Intergroup Contact: Using Storytelling to Increase Awareness of Lesbian and Gay Older Adults in Long-Term Care Settings
Due to societally imposed stigmatization, lesbian and gay (LG) older adults fear and prolong accessing long-term care (LTC) even though they need LTC at higher rates. Interventions that decrease negative attitudes toward LG older adults among LTC staff are a first step in addressing this problem. In this study, the influence of intergroup contact (IGC) on LTC staff members’ attitudes toward LG was explored through the use of storytelling as a training mechanism. An embedded mixed-method approach was employed to collect and analyze responses of 60 LTC staff who participated in a storytelling event. Participants completed pretests, posttests, and participated in audio-recorded group discussions. The findings showed that storytelling had a significant (p =0.001) and positive effect (d =0.57) on participants attitudes toward LG. Qualitative analysis revealed 90 codes, 13 process codes, and 4 themes: making meaning of stories, seeking understanding, application to LTC setting, and debating. When guided by IGC theory, storytelling has potential for positively influencing attitudes of LTC staff members toward LG older adults. There is a need for longitudinal work to further test this model.
Journal of Gerontological Social Work
(2017). Intergroup Contact: Using Storytelling to Increase Awareness of Lesbian and Gay Older Adults in Long-Term Care Settings. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 60(6-7), 587-604.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/14910