Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald Werner-Wilson

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Hosier


The current mixed methods study utilized an ecological framework to examine public perspectives toward sexual behaviors among long-term care residents with dementia. Analyzing attitudes of the public is an integral component of understanding the entire ecological system that affects the development and overall well-being of a long-term care resident. Attitudes were examined using a multiple segment factorial vignette with a probability sample of 329 respondents from a southern state. Results indicate that attitudes were not statistically affected by sex or the elapsed time since diagnosis, and age, spousal disposition, and degree of intimacy predicted attitudes. A respondent’s education level also predicted attitudes across segments; those who attained higher levels of education were consistently more accepting of sexual behaviors, less likely to expect staff intervention in adulterous relationships, and were supportive of the healthy spouse beginning a new relationship. An ecological perspective provided a framework for guiding and informing future research on the influences of long-term care on sexual development and, in turn, for the development of relevant long-term care policy.

Included in

Gerontology Commons