Intergenerational Programs in Schools: Prevalence and Perceptions of Impact

Jiska Cohen-Mansfield*, Barbara Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study examined the prevalence, types, and perceived impact of intergenerational programs in schools. Programs involving senior volunteers assisting children, or children participating in activities with older people were considered. Of the schools reached, 47% reported intergenerational programming. Thirty-three schools in the Tel-Aviv region participated in the study. Data were collected from 85 seniors, 26 teachers, and 20 coordinators. Assessments included program characteristics, program preparation, and perceived benefits and difficulties. Both programs were reported to have beneficial effects for seniors and to benefit children in the academic, social, and emotional domains. However, programs appeared to attract different types of volunteers and different degrees of volunteer commitment. Findings suggest that there is a need to pay additional attention to both participants' specific requests and needs and to the allocation of resources to improve the design and implementation of intergenerational programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-276
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Israel
  • intergenerational programs
  • school
  • senior volunteers
  • shared activities


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