This study aimed to expand the literature on the perception of elderspeak among community dwelling older adults with secondary purposes concerning how these perceptions vary across gender and region. Participants (n = 110) were presented a written vignette that depicted a nursing assistant in an assisted living facility waking a tenant from a nap and assisting the tenant to the bathroom before lunch. The nursing assistant uses elderspeak throughout the vignette. Following the vignette, participants’ reactions to the use of elderspeak and perceptions of the nursing assistant in the vignette were assessed using a series of open-ended questions, the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson et al., 1988), and the Emotional Tone Rating Scale (ETRS; Williams et al., 2012). Then, participants’ personal experiences with elderspeak were examined using open-ended questions and the PANAS. Results indicated that elderspeak and the speaker were perceived negatively among community dwelling older adults, regardless of setting, gender, or region. Future research with a more racially diverse sample is warranted to determine how these findings generalize to the general population of older adults living in the community.


Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Eric Sprankle

Committee Member

Hsinhuei Sheen Chiou

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Clinical Psychology




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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