Journal of Athletic EnhancementISSN: 2324-9080

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Attitudes and Knowledge about Aging Adults in Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology Students

Attitudes and Knowledge about Aging Adults in Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology Students

Objectives: This descriptive study examined attitudes and knowledge of exercise science/physiology students in the United States towards aging adults. Although related allied health professions, such as nursing, have been examined, there is a gap in the literature regarding the attitudes of exercise science/physiology students towards aging adults. Filling this gap is particularly important given the front-line, preventative role that this profession will play in helping to maintain the active lifestyle expected by the Baby Boomer generation in their later years. Materials and methods: Eighty-three undergraduate students completed the Refined-Aging Semantic Differential, the Facts on Aging Quiz, and five adjective pairs related to components of fitness. Results: For the Refined-Aging Semantic Differential, the mean attitudinal score for this study’s sample was 62.61, indicating a positive attitude towards the aging adult. For the Facts on Aging Quiz, the mean percent of correct responses for this study’s sample was 0.67, suggesting little knowledge about the aging adult. For the additional adjective pairs, the mean attitudinal score for this study’s sample was 18.71, indicating a positive attitude towards the aging adult. Overall, participants demonstrated low knowledge but positive attitudes about aging adults. Conclusion: Possible reasons for these findings are discussed, including the belief of most participants that “old” age begins between 40 and 65 years of age. Recommendations for changes to exercise science/physiology curricula are offered.

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