Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms|Cookies

How Negative Stereotyping Affects Seniors

  • Published: 2015-01-29 : Author: University of Kent : Contact: www.kent.ac.uk
  • Synopsis: Research on effect of negative stereotypes on older peoples abilities has concluded these stereotypes create significant problem for that demographic.

Quote: "The meta-analysis showed that even a hint that performance was being pre-judged because of age criteria was enough to affect older people's performance."

Main Document

A research team at the University of Kent's School of Psychology carried out a review and meta-analysis of Aged-Based Stereotype Threat (ABST).

Ageist beliefs against the elderly is common place in today's society. For example, when an older person forgets something, he or she could be quick to call it a "senior moment," failing to realize the ageism of that statement. People also often say ageist phrases, such as "second childhood" of which elders miss the ageist undertones. When elders show larger independence and control in their lives, defying ageist assumptions, they are more likely to be healthier, mentally and physically, than other people their age.

They statistically analyzed international evidence from 37 research studies, both published and unpublished. They concluded that older adults' memory and cognitive performance is negatively affected in situations that signal or remind them of negative age stereotypes. These effects affect both men and women.

The research, funded by the Economic and Social Research council (ESRC), was carried out by Ruth Lamont, working with Dr Hannah Swift and Professor Dominic Abrams. It further found that older people's cognitive performance suffers more when the threat is induced by stereotypes rather than by facts.

The meta-analysis showed that even a hint that performance was being pre-judged because of age criteria was enough to affect older people's performance.

Ruth Lamont said that the study evidence highlighted that even 'subtle differences' in the way people behave toward older people - such as being patronizing or speaking slowly - could be enough to make them under-perform when others are testing their abilities, either formally or informally.

Researchers have previously concluded that stereotype threat affects the major social categories of gender and ethnicity, but this new meta-analysis, which looked at evidence from over a decade of research, highlights the need to be just as concerned about age stereotypes, Ruth Lamont suggested.

The research team further conclude that the vulnerability of some older adults to ABST when they perform memory, cognitive or physical tasks has important social, economic and clinical implications which will become more relevant given an increasingly aging population and workforce.

The paper, titled A Review and Meta-Analysis of Age-Based Stereotype Threat: Negative Stereotypes, Not Facts, Do the Damage, is published in the American Psychological Association's journal Psychology and aging.

See: psycnet.apa.org/&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0038586

For a pdf copy of the full paper see: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/46931/1/LamontSwiftAbrams(2015).pdf

Discussion

• Have your say! Add your comment or discuss this article on our FaceBook Page.

Similar Topics

1 : Senate Health Bill Buries Biggest Medicaid Cuts Using Insufficient Inflation Adjustment : The Senior Citizens League.
2 : 79% of U.S. Seniors Think Millionaires Need to Start Paying Their Fair Share : The Senior Citizens League (TSCL).
3 : If Senior CPI Used to Calculate 2017 COLA, Benefits Would Be 2.1% Higher : The Senior Citizens League.
4 : Senior Americans Deserve Fairer 2017 COLA : The Senior Citizens League.
5 : Seniors Take Medical Risks Given Enough Benefits : Society for Risk Analysis.
From our Seniors News section - Full List (109 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Help Your Child in School by Adding Language to The Math
2 : 50% of Retirees Saw Little or No COLA Increase in Net 2018 Social Security Benefits
3 : Turnstone Endeavor Games Concludes with National Records Broken
4 : Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself by Tsara Shelton
5 : St. Louis HELP Medical Equipment Donation Drive Generates Record-Breaking Results
6 : People Who Snore Suffer from Palate Nerve and Muscle Damage
7 : How Our Ancestors with Autistic Traits Led a Revolution in Ice Age Art
8 : Housing and Disabled People: Britains Hidden Crisis


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™