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Changing Negative Views of Aging: Implications for Intervention and Translational Research

Changing Negative Views of Aging: Implications for Intervention and Translational Research <p>In most Western societies, the perception of age and aging is predominantly negative, and this negativity is often integrated into older adults' self-view of age(ing). At the societal level, negative views of aging manifest themselves in the form of age stereotypes, which result in prejudice and discrimination toward older adults. At the personal level, negative views of one's own aging are related, among others, to poor health, lower well-being, and even shorter survival times. Considering these negative effects, interventions that promote positive views of aging seem warranted. This chapter discusses potential routes for changing negative (self-)views of aging and the challenges that are inherent to such efforts, such as determining and reaching the target groups for intervention programs. Strategies such as increasing the knowledge about old age, providing opportunities for children or younger adults to interact with older adults, as well as changing the portrayal of older adults in the media might be used to change societal views of aging. Because it is assumed that for some older adults age stereotypes become self-stereotypes, changing the societal view of aging might eventually also lead to a positive change in older adults' view of their own aging, and it might minimize the burden of belonging to a stigmatized group. Few strategies for changing personal views of aging (e.g., social comparison feedback) have been shown to be successful so far. Overall, more research is necessary to develop interventions which are easy to implement and universally effective. </p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics Springer Publishing

Changing Negative Views of Aging: Implications for Intervention and Translational Research

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
0198-8794
eISSN
1944-4036
DOI
10.1891/0198-8794.35.167
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<p>In most Western societies, the perception of age and aging is predominantly negative, and this negativity is often integrated into older adults' self-view of age(ing). At the societal level, negative views of aging manifest themselves in the form of age stereotypes, which result in prejudice and discrimination toward older adults. At the personal level, negative views of one's own aging are related, among others, to poor health, lower well-being, and even shorter survival times. Considering these negative effects, interventions that promote positive views of aging seem warranted. This chapter discusses potential routes for changing negative (self-)views of aging and the challenges that are inherent to such efforts, such as determining and reaching the target groups for intervention programs. Strategies such as increasing the knowledge about old age, providing opportunities for children or younger adults to interact with older adults, as well as changing the portrayal of older adults in the media might be used to change societal views of aging. Because it is assumed that for some older adults age stereotypes become self-stereotypes, changing the societal view of aging might eventually also lead to a positive change in older adults' view of their own aging, and it might minimize the burden of belonging to a stigmatized group. Few strategies for changing personal views of aging (e.g., social comparison feedback) have been shown to be successful so far. Overall, more research is necessary to develop interventions which are easy to implement and universally effective. </p>

Journal

Annual Review of Gerontology & GeriatricsSpringer Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2015

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