Post-print of: Hughes, M & Heycox, K 2006, 'Knowledge and interest in ageing: a study of final-year social work students', Australasian Journal on Ageing, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 94-96.
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Objective: To evaluate social work students’ knowledge of older people's issues and their interest in working with older people in the future. Method: Fifty-five final-year students completed a questionnaire, including a knowledge/myths instrument and an interest scale. Independent variables included students’ prior contact with older people and exposure to a course on ageing. Results: Students achieved an average 70.4% success rate on the knowledge/myths instrument; no student got all answers correct. Interest levels were moderate with an average score of 5.13 on a 10-point scale. Prior participation in ageing courses was positively correlated with knowledge of older people's issues and interest in working with older people. Conclusions: Correlations between course attendance and students’ knowledge and interest are in line with international findings. Such courses should challenge common myths associated with ageing and should promote social work with older people as skilled practice within complex health, welfare and family systems.