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J Adolesc Health Care. 1985 May;6(3):211-5.

A comparison of nurses' attitudes toward hospitalized adolescents and adults.


To examine possible health-care provider stereotypes of adolescent patients and the potential consequences for their management, this study compares nurses' responses to the same noncompliant behavior when evidenced by an adolescent or adult patient. Nurses (n = 136) read a description of a difficult adolescent or adult patient and indicated their probable responses to him. They also rated the patient with regard to difficulty of management, as well as several descriptive adjectives, and speculated on the cause of his behavior. No significant differences were found in nurses' preferred management alternatives or ratings for the adolescent or adult patient. However, nurses were significantly more likely to attribute the behavior of the adolescent patient to his developmental level (p less than 0.001). These findings suggest that health-care providers are aware of the hospitalized adolescents' problems, rather than supporting the existence of providers' stereotypes of or different management approach to, difficult adolescent patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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