Our Research

We are currently collaborating with researchers at Griffith University on an Ageless Play research project to examine the benefits of the playgroup for older people, young children and their caregivers. We are also assessing the sustainability of the model, defining sustainability as the capacity of the program to remain responsive to the community. The expected completion date is July 2020. If you are interested in learning more about this research, we would love to hear from you.

Intergenerational Research and Evidence

Research continues to highlight the benefits of play and relationships in supporting the best start to life for children and families, while wellbeing studies report the benefits of physical and mental activity for aging population – through intergenerational initiatives like Ageless Play we are combining the two – increasing positive intergenerational outcomes to support a more connected, inclusive community without ageism.
“Intergenerational programs bring together older and younger people for the purpose of providing meaningful social roles, to allow participants to utilize their experiences and skills, and to give participants more chances to experience the pleasure and excitement that occurs with the transmission of knowledge and skills from one generation to another.” [1]
There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the benefits of intergenerational programs. Participation in intergenerational activities:
  • increases the dignity and self-esteem of older people living with dementia [2]
  • increased social interaction and enables the development of relationships between multi generations [3]
  • promotes social inclusion [4]
  • increases passive engagement and enjoyment among aged care residents [5]
  • acts as a mechanism for engaging older people in occupational therapy [6]
  • provide benefits to children in terms of their development and ability to self-regulate [7]
  • development of mentor roles for children [8]
  • pro-social interactions combined with educational experiences have shown to reduce school-based problem behaviours [9].
Research with an intergenerational playgroup conducted by The National Ageing Research Institute with Playgroup Victoria [10] identified:
  • a quarter of residents indicated an increase in feelings of self-worth
  • slightly more than a quarter of residents who participated in the research indicated they felt more engaged with the community after attending the playgroup
  • a small per cent of residents stated they experienced better health as a result of attending the playgroup
[1] Radford, Gould, Vecchio & Fitzgerald, 2018: 302; citing Wadsworth & Whitehouse, 2007.
[2] Skropeta, Colvin & Sladen, 2014.
[3] Cohen & Waite-Stupiansky, 2017.
[4] Airey & Smart, 2015; Williams, Renehan, Cramer & Lin, 2012.
[5] Whitten, Vecchio, Radford & Fitzgerald 2017
[6] Ibid.
[7] Femia, Zarit, Blair, Jarrott & Bruno, 2008.
[8] Skropeta et al., 2014
[9] Cummings, Williams, & Ellis 2004 cited in Whitten, Vecchio, Radford & Fitzgerald, 2017
[10] Williams, Renehan, Cramer, Lin & Haralambous, 2012.
“With the right tools, an intergenerational playgroup is relatively easy to establish, and yet the far-reaching, positive benefits between young and old are remarkable,”
Wendy, Diversional Therapist, Catholic Healthcare Villa Maria Centre, Brisbane.