The effect of furniture arrangements on the social interaction of institutionalized elderly Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kw52jd01p

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  • The primary purpose of the study was to examine how furniture arrangements in the lounges of institutions for the elderly affect the social interaction among the residents. Based on the furniture arrangements that encourage social interaction, recommendations were made for the placement of furniture in the lounges of institutions for the elderly. The social interaction of the residents was recorded using three measurement tools developed by the researcher: (1) the Floorplan, (2) the Social Interaction Checklist, and (3) the Furniture Arrangement Checklist. A list of sixty-two housing institutions within a fifty mile radius of Corvallis, Oregon, was obtained from the State of Oregon, Center for Human Resources, Department of Senior Services. Five homes were selected for observation based on a list of five criteria. Social interactions were recorded by placing the seat numbers obtained from the Floorplan on the Social Interaction Checklist in the appropriate category. Later, these interactions were transferred and further classified on the Furniture Arrangement Checklist. The researcher was responsible for all observation and recording. Each lounge was observed on two randomly assigned weekdays from 9:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. for a total of twenty hours per lounge. Analysis of variance and t-tests were used to test for significant differences in the number of interactions occurring among individuals seated in the four furniture arrangements. A t-test was also used to test for significant differences between interactions occurring within eight feet and those occurring over eight feet. The analysis of variance indicated no significant difference among total interactions occurring in face-to- face, 90 degree, and side-by-side arrangements. However, results of a t-test indicated total interactions per seat were significantly greater in face-to-face, 90 degree, and side-by-side arrangements when compared to back-to-back arrangements. The analysis of variance indicated no significant difference among sustained interactions occurring in face-to-face, 90 degree, and side-by-side arrangements. However, results of a t-test indicated sustained interactions per seat were significantly greater in face-to-face, 90 degree, and side-by-side arrangements when compared to back-to-back arrangements. Results of t-tests showed significantly greater total and sustained interactions occurring in eight feet or less when compared to those interactions occurring over eight feet. These findings suggest smaller groupings of furniture encourage social interaction more often than furniture positioned outside eight feet. Descriptive data pertaining to the selection of homes for observation and the characteristics of the lounges were presented for each institution. Findings based on information obtained during discussions with administrators and events occurring during observation sessions were recorded but not statistically tested. These findings were divided into the following eight categories: (1) seat selection, (2) tables and interaction, (3) visual and physical access to areas, (4) crowding and interaction, (5) lack of interaction, (6) planned activities, (7) awareness of daily schedules, and (8) presence of the researcher.
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