The Act of Giving: A Systematic Review of Nonfamilial Intergenerational Interaction

Tess Knight, Helen Skouteris, Mardie Townsend, Merrilyn Hooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Research fostering intergenerational interaction often promotes attitude change toward the other, social connectedness, service activities for younger adults, and older adults feeling purpose and valued. Research articles reporting projects designed using nonfamilial, reciprocal intergenerational interaction were systematically reviewed. Thirteen papers published between January 1990 and February 2012 in peer-reviewed, English-language publications met inclusion criteria. The review concluded that reciprocal giving needs to be structured into the methodology of future intergenerational studies for the full developmental opportunity of identity formation in younger adults, generativity in older adults, and psychosocial benefits for both generations to be realized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-278
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • intergenerational
  • psychosocial benefits
  • review

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