The purpose of the current study was to assess the function of Elderspeak (i.e., a patronizing style of speech used with older adults) use by Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA's) in caregiving situations, with the intention of identifying factors or variables related to its use. This was done using a questionnaire intended to ascertain CNA's general evaluations of the likelihood and appropriateness of Elderspeak use in a variety of different contexts. The questionnaire included a total of 36 items that identified positive and negative factors pertaining to residents and caregivers. Consistent with existing models and previous research, it was hypothesized that negative factors would be more likely to evoke Elderspeak and that Elderspeak would be judged to be more appropriate in response to said negative factors. The results of the current study supported the proposed hypothesis, and found that negative factors were rated as more likely to evoke Elderspeak and led to higher ratings of appropriateness of Elderspeak.


Jeffrey A. Buchanan

First Committee Member

Karla A. Lassonde

Second Committee Member

Donald J. Ebel

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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