First Advisor

Robert W. Vogelsang

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




Touch, Older women -- Attitudes, Nursing home patients -- Attitudes



Physical Description

1 online resource (63 p.)


Touch--both touching another and being touched--is a primary form of communication. By old age, both the need and the desire for specific amounts and kinds of touching are well established for the individual. The present study was designed to obtain information about what elderly women in nursing and retirement homes report to be liked and disliked types of touching. Participants who volunteered for this study were 32 ambulatory females 65 years of age or older who were living in nursing or retirement homes. Each participant was shown a set of 20 photos and sketches depicting a staff person touching an elderly woman in various ways, and asked to rate their liking for the particular type of touching on a one to five scale ranging from "like very much" to "dislike very much." The set of photos and sketches included ten comparable scenes with one-half showing a male staff member and the other half showing a female staff member touching an elderly woman. Scenes included: foot massage, helping to stand, back rub, brushing hair, arm around shoulder, holding hand, helping to dress, stroking cheek, helping with toileting, and helping with a shower.


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