Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Visits To Nana's May Keep Toddlers From Developing Negative Age Stereotypes

Date:
September 1, 2009
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
It's easy to list the negative stereotypes attributed to the elderly: they are considered forgetful, hard-of-hearing, absent-minded and confused. What's unsettling is that those stereotypes can be present in children as young as two or three.

It's easy to list the negative stereotypes attributed to the elderly: they are considered forgetful, hard-of-hearing, absent-minded and confused.

What's unsettling is that those stereotypes can be present in children as young as two or three.

Research conducted by the University of Alberta's Sheree Kwong See, a psychology researcher, has identified that those stereotypes exist in some children at that age, which could adversely affect them when they are older.

"We've been able to show really early on that kids, when they're just starting to talk, have established beliefs about older people," said Kwong See. "We're seeing what we could call ageism by about age three."

In a recent study to be published in the journal Educational Gerontology, Kwong See and fellow researcher Elena Nicoladis measured the reactions of young children after being quizzed on vocabulary words by either an older or younger adult. Results showed that children who had less exposure to older adults had a stronger language bias against the older person in the experiment than those who had more exposure to older people.

"If you are interacting with 'nana' more frequently, you'll start to see that she's a pretty good teacher of words even though she's old," said Kwong See. "When you have little contact dominant negative cultural stereotypes emerge. You think an older person isn't as alert or in-the-know as a young person and maybe is not as good a teacher."

However, before making frantic trips to grandmother's house to curb the bias, Kwong See cautions that this is not the sole factor from which these biases can develop.

"They're getting negative images of aging from cartoons, from their story books, from watching how other people interact with seniors," she said. "But, they're also starting to pick up some of the positive images as well if they get lots of good interactions."

The long-term implications for these biases can be damaging in their interaction with and treatment of the elderly throughout their lives and in their own self concept as they age..

"Eventually those same children, once they know those stereotypes, may find that the stereotypes become a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Kwong See. "They will become their stereotypes as they grow older."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Visits To Nana's May Keep Toddlers From Developing Negative Age Stereotypes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820161337.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2009, September 1). Visits To Nana's May Keep Toddlers From Developing Negative Age Stereotypes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820161337.htm
University of Alberta. "Visits To Nana's May Keep Toddlers From Developing Negative Age Stereotypes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820161337.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

Heart Group: E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers Quit

AP (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit and calls for more regulation to keep them away from youth. (Aug. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Doctors Push For Later Start Times As School Year Kicks Off

Newsy (Aug. 25, 2014) The American Academy of Pediatrics is the latest group pushing for middle schools and high schools to start later, for the sake of their kids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins