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Can Caring Create Prejudice? An Investigation of Positive and Negative Intergenerational Contact in Care Settings and the Generalisation of Blatant and Subtle Age Prejudice to Other Older People

Drury, Lisbeth, Abrams, Dominic, Swift, Hannah J., Lamont, Ruth A., Gerocova, Katarina (2016) Can Caring Create Prejudice? An Investigation of Positive and Negative Intergenerational Contact in Care Settings and the Generalisation of Blatant and Subtle Age Prejudice to Other Older People. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 27 (1). pp. 65-82. ISSN 1052-9284. (doi:10.1002/casp.2294) (KAR id:59587)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/casp.2294

Abstract

Caring is a positive social act, but can it result in negative attitudes towards those cared for, and towards others from their wider social group? Based on intergroup contact theory, we tested whether care workers’ (CWs) positive and negative contact with old-age care home residents (CHRs) predicts prejudiced attitudes towards that group, and whether this generalises to other older people. Fifty-six CWs were surveyed about their positive and negative contact with CHRs and their blatant and subtle attitudes (humanness attributions) towards CHRs and older adults. We tested indirect paths from contact with CHRs to attitudes towards older adults via attitudes towards CHRs. Results showed that neither positive nor negative contact generalised blatant ageism. However, the effect of negative, but not positive, contact on the denial of humanness to CHRs generalised to subtle ageism towards older adults. This evidence has practical implications for management of CWs’ work experiences and theoretical implications, suggesting that negative contact with a subgroup generalises the attribution of humanness to superordinate groups. Because it is difficult to identify and challenge subtle prejudices such as dehumanisation, it may be especially important to reduce negative contact.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/casp.2294
Uncontrolled keywords: ageism; intergroup contact; dehumanisation; generalisation; negative contact; positive contact
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Centre for the Studies of Group Processes
Depositing User: Hannah Swift
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2016 17:43 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:40 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/59587 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Abrams, Dominic: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2113-4572
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