Making intergenerational connections: an evidence review. What are they, why do they matter and how to make more of them

DRURY Lisbeth, ABRAMS Dominic, SWIFT Hannah J.
Age UK, University of Kent. Centre for the Study of Group Processes
Publication year:
Place of publication:

This review looks at the evidence on positive intergenerational contact and the ways that people in different age groups might come into contact with each other. It looks at what positive intergenerational connections are, why they matter and how to make more of them. It also reviews evaluations of intergenerational contact programmes to see what works and puts forward guidelines for best practice. The review, carried out by researchers from Centre for the Study of Group Processes at the University of Kent, covers three main areas. The general psychology of contact between groups (Intergroup Contact Theory), covering the different types of contact that can occur and the psychological processes that are engaged. A review of intergenerational contact research, covering the effects of contact on attitudes and relationships between different age groups. Lastly, a review of intergenerational contact programmes, which focuses mainly on children or young people and older adults. Key findings from the review show that positive intergenerational contact between younger and older adults successfully reduces ageism directed at older people and that the most powerful type of ‘positive’ contact is intergenerational friendships. Conditions which increase the likelihood of successful intergenerational contact programmes include: equal status, cooperating towards common goals, institutional support and personal contact are conditions. The review also sets out suggested policy implications for business, education, and health and social care. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
literature reviews, intergenerational relationships, older people, children, intervention, psychology, young people, attitudes, staff-user relationships, ageing, stereotyped attitudes;
Content type:
research review
Register/Log in to view this resource
ISBN print:

Key to icons

  • Free resource Free resource
  • Journal article Journal article
  • Book Book
  • Digital media Digital media
  • Journal Journal

Give us your feedback

Social Care Online continues to be developed in response to user feedback.

Contact us with your comments and for any problems using the website.

Sign up/login for more

Register/login to access resource links, advanced search and email alerts