Stereotypes about the elderly representations from an italian sample
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Stereotypes about the elderly: representations from an Italian sample. Antonella Deponte and Alessia Vetere University of Trieste - Italy. Introduction . Elderly people are usually targeted for stereotype and discrimination

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Stereotypes about the elderly representations from an italian sample l.jpg

Stereotypes about the elderly: representations from an Italian sample

Antonella Deponte and Alessia Vetere

University of Trieste - Italy


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction

  • Elderly people are usually targeted for stereotype and discrimination

  • There are evident changes in the process of aging and new representations of elderly emerged

  • The interest on the structure of ageism was prevailing on the investigation about the content


To examine the content of the representation about elderly is important l.jpg
To examine the content of the representation about elderly is important:

  • To better understand the implications of stereotype on the well-being of old people (Levy, 2006; Nelson, 2002)

  • To define the actual degree of stereotyping (Kite e Smith Wagner, 2002)


Hypotheses l.jpg
Hypotheses is important:

  • Social representations about elderly are multiple and complex

  • There are different representations for old men and old women

  • Negative representations are prevailing in both sexes


The first study vetere and deponte 2006 l.jpg
The first study is important:(Vetere and Deponte, 2006)

  • Method: 238 persons from 19 to 76-years-old (mean age = 25.5 years) were invited to write a free description of a “typical old man/woman”

  • Results: 2,275 traits falling in four categories, prevailing of negative traits (60% vs. 32% positive and 8% neutral) especially for old men.


Slide6 l.jpg

The present study is important:

  • Participants: 569 persons, from 18 to 79-years-old.

  • Procedure.

    • Elderly Adjectives Check List (225 traits)

    • “Mark the labels that in your opinion describe the typical old man/woman”

  • Analysis:

    • Data were analyzed separately by target (old man/woman).

    • Hierarchical Cluster Analysis on the correlation matrix, average linkage method (SPSS 8.0)


Results negative representations of the old man l.jpg

The Despondent is important:

The Mildly Impaired

The Recluse

The Anxious

The Old Bad Guy

The Obscurantist

The Vulnerable

The Foolish

Results: Negative Representations of The Old Man

  • The Rest Home Guest

  • TheTrue Despondent

  • The Vagrant

  • The Obsessed

  • The Nice Old Boy

  • The Poor Old Felllow

  • Curmudgeon

  • The Old Alcoholic

  • The Elitist

  • Self-centered


Results positive representations of the old man l.jpg
Results: Positive Representations of is important:The Old Man

  • The Patriarch

  • The Sportsman

  • The Golden Ager

  • The Peasant

  • The Perfect Grand-father

  • The Lover Of Nature

  • The Sweet Grandad

  • The Perfect Grand-father

  • The Small Town Neighbor

  • The Good Old Fellow

  • The Gentleman

  • The Sage


Results positive representations of the old woman l.jpg

The Activist is important:

The Young Grand-mother

The Volunteer

The Prof

The Golden Ager

The Granny

The Sage

The Perfect Grand-mother

The Old Lady

The Gymnast

Results: Positive representations of The Old Woman


Results negative representations of the old woman l.jpg
Results: Negative is important:representations of The Old Woman

  • Negative and active

  • Negative and passive

  • The Vulnerable

  • The Old Witch

  • The Peasant

  • The Conservative

  • The Shrew

  • Miss Marple

  • The Childish

  • The Recluse

  • The Bag Lady

  • The Inactive

  • Mildly Impaired

  • The Despondent


Discussion l.jpg
Discussion is important:

  • The cluster analysis confirms the hypothesis of multiple representations about old people, both positive and negative, hierarchically organized.

  • In details:

    • There are more negative than positive representations, especially for men. Is this due to the fact that in the list there are more negative than positive adjectives?

    • Representations are more polarized for men (i.e. more clearly defined, positively or negatively). Is the representation of the old man more stereotyped?


Conclusion l.jpg
Conclusion is important:

  • The negative stereotype of the poor old man is still alive and well, but it is not the only one about elderly  there is a more complex representation of the “elderly”, as far as to arrive to “many elderly” (Brewer, Dull e Lui, 1981; Schmidt e Boland, 1986; Hummert, 1990)

  • Positive representations emerged: simply more gentle stereotypes? The multiplication of the categories does not necessarily correspond to a more flexible and positive approach


Slide13 l.jpg

Thank you is important: