Sexuality and the Elderly: A Research Guide

By Bonnie L. Walker | Go to book overview

4
Research Methodology and Measurement Issues

Conducting research in the area of elderly sexuality raises numerous issues related to methodology. Kinsey's studies of male and female sexuality (see Chapter 1) include lengthy chapters explaining methodological issues and Kinsey's approaches. These chapters are essential reading for anyone conducting research in this field.

This chapter includes articles in which writers have sought to address issues specifically related to sexuality research with elderly populations. Some of the issues addressed in these articles are reliability, validity, reliability of self-report measures, design, protection of human subjects, interview techniques, cross validation, measurement error, sampling bias, and response bias. These writers offer valuable assistance to anyone who intends to develop an instrument related to sexual knowledge, attitudes, or behaviors of the elderly or their caregivers.

Several researchers have endeavored to develop instruments to reliability assess attitudes of caregivers and others toward elderly and elderly sexuality. The most widely used instruments are Tuckman and Lorge Attitudes Toward Old People ( 1953), Kogan Old People Scales ( 1961), Sex Knowledge and Attitude Test ( Lief & Payne, 1975), Aging Sexual Knowledge and Attitudes Scale ( White, 1982), and Facts on Aging Quiz ( Palmore, 1977; 1988). All of these instruments include questions about sexuality.

Articles describing the development of other instruments are also included here. A recently developed instrument is The SexualBeliefs and Information Questionnaire

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