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Aging Ment Health. 2001 Aug;5(3):282-8.

The moderating effect of aggressive problem behaviors in the generation of more positive attitudes toward nursing home residents.

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  • 1Pennsylvania State University, Berks-Lehigh Valley College, USA.


This study examined the ability of a social history intervention to generate more positive attitudes toward nursing home patients, and to increase staff members' perceived rewards of care-giving. In contrast to prior studies, residents' problem behaviors were examined as potential moderators in the relationship. Forty-three staff members participated in an experimental, 3 (informational condition: social history, medical, control) x 2 (time: pre-test, post-test) within-subjects factorial design that employed newly admitted residents as target patients. Findings showed that the social history intervention alone did not generate more positive attitudes toward patients or greater rewards of care-giving. Although a larger proportion of target patients manifested other problem behaviors with greater frequently, only aggressive problem behavior was associated with more negative attitudes toward patients. A post-hoc analysis revealed that after statistically controlling for the impact of patients' aggressive behavior, the social history information appeared to allow staff members to maintain more neutral attitudes toward patients. Considerations for the use of social history information in long-term care settings are addressed.

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