2 minute read

Intergenerational Programming


Conclusive data reporting on the outcomes of intergenerational programs in the context of relationships within families is not yet available. However, a growing body of qualitative and quantitative information on intergenerational interactions between nonbiologically connected older and younger adults reports on universally positive behaviors that are evident in diverse intergenerational programs (Kuehne 1989; Penninx 1996; Larkin and Newman 2001). These behaviors seem also to be manifest in families whose members have experienced ongoing intergenerational interactions. These limited qualitative studies use anecdotal reports, interviews, surveys, and case studies that show the positive relationships being developed through nonbiological interactions in intergenerational programs that can also impact on the quality of relationships in families. With intergenerational programming being developed as a vehicle for positive social change in the larger community it will be important for researchers throughout the world to systematically examine the process for transferability of positive behaviors from formal intergenerational program models to encourage more stable and positive informal family systems.


Erikson, E.; Erikson, J.; and Kivnick, H. (1986). Vital Involvement in Old Age. New York: Norton.

Hare, A. P.; Borgatta, E.; and Bales, R., eds. (1955). Small Groups: Studies in Social Interaction. New York: Knopf.

Hatton-Yeo, A., and Ohsako, T., eds. (2000). Intergenerational Programmes: Public Policy and Research Implications: An International Perspective. Hamburg, Germany: UNESCO Institute for Education; Stoke-on-Trent, UK: Beth Johnson Foundation.

Kaplan, M. (1996). "A Look at Intergenerational Program Initiatives in Japan: A Preliminary Comparison with the United States." International Journal of Aging and Human Development 44(3):205–219.

Kuehne, V. (1989). "Younger Friends/Older Friends: Study of Intergenerational Interactions." Journal of Classroom Interaction 24(1):14–21.

Larkin, L., and Newman, S. (2001). "Benefits of Intergenerational Staffing in Preschools." Educational Gerontology 2(5):373–385.

Morrison, G. (1995). "Interest and Issues." In Early Childhood Education Today. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

National Council on Aging. (1981). "Report of the Mini- Conferences on Intergenerational Cooperation and Exchange." Washington, DC: White House Conference on Aging.

Newman, S.; Ward, C.; Smith, T.; Wilson, J.; and McCrea, J. (1997). Intergenerational Programs: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: Taylor and Francis.

Newman, S.; Morris, G.; and Streetman, H. (1999). "Elder- Child Interaction Analysis: An Observation Instrument for Classrooms Involving Older Adults as Mentors, Tutors, or Resource Persons." In Intergenerational Programs: Understanding What We Have Created, ed. V. Kuehne. New York: Haworth Press.

Ng, S. H.; Liu, J. H.; Weatherall, A.; and Loong, C. S. F. (1997). "Younger Adults' Communication Experiences and Contact with Elders and Peers." Human Communication Research 24(1):82–108.

Penninx, K. (1996). The Neighborhood of All Ages: Intergenerational Neighborhood Development in the Context of Local Social Policy. Utrecht, Netherlands: Dutch Institute for Care and Welfare.

Pitts, J. (1961). "Introduction: Personality and the Social System." In Theories of Society: Foundations of Modern Sociological Theory, ed. T. Parsons, E. Shils, K. Naegele, and J. Pitts. New York: Free Press.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2000). Second Chance Homes: Providing Services for Teenage Parents and Their Children. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Williams, J. (1995). The U.S. Population: A Fact Sheet. Congressional Research Service Report for Congress. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Other Resource

International Consortium for Intergenerational Programmes (ICIP). Web site. Available from http://www.centreforip.org.uk/about.htm.


Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaRelatives & Extended FamilyIntergenerational Programming - Rationale—why Now?, Program Models, Intergenerational Interactions, Impact On Families, International Intergenerational Programming Efforts