Methods: In order to explore this issue, the present study uses both quantitative and qualitative methodology. In the first phase, the study uses a questionnaire survey to explore the behavioral forms of elder respect that young adults most often practice. A survey was given to a sample comprised of two separate groups of students at universities selected purposively: one group of 261 at a large public university in the Midwest and another group of 260 at a large private university on the West Coast. For the second phase, face-to-face interviews were conducted to obtain narratives, anecdotes, and certain personal experiences explicating how elder respect is practiced in interaction with older adults. The authors conducted interviews with 61 subjects selected at random from the 521 subjects (30 and 31 at the Midwest University and at West Coast University respectively) who responded to the questionnaire (2-3 students from each classroom).
Results: Based on quantitative data from a survey of 521 college students, a set of 11 behavioral forms of elder respect was obtained. Out of these forms, the following six were identified as the most frequently practiced: 1) acquiescent respect; 2) care respect; 3) linguistic respect; 4) salutatory respect; 5) consulting respect; 6) presentational respect. Additionally, results of the interviews were summarized into two components: 1) narratives and anecdotes involving how the six forms of elder respect were practiced in the subjects' interaction with older adults, and 2) three influential factors central to develop elder respecting behavior (parents, grandparents, and other relatives).
Conclusions/Implications: This study specifies the various forms of elder respect that younger adults most often practiced and considered important, based on quantitative data that were not made available by previous studies. The set of the forms provides a tool with which we can discuss elder respect in a concrete and systematic way. Furthermore, the set will be useful in developing a more comprehensive typology of such behavioral forms that might be used to assess the quality of eldercare and the moral aspect of intergenerational relationships. Finally, the data from the narratives and verbatim data collected through interviews provide insight into the younger adults' perspectives on elder respect.