Chapter 29: Intergenerational programs and policies in aging societies
‘Intergenerational programs’, as the phrase was used in the 1970s and 1980s in the USA, refers to ‘activities or programs that increase cooperation, interaction or exchange between any two generations. [Intergenerational programs] involve the sharing of skills, knowledge or experience between old and young’ (NCOA, 1981, p. 2). The primary emphasis was on specific ‘programs’ of intervention developed in settings such as schools, community organizations, retirement communities, hospitals and other community settings. In subsequent decades, there has been a trend toward looking beyond planned programs framed within narrowly prescribed sets of activities, timeframes, participants and organizational partners. In the intergenerational studies literature, we have seen slow but steady growth in the base of evidence indicating ways in which intergenerational programs, depending on program design, setting and underlying objectives, can have an impact on participants’ knowledge and skills, level of civic involvement, health, arts and recreation pursuits, social relationships, self-fulfillment, and sense of cultural pride and identity (Brabazon and Disch, 1997; Hatton-Yeo and Ohsako, 2000; Kaplan et al., 2002; Kuehne, 1999; MacCallum et al., 2006; Morrow-Howell et al., 2009; Newman et al., 1997; and Martin et al., 2010).
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