Is older adult care mediated by caregivers' cultural stereotypes? The role of competence and warmth attribution
Authors Fernandez Ballesteros R, Bustillos A, Santacreu M, Schettini R, Diaz-Veiga P, Huici C
Received 12 September 2015
Accepted for publication 1 January 2016
Published 5 May 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 545—552
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Carl Fortin
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
Rocío Fernández-Ballesteros,1 Antonio Bustillos,2 Marta Santacreu,1,3 Rocio Schettini,1 Pura Díaz-Veiga,4 Carmen Huici2
1Clinical and Health Psychology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), 2Social Psychology, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), 3Psychology Department, Universidad Europea de Madrid (UEM), 4Matia Instituto Gerontológico, Madrid, Spain
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine, from the stereotype content model (SCM) perspective, the role of the competence and warmth stereotypes of older adults held by professional caregivers.
Methods: A quasi-experimental design, ex post facto with observational analyses, was used in this study. The cultural view on competence and warmth was assessed in 100 caregivers working in a set of six residential geriatric care units (three of them organized following a person-centered care approach and the other three providing standard geriatric care). In order to assess caregivers’ cultural stereotypical views, the SCM questionnaire was administered. To evaluate the role of caregivers’ cultural stereotypes in their professional performance as well as in older adult functioning, two observational scales from the Sistema de Evaluación de Residencias de Ancianos (assessment system for older adults residences)-RS (staff functioning and residents’ functioning) were applied.
Results: Caregivers’ cultural views of older adults (compared to young people) are characterized by low competence and high warmth, replicating the data obtained elsewhere from the SCM. Most importantly, the person-centered units predict better staff performance and better resident functioning than standard units. Moreover, cultural stereotyping of older adult competence moderates the effects of staff performance on resident functioning, in line with the findings of previous research.
Conclusion: Our results underline the influence of caregivers’ cultural stereotypes on the type of care, as well as on their professional behaviors and on older adult functioning. Caregivers’ cultural stereotypes could be considered as a central issue in older adult care since they mediate the triangle of care: caregivers/older adults/type of care; therefore, much more attention should be paid to this psychosocial care component.
Keywords: cultural stereotypes, caregiver functioning, older adult functioning, person-centered care vs standard care, stereotype content model
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