onegroup serve the other (Tice, 1985), designing projects that “have a definite purpose or end product”(Aday et al., 1991), establishing programs that are long-term so the individuals have a chance toestablish relationships with one another (Seefeldt, 1989), and ensuring that positive attitudes developas a result of discovered similarities between the groups (Chapman and Neal, 1990). Seefeldt (1987)proposed recommendations for ensuring successful programs that reinforce these points and include“protecting the prestige of elders as well as children; limiting frustration for both adults and childrenby arranging for contact that is intimate, not casual; planning for interaction that has integrity and isfunctional for both groups; and ensuring that contact between old and young is rewarding andpleasant for both groups.” 22
  30. 30. According to these guidelines, HT has excellent potential as a focus for intergenerational interactionbecause it provides benefits for all persons involved, a definite end product to share and discuss, along-term project with intrinsic rewards, and a common interest in order to establish a connectionbetween the groups. The horticultural activities could also be adapted to meet the needs of bothgroups involved. However, it is not as certain that intergenerational interactions would complementa HT program. For example, the specific goals of gardening with elderly adults and gardening withchildren have some different objectives that may make the combination of the two groupsinappropriate.The needs of elderly adults and children that are addressed by HT have many similarities includingincreased autonomy, a sense of wonder and excitement, physical and mental stimulation, socialinteractions, sensory stimulation, and creative expression. However, the conflicting energy levels ofthe two groups, and the opposing needs for quiet and cleanliness for elderly adults and freedom toexplore and play for children, may result in frustrations and negative attitudes between the two groupswhen focused around a plant/soil based program.Materials and MethodsThis research program involved 17 elderly adult clients in the University Adult Day Service and 16preschool children between the ages of 3 and 5 in the Child Development Laboratory School. Thenumber of participants in the program varied daily due to the health of the clients, the turnover rateat the Adult Day Service, and the agreement that the clients should be allowed to exercise autonomyand decide independently if they wish to participate in each activity. Both the Adult Day Service andthe Child Development Lab School are located at Virginia Tech in the same campus buildingseparated only by a small room designed to allow for intergenerational interaction. The facilities areequipped with observational equipment to allow for research. The intergenerational room and theAdult Day Service have video cameras controlled by a central recording system located in a smallobservational room inside the Adult Day Service. The separate children’s and elderly adults’ activitiestook place in the intergenerational room, and the intergenerational activities took place in the Adult 23
  31. 31. Day Service room which was larger. A video camera on a tripod was used to record activities thattook place in the enclosed outdoor patio.The program was set up to compare separate age group activities with intergenerational activities.There were three sessions each week: one for the elderly group, a second one for the children’sgroup, and a third one that combined both groups. The same activity was completed during all threesessions in one week, with small modifications to make the activity appropriate for each group.Four volunteers assisted with the HT activities. These volunteers were part of a university HT classthat required volunteer service. They had varying levels of experience with horticulture and workingwith children or elderly adults. Two volunteers assisted the children during separate age groupactivities, and two volunteers similarly assisted with the elderly adult activities. The same fourvolunteers also assisted with the intergenerational activities.Ten activities (Chapter V) were chosen based on their adaptability and interest for both the childrenand the elderly adults. Several sources (Gardening Science Manual; Moore, 1989; Moore, 1993;Rothert and Daubert, 1981) were consulted to find activities that would appeal to both children andelderly adults, and also be appropriate during intergenerational activities. The activities were thendesigned to meet the needs of both groups, making small modifications to the set up or procedureswhen necessary. The activities designed for children and elderly adults to complete separately focusedon individual projects, while the intergenerational activity was to be completed as a small group effortto increase social interaction. The horticulture supplies used in the activities were either collected,bought, or donated by the researchers, volunteers, or the university greenhouses and floral design lab.Activities were chosen that required few or inexpensive materials.The data for each session was collected on video tape over a 10-week period. These video tapes wereviewed by the researcher after the study was completed to collect data for analysis. Quantitative datawas collected on the attendance and participation of each individual during both separate age groupand intergenerational activities. Data also were collected on the interactions between elderly adults 24
  32. 32. and preschool children during the intergenerational activities. At the completion of the 10-weekproject, the video tapes for all sessions were viewed to collect data. The children’s and elderly adults’separate activities were scored according to attendance and participation. Participation was brokendown into 3 levels- ‘O’ being present but inactive, ‘I’ being active with direct volunteer assistance,and ‘II’ being independent participation. These scores varied with the difficulty level of the activity,activity set up, and the individual’s ability. Participation scores were tallied in total times, so the sameindividual may have received “O”, “I”, or “II” for the same activity with varying amounts of timespent in each category of participation.Attendance percentages were calculated for the elderly adults based on the number of the totalparticipants who attended the activity that day. The percentages were not available for the childrenbecause records of the total participants at the facility that day were not available. Averageparticipation time was calculated by dividing the total time of the activity by the number ofparticipants. Type of participation percentages were calculated by tallying the total participation timesfor each type of participation, then dividing these numbers by the total time of the activity.The video tapes were also used to collect data on interactions between the two groups duringintergenerational activities. Interaction scores had four categories: ‘I’ being non-verbal interaction,‘II’ being one-directional verbal interaction (one participant addressed another without getting aresponse), ‘III’ being two-directional interaction (conversation), and ‘IV’ being two-directionalinteraction with physical assistance during the activity.All data were organized into charts to compare separate and intergenerational activities, and todetermine overall trends that developed during the 10-week period. Inferential statistical analysis wasnot feasible because of the small sample size, the short period of time of the study, and the largenumber of human variables did not allow for a controlled data base. This research can not providedefinitive answers of the success of intergenerational activities. Rather, it serves to identify variablesthat affect success, trends that might indicate potential success of intergenerational programs, anddirections for future research. 25
  33. 33. Results and DiscussionChildren’s Separate ActivitiesDuring children’s separate activities (Table 1), few ‘O’ scores were observed as inactive childrenusually left the room where the horticulture activity took place. ‘I’ or ‘II’ scores were dependent onthe activity and how it was set up. Activities that were difficult or unfamiliar resulted in high ‘I’ratings as they required the most assistance. Activities that involved familiar tasks such as cutting,glueing, drawing, or putting soil in pots required little volunteer assistance and resulted in high ‘II’scores.Table 1. Attendance, average time, and percentage of time in three levels of participation for children during separateactivities. Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Name Design Seeds I Cuttings Seeds II Terrarium Frames Scare- Corsage Planting tags crow # 13 9 15 11 10 14 8 8 11 7 present average 10m. 14.3m. 10.3m. 8.7m. 7.9m. 7.1m. 14.4m. 14.3m. 6m. 14.1m. time in minutes type of 0- 1% 0- 0% 0- 0% 0- 0% 0- 0% 0- 0% 0- 0% 0- 0% 0- 0% 0- 0% partici- pation I-73.7 I-26.7 I-75.3 I-100 I-100 I-100 I-8.3 I-28.5 I-100 I-0 in % II-25.3 II-73.3 II-24.7 II-0 II-0 II-0 II-91.8 II-71.5 II-0 II-100The average participation time for children’s separate activities depended on the set up of the activity.Simple activities that required less direct assistance and allowed the children to work independently(# 2, 7, 8, 10) also encouraged them to work longer. Activities that involved use of fine motor skills(#1, 3) also required longer time for completion and moderate direct assistance. The assistancerequired depended on the children’s abilities and development of fine motor skills. More difficultactivities, specifically the ordered step activities (# 4, 5, 6, 9) had low average participation times.These highly structured activities where volunteers worked one-on-one with the children resulted ina shorter period of time needed for participants to complete the activity.The number of participants in children’s separate age group activities decreased after the first six 26
  34. 34. weeks of the study. During these first six weeks, the Child Development Lab School started the daywith a group time where all the participants sat down and talked about the activities taking place thatday. During this group time, the children showed a lot of enthusiasm for the horticulture activities andthe participation was never lower than 70%. However, during the last four weeks of the study, thegroup time was no longer conducted each day. Without an introduction to the horticulture activities,it became more difficult to encourage children to take part in the horticulture activities which wereset up in the room next door. During these last four weeks, the children’s participation was neverlower than 50% of the children present that day.Elderly Adult Separate ActivitiesThe elderly adult activities (Table 2) had ‘O’ scores because many participants either could not leavethe table without assistance or because they could not work on their own while the volunteer wasassisting another participant. ‘I’ and ‘II’ scores were primarily related to the individuals’ physicalabilities. The few participants with greater physical skills could work alone after a brief demonstrationof the activity, and scored primarily ‘II’s. Individuals who were not able to work without directassistance due to physical limitations scored mostly ‘I’s.Table 2. Attendance, average time, and percentage of time in three levels of participation for elderly adults during separateactivities. Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Name Design Seeds I Cuttings Seeds II Terrarium Frames Scare- Corsage Planting tags crow # 9/12 5/10 9/10 7/11 7/10 8/11 6/13 5/11 5/8 3/8 present 75% 50% 90% 64% 70% 73% 46% 45% 62.5% 37.5% average 25.1m. 26.2m. 19.6m. 31.4m. 18.3m. 15.9m. 24m. 21.6m. 22.2m. 13.7m. time in minutes type of 0-50.4 0-37.4 0-61.6 0-28.9 0-39.3 0-30.2 0-39.3 0-24 0-49.2 0-38.3 partici- pation I-36.3 I-57.6 I-36.3 I-49.3 I-54.7 I-69.8 I-51.9 I-58.4 I-50.8 I-61.7 in % II-13.1 II-5 II-2.1 II-21.9 II-6 II-0 II-8.8 II-17.6 II-0 II-0The elderly adults’ participation was less dependent on how the activity was set up and moredependent on each individuals’ physical abilities. Because of this, the activities did not show as much 27
  35. 35. variation in the scores as the children’s activities. The average participation time varied with theamount of materials available for the activity. During activities with unlimited materials available foreach participant (# 1, 2, 4, 7, 8) many older adults participated longer. Activities where availablematerials were limited (#3, 5, 6, 10) showed a decreased average time as participants were limitedto the number of products they could complete. The only exception was activity #9. Materials werelimited for this activity, but the high difficulty level increased the time spent completing the activity.Intergenerational ActivitiesParticipation scores also were used to assess individuals during the intergenerational activities. Thesedata allowed for a comparison of the total participation between separate and intergenerational groupactivities to indicate the success of certain activities either in separate or combined groups.Intergenerational participation scores showed several changes in participation due to the joining ofthe two groups. These changes in scores appear to have been influenced primarily by a reduction inindividual assistance available from the volunteers during the activity.No data were collected on week 5 because the video equipment was not properly started during thatintergenerational activity. To compensate for this missing intergenerational data the week 5 separateage group activity was not included in comparison data.Children’s intergenerational scores (Table 3) show an initial increase in ‘O’s. This is probably due tothe volunteers’ inexperience at encouraging participation from all participants. These “O” scoresdisappeared after the volunteers gained more experience working with their groups. Children’s scoresalso show an increase in ‘I’s and decrease in ‘II’s compared to separate group activities (Table 1)with only two exceptions (#8, 9). This is most likely due to the increased structure of theintergenerational activities. In order to encourage interactions between the two groups, activities weredesigned to promote team work and cooperation between the generations. Independent activityusually decreased interactions, so participants were encouraged to work together rather than on theirown and activities were redesigned as group participation efforts. The two exceptions (#8, 9) showedan increase in independent activity because of the simplicity of the activities. These activities were less 28
  36. 36. structured and allowed the participants to work independently but in a group setting.Table 3. Attendance, average time, and percentage of time in three levels of participation for children duringintergenerational activities. Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Board Sand Seeds I Hanging Labels Terrarium Frames Concrete Arrange- Planting Garden Basket ments # 14 12 9 7 ND 7 8 10 5 9 present average 16.8 9.1m. 15.2 10.1m. ND 9.9m. 12.1m. 18.3m. 13.6m. 15.3m. time in m. m. minutes type of 0-5% 0-11.6 0-0.6 0-0 ND 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 partici- I-95 I-45.1 I-99.4 I-100 I-100 I-100 I-0 I-31.6 I-100 pation II-0 II-43.3 II-0 II-0 II-0 II-0 II-100 II-68.4 II-0 in %At the same time the children’s average participation time increased for all but two intergenerationalactivities. Because the children were seated at tables and less direct assistance was available, thechildren required more time completing the activities in intergenerational groups. On the days whenintergenerational activities took place, the activity started before the scheduled group time on thatday. These activities also took place in the Adult Day Service room, which was two rooms away fromthe Child Development Lab room. It was more difficult to encourage the children to participate inactivities on these days. Although it is possible that fewer children chose to participate in theseactivities because they did not enjoy the intergenerational group, the high number of variables makeit difficult to identify the exact reason. Total children’s participation comparing separate age groupand intergenerational activities are summarized in Table 4.Table 4. Total children’s participation comparing cumulative time spent in different levels of participation during separateand intergenerational activities. 0 I II Total Participation Average minutes minutes minutes minutes Occurrences minutes Separate 1m. 536m. 465m. 1002m. 96 10.4 m. Intergenerational 26m. 807m. 273m. 1106m. 81 13.7m. 29
  37. 37. Elderly AdultsThe elderly adults’ participation scores (Table 5) show an increase in ‘O’ scores in 8 of the 10activities compared to separate activities (Table 2), while the other 2 stay the same. This was due totwo separate observed factors. First, in some situations, ‘O’ scores increase because less directassistance was available from the volunteers, and without the needed assistance, certain of the elderlyadults could not participate in the activity. This was often observed with elderly adults who hadlimited physical abilities, and for elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease. The second reason for theincrease in ‘O’ scores was observed in elderly adults with higher physical capabilities. Many of theseparticipants did not join in when children were present because they did not wish to get in the wayor prevent the children from participating. Many of these elderly adults who did not need directassistance to participate simply sat back and watched the children complete in the activity.Table 5. Attendance, average time, and percentage of time in three levels of participation for elderly adults duringintergenerational activities. Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Board Sand Seeds I Hanging Labels Terrarium Frames Concrete Arrange- Planting Garden Basket ments # 7/11 7/10 8/8 8/9 ND 8/13 10/11 3/12 7/12 7/11 present 64% 70% 100% 89% 62% 91% 25% 58% 64% average 24.6m. 16.1m. 17.1m. 10.8m. ND 13.1m. 15.1m. 16.7m. 17.3m. 28.4m. time in minutes type of 0-70.7 0-75.3 0-48 0-70.5 ND 0-37.1 0-61 0-50.3 0-46.7 0-43.6 partici- pation I-16.4 I-10.4 I-39.5 I-17 I-50.4 I-19 I-0 I-21.3 I-16.9 in % II-12.9 II-14.3 II-12.5 II-12.5 II-12.5 II-20 II-49.7 II-32 II-39.6Another observed problem that affected both the elderly adults with and without physical limitationswas excessive direct assistance for the children from the staff or volunteers. During the first severalactivities, many staff or volunteers worked closely with the active children to keep them involved inthe activity, and the adults who needed assistance or encouragement to participate were ignored orgiven limited access to the activity. Because the children were more vocal with their assistancerequests and more willing to leave when they were unsatisfied, the staff and volunteers focused theirattention on these children and let the elderly adults remain silent and inactive. With careful coaching 30
  38. 38. and experience in working with both populations and in meeting their needs more efficiently, theproblems of excessive direct assistance for the children decreased, increasing the assistance andattention available for the elderly adults. Throughout the course of the study, the ‘O’ scoresdecreased which may be attributed to the assistance of the volunteers who encouraged the elderlyadults to work with the children rather than watch, and with the decrease in excessive directassistance for the children. Three of the four early activities (#1, 2, 4) had over 70% ‘O’s, while ofthe last five activities three (#6, 9, 10) showed no more than 47% ‘O’, with two slightly higher scores(#7, 8) which were a result of the activity set up. During activity #7, the participants workedindependently rather than in groups and encouraged interaction and participation was low. Duringactivity #8, most elderly adults were unable to reach the wheelbarrow that the children crowdedaround and therefore watched, instead of participated, in the activity.Along with the increase in ‘O’ scores, the elderly adults also show an increase in ‘II’s. This is due tothe limited amount of direct assistance available during the activity. Thus it was observed that withoutdirect assistance the ‘I’ scores decrease. The ‘O’ and ‘II’ scores increase because in response to thedecrease in direct assistance the elderly adults would either not participate or work on their own.Total elderly adults’ participation comparing separate age group and intergenerational activities issummarized in Table 6.Table 6. Total elderly adults’ participation comparing cumulative time spent in different levels of participation duringseparate and intergenerational activities. 0 I II Total Participation Average minutes minutes minutes minutes Occurrences minutes Separate 490m. 677m. 117m. 1284m. 57 22.5m. Intergenerational 588m. 253m. 293m. 1134m. 65 17.4m.Intergenerational InteractionsDuring the course of this 10-week study the total percentage of interaction time between thegenerations during activities increased over time (Table 7) with two exceptions (#7, 8). Severalfactors appear to have contributed to this increase. The two groups became more familiar with each 31
  39. 39. other and more comfortable interacting, and the volunteers became more comfortable working withboth groups and encouraging participation and interaction from everyone at their table. Most of theintergenerational interaction occurred between the 4 and 5 year old children and the elderly adultswith the highest cognitive and physical abilities. This may be because the 3 year old children and theelderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other limited cognitive and physical abilities needed a largeamount of direct assistance to complete the activities, and therefore worked with the volunteers morethan with the other participants.Table 7. Intergenerational interaction for elderly adults and preschool children during intergenerational activities. Activity 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Board Sand Seeds Cuttings Seeds Terrar- Frames Concrete Arrang- Planting garden I II iums ing I - non- 12m. 0m. 0m. 2m. ND 33m. 12m. 0m. 24m. 26m. verbal II - one- 8m. 15m. 14m. 8m. ND 7m. 2m. 6m. 22m. 16m. direction verbal III - two- 4m. 6m. 28m. 4m. ND 0m. 6m. 0m. 2m. 8m. direction verbal IV - two- 0m. 0m. 0m. 8m. ND 0m. 0m. 0m. 2m. 62m. direction verbal + physical assistance Total 24m. 21m. 42m. 22m. ND 40m. 20m. 6m. 50m. 112m. Total time 407.4 221m. 264m 157m. ND 174m. 247.8m. 233m. 189m. 337m. for all m. partici- pants Percent of 6% 10% 15% 14% ND 23% 8% 3% 26% 33% interaction timeSeveral factors that appeared to reduce the amount of interaction in all activities were excessive staffor volunteer direct assistance for individuals rather than team or group encouragement, a lack ofexperience or discomfort in working with either elderly adults or children, or inappropriate activityset up and material distribution. The low interaction scores of activity #7 and 8 were probably dueto the nature of the activities. During activity #7, participants worked individually at the same table. 32
  40. 40. Without a shared product to encourage cooperation very little interaction took place. During activity#8, the participants stood around a wheelbarrow to mix concrete and functioned as independentworkers rather than a team. In addition, many of the elderly adults could not reach the wheelbarrowand chose not to participate in the activity.Of all these activities, the horticulture plant-based activities (# 3, 4, 6, 9, 10) show greater percentageof interaction time than the craft-type activities (#1, 2, 7, 8). This indicates that horticulture may bemore useful than craft-type activities for intergenerational programs with a goal of increasedinteraction and relationship development.ConclusionsThe HT goals of working with young children or elderly adults have several similarities, but alsoseveral differences. The decrease in children’s attendance and elderly adults’ participation duringintergenerational activities compared to separate activities indicates that introducing intergenerationalinteractions may detract from the ability to accomplish HT goals. This is especially seen with theelderly adult group. Participants with physical limitations or Alzheimer’s disease who require a highamount of direct assistance could not participate as well during intergenerational activities.The horticultural plant-based intergenerational activities showed more success than horticulturalcrafts at encouraging social interactions between the two groups as reflected by this study. The craft-type activities involved simple skills such as cutting, glueing, or writing, These types of tasksencourage individual activity more than group activity. The horticulture plant-based activitiesinvolved less individualized tasks and more group effort and team work for completion. Forintergenerational programs that aim to increase social interaction and relationship developmentbetween generations, horticulture with live plants may help attain these goals more effectively thancraft-type activities.Because most interaction was observed between the older children and the elderly adults with more 33
  41. 41. physical and cognitive abilities, this research may indicate that two groups in this study may not bethe best combination for intergenerational programs in this type of program. The younger childrenand elderly adults with limited physical and cognitive abilities who had higher demands for attentionfrom the staff and volunteers were not as strongly or positively influenced by the intergenerationalinteractions. The age and activity level of the participants influenced their type of interaction duringintergenerational activities.The decision to implement intergenerational HT programming will depend upon the age,developmental or ability level, and goals for the individuals involved. Individuals with high demandsfor physical assistance during activities may not benefit from intergenerational activities that demandhigh levels attention and support from volunteers or staff.The high level of variables and compounding factors that are introduced when working with youngchildren, elderly adults, staff, and volunteers limits the ability to reach clear conclusions and simplyprovides direction for conducting programs and future research. Because of the limited resourcesavailable for this study, the results of this data are not conclusive evidence of the desirable orundesirable outcome of the addition of intergenerational experiences to the HT program. Rather, theresults of this study serve to make recommendations for program implementation and furtherresearch. More conclusive results could be obtained if a source of participants could be identified thatwould provide a larger and more random sample population, the use of a separate control group forcomparison, and a longer duration of study.Intergenerational research involves many variables that affect the outcome of the study. Allowingmore time to train volunteers and gain experience in working with both elderly adults and childrenwill increase the success of activities. Use of professionals with training, experience, and a long-termposition would provide the greatest reduction in variance due to personnel. Using preliminary teststo gain experience when using video to collect data will decrease the effects of video limitations.Video can also allow for data analysis by an unbiased observer who is ignorant of the researchhypothesis. 34

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