ISSN:2147-7841 Türkçe

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Mental Images of Students in Child Development Department on Senescence
Changing global living conditions, increasing importance assigned to healthy nutrition and health activities, technological improvements, advances in medicine led to an extension in human life span and an increase in the elderly population. Along with the changing living conditions, changes were also observed in the family structure. The attitudes of the society towards elderly individuals changed due to the changes in the position of the elderly people in the family and the influence of the media. There are both negative and positive attitudes towards elderly individuals and senescence. It is considered that educators, who are interested in both children and parents, could be effective in the process of creating a perception among children that considers the elderly as valued and loved individuals, whose life experiences could be beneficial for all. Thus, the present study aimed to determine the perceptions of undergraduate students in the child development department towards the elderly. For this purpose, a metaphorical study was conducted. The study group included 183 undergraduate students in child development department. Study findings demonstrated that the perceptions of the students towards the elderly were positive in general. The students used metaphors such as books, children, trees and babies when describing the elderly. It is considered that positive attitudes towards the elderly could be increased in the society as a result of the inclusion of the education and value transfer about the elderly in all educational levels including pre-school and higher education.

Senescence, child development, perception about the elderly.

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