Have you ever noticed that the tone of birthday cards for children is upbeat with messages like, “way to go, you’re another year older”? Whereas that is rarely the theme in cards for adults older than 21, at least in the United States. Birthday cards and gifts that poke fun of older adulthood are communicating negative ageist stereotypes found in society…
How do we counter the negative impact of ageist stereotypes pervasive in Western society? It’s more complicated than it appears. Even embracing positive age-related stereotypes can have unintended consequences. Here’s an overview of what research suggests might really work.
You may have heard the saying ‘the older the wiser’? It connects with stereotypes of older people as having gained wisdom through their longevity and life experiences and has been described as ‘sageism’. Positive stereotypes of older people can create expectations that older people cannot live up to.
Have you heard of National Senior Citizens Day? If not, you aren’t alone. This holiday is not often listed on most, if any, calendars. There are usually no headlines or special sales or promotions that accompany this holiday. Why is National Senior Citizens Day virtually forgotten? Probably for the same reasons that led to its establishment in 1988 by President Reagan. Older adulthood is not universally celebrated and valued.
By Sheri R. Levy, PhD, Ashley Lytle, and Jamie L. Macdonald (Stony Brook University, Psychology Department) Most people hope to live long lives, yet American culture is filled with negative images of getting older. Older adulthood is thought of as a time marked by deteriorating health, poor memory, low levels of activity, loneliness, and a… Read More ›
Originally posted on Division 17 Older Adult Special Interest Group:
by Kelly Martincin, M.A. My family has a tradition of a light-hearted competition of who can find the funniest birthday card for any family birthday. My brother-in-law’s birthday was last week, so I spent a bit of time in a local card shop trying to find…
By Tarynn Witten, PhD, LCSW (Member, APA Division 44*) & Brian Carpenter, PhD (Member, APA Committee on Aging) The award-winning Amazon Studios series, Transparent, highlights one of the most invisible of invisible groups – transgender older adults. The lead character, Maura Pfefferman (born Mort Pfefferman), has lived most of her life as a man and… Read More ›
By Kimberly Hiroto, PhD (Member, APA Committee on Aging) We’re bombarded these days with information about how to prevent aging. Since when did aging become our enemy? Like any part of one’s demographics, age has its upsides and downsides, but somehow it’s permissible to explicitly state our dislike of getting older while similar statements about… Read More ›