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Fostering Intergenerational Relationships and Well-Being Through Reminiscence

Allysum Barber


Providing adolescents and elders access to each other through a structured and carefully planned biography project allows educators to facilitate a unique opportunity for their students to gain an understanding of the several life transitions that are universal in the human experience while simultaneously enabling the elders in a community to share their wisdom and life lessons in order to further serve human kind. Adolescent students worked with well-elderly at a neighboring retirement community over a two-year period. During that time, relationships were formed while the elders were invited to reminisce about important life themes with the goal of the production of a student-generated biography derived from several planned and structured interview sessions. Data in the form of student journal responses, surveys and interviews were collected and supported the body of research surrounding the reported benefits of intergenerational relationships.