9 (2008/2009), ISSUE 14 (YEARLY)
The Attitude of Malaysian Students Towards the Elderly
Ponmalar ALAGAPPAR, Wendy MEI TIEN and Maya K. DAVID
there seems to have been increasing reports of children abandoning their
elderly parents in Malaysia. This has prompted the Parliament to make it
mandatory for children to take care of their elderly parents. Many people
feel, though, that the situation has been overblown and does not warrant such a
in the recent years, support from the extended
family structure to elderly parents has no doubt been under pressure from changing culture norms.
authors believe that an inquiry into the attitude of students towards
aged persons would help clarify perceptions concerning the elderly. The purpose of the study is to: (a) describe the general attitude
of students towards the elderly (b) to determine if religious affiliation,
place of residence, gender, age, ethnicity and living arrangements make a
difference in their attitudes towards the elderly.
The analysis of the
attitudes of students towards the elderly was conducted using the questionnaire which
was adapted from Dinkel (1944), Lane (1964), Drake (1957), Wake &
Sporakowski (1972), and De Vaus (1996). The questionnaire was administrated to 306 students who are
presently studying in the Klang Valley. The inventory has 61 questions
that takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes to complete. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social
- Families - Generations - Social Cohesion
N. Alagappar obtained a degree
(Hons) in Psychology and minored in
Anthropology and Sociology from Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia, in 1992
and Master in Business Administration from University Putra, Malaysia in
1999. She is presently working as a lecturer in University of Malaya, and
is pursuing her Ph.D. in the area of organizational behaviour.
Wendy YeeMei Tien is a lecturer in the Section for Co-Curricular, External Faculty Elective and TITAS (SKET), University of Malaya. She has degrees in youth development studies, specializing in inter-ethnic relations. She has more than eight years of working experience with various institutions of higher education.
Khemlani David is a Professor at the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics,
University of Malaya, Malaysia. She has a special interest in the role of
discourse and language in establishing and maintaining national unity in a multiethnic
society. Dr. David's recent publications include Language
and the Power of the Media (2006) and Language
Choices and Discourse of Malaysian Families: Case Studies of Families in
Kuala Lumpur (2006).
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