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Using psychological mechanisms to reduce intergenerational ageism via intergroup contact.

Drury, Lisbeth (2017) Using psychological mechanisms to reduce intergenerational ageism via intergroup contact. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:63785)

Language: English

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Positive social interaction between members of opposing social groups (intergroup contact) is an effective method of prejudice reduction (Allport, 1954; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). This thesis explores how intergroup contact theory can be applied to age groups to reduce ageism towards older adults. Chapters 1 to 3 form the theoretical chapters of the thesis. Chapter 1 defines psychological processes underpinning ageism, provides details of its prevalence, outlines its consequences in society, and gives a justification for its reduction. Chapter 2 introduces the psychological processes underpinning intergroup contact theory and its different formations. This is followed by a literature review of intergenerational contact research, which identifies research gaps in the field and research questions addressed in this thesis.

Chapter 6 presents two studies that extend the focus of the thesis to include age stereotypes. Secondary analysis of national survey data in Study 5 explores the perception of older adults' competence across the lifespan and friendships with older adults. The degree to which young and middle-aged adults perceive that competence declines with age is attenuated by having as little as one older friend. Building on these findings, Study 6 explores the relationships between direct and extended intergenerational contact, ageist attitudes and warmth and competence stereotypes. Corroborating Chapter 4, both direct and extended contact predicted reduced ageism and are effective via increased competence stereotypes and increased warmth stereotypes.

Overall, the thesis provides a range of evidence suggesting that intergroup contact theory can be successfully applied to the reduction of ageism. It presents a detailed overview of current knowledge, corroborates existing evidence and presents novel findings for extended contact and mediators of both direct and indirect intergenerational contact.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Abrams, Dominic
Thesis advisor: Swift, Hannah
Thesis advisor: Ray, Sujata
Uncontrolled keywords: Ageism, intergroup contact, intergenerational contact, negative contact, age stereotypes
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 22:31 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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