Multidimensionality of younger and older adults' age stereotypes: the interaction of life domain and adjective dimension

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From: The Journals of Gerontology, Series B(Vol. 72, Issue 3)
Publisher: Gerontological Society of America
Document Type: Author abstract; Report
Length: 163 words

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Abstract :

Objectives: The authors investigated the sources of age-stereotype multidimensionality with the help of personal everyday statements that differed with respect to life domain (e.g., family and partnership vs financial matters) and the adjective dimension reflected in the behavior (e.g., autonomous vs instrumental behavior). Method: A total of 368 statements reflecting autonomy-, instrumentality-, or integrity-related behaviors in five different life domains were generated. Sixty-nine younger (18-26 years) and 74 older (60-84 years) participants rated the typicality of each statement for either a "young adult" or an "old adult." Results: Occurrence and direction of age stereotypes varied by life domain and adjective dimension and ultimately depended on the specific combination of both factors (i.e., a significant interaction). For example, old adults were expected to be optimistic about religious aspects but not about their health, fitness, and appearance. Discussion: The findings highlight the multidimensionality and complexity of age stereotypes based on a wide array of personal everyday statements. Keywords: Age stereotypes--Aging--Aging semantic differential--Attitudes--Life domains doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbv033

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A493990464