Objective: Negative attitudes to older people are socially problematic, and made moreso by the increasing numbers of older people in our society. The form of prejudice can change with time; research on this topic, however, is commonly conducted using dated instruments. This study sought to develop a modern measure of attitudes to older people.
Method: An initial 80-item pool was developed through a literature review and focus groups. The resulting instrument was completed by 303 participants and subjected to Principal Components Analysis. The resulting scale was completed by 308 participants, subjected to Confirmatory Factor Analysis, and correlated against a number of measures of related constructs.
Results: The initial PCA yielded a 36-item, 4-factor scale. The subsequent CFA reduced this to a 34-item, 4-factor scale, with Cronbach’s alpha of .88. The CAOAS correlated strongly with the Fraboni Scale of Ageism, and moderately with Ageing Anxiety Scale and agreeableness.
Conclusion: The CAOAS appears a valid and reliable modern measure of attitudes to older people, which may prove a useful research tool in work on ageism and attitudes to the old.