Ageism in Middle-Aged Adults
Southern Methodist University
Adults entering the midlife years (middle adulthood) are experiencing an overabundance of life changes. Hall, Hernandez, Wong, and Justice (2015) stated that, during middle adulthood important changes occur across the physical, cognitive, and social domains of development. There is a mounting amount of research on the changes that middle-aged adults experience. One of the most unexplored factor that middle-aged adults experience is Ageism. Ageism can be defined as the act of being prejudice or discriminative towards a specific age group. Although, Ageism can occur at any given place and in any age group. Research shows that it is more prevalent in older adults, and in the workplace. There are many factors that contribute to the act of Ageism. The most important are, cognitive component (stereotypes), behavioral component (discrimination), and an affective component (prejudice). Each of these components correlates with one another to create or allow one to experience ageism. (Avalyon 2013) Ageism is a growing topic, and counselors need to expand the literature on ageism so they can better prepare themselves to serve as an advocate for middle aged adults who experienced ageism.
According to Davis and Friedrich 2010, Aging stereotypes are beliefs people have of adults older than themselves. A beliefs about one’s own self can also be a form of ageing stereotypes. Typically, older adult’s physical, cognitive, and social functionality decreases during the middle years of their lives. Because of this, there are many stereotypes formed on middle- aged adults, as it relates to their work ethic. These stereotypes are often formed by people younger than ...
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...ed by Boswell 2012, Prior studies have linked poor knowledge of aging to negative attitudes and emotions about Aging. Researchers impose that there should be more education about Aging. Increasing knowledge on Ageism may result in the creation of successful intervention programs. It can also increase the younger generation cognitive and affective responses to Aging, as well as interest in working with adults. (Boswell 2012)
In conclusion, it is important that counselors find ways to address the issue of Ageism. Middle-aged adults experience this issue on a daily basis. Today’s Society often have a perception of middle –aged adults, as being “old- fashion” or “stuck in their ways”. Some middle-aged adults are more modern than average, which makes it easier for them to get jobs, be accepted by the younger generation, and enjoy being a middle-aged adult.
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