Implicit Anti-elderly Attitudes and Subjective Time to Become Elderly


Intergenerational conflicts between the elderly and the other generations persist. To reduce the conflicts, the affirmation of anti-elderly attitudes is an urgent issue. Generally, implicit/explicit anti-elderly attitudes are shown to be negative, and these attitudes have undesirable effects on the elderly, including neglect and deterioration of their mental health. In this study, we measured participants’ implicit/explicit anti-elderly attitudes, and particularly aimed to clarify the relationship between implicit anti-elderly attitudes and several individual factors, such as subjective time to become elderly (i.e. feelings of how long it will be before participants themselves become elderly), youth identity (i.e. the extent to which participants feel that they belong to a social group of youth as opposed to the elderly), contact experience with the elderly, germ aversion, and impressions toward the general elderly’s physical/mental health. We conducted an online survey of Japanese participants (N = 467, age: 18–64 years). The results showed that those who with long subjective time to become elderly (i.e., those who believed that becoming elderly was still a long way off) had more implicit anti-elderly attitudes. Age-based categories such as youth, middle-aged, and elderly are on a continuum, suggesting that those who tend to cognitively separate themselves from the elderly may view the elderly more negatively. On the contrary, there were no other individual factors that had a significant relationship with implicit anti-elderly attitudes. Individual factors closely related to implicit anti-elderly attitudes have not been fully clarified and need to be examined in the future psychological research.

Author Information
Yuho Shimizu, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Takaaki Hashimoto, Toyo University, Japan
Kaori Karasawa, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2022
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon