Title

Activities Adjusting Attitudes: The Impact of Lifestyle on Age Stereotype and Beliefs

Poster Number

19A

Lead Author Major

Psychology

Lead Author Status

Junior

Second Author Major

Psychology

Second Author Status

Junior

Third Author Major

Psychology

Third Author Status

Junior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Carla Marie Strickland-Hughes

Faculty Mentor Email

cstricklandhughes@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract/Artist Statement

Negative stereotypes about old age in general, such as the belief the older people are frail and forgetful or the expectation that declines are inevitable with increased age (Hummert, 2011; Kite & Stockdale, 2005) become self-relevant once individuals identify as old (Levy, 2009). In turn, negative attitudes about one’s own aging is linked to impaired performance, such as poorer memory (Levy, 2000) and slower walking (Levy et al., 2012), and detrimental health outcomes, such as worse physical health (Siebert et al., 2016), slower recovery from illness (Nelson, 2016), and reduced longevity (Levy et al., 2002). Research suggests that increased knowledge and awareness about a social group may reduce reliance on the stereotypes and encourage more realistic beliefs (Hess, 2006). Further, engaged lifestyles, such as participation in social activities are cognitively stimulating or physically active may promote healthier aging (Hertzog et al., 2008). We propose that benefits from these lifestyle activities might transfer to enhanced age attitudes. The purpose of the proposed research is to test whether engaged lifestyles, positive intergenerational contact, and more knowledge about aging relate to more positive age attitudes in general and about one’s own age. Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), aged 50 years and older, will be compensated with $15 gift cards for completing surveys about their general lifestyle activities, engagement in OLLI activities, quality and frequency of contact with younger adults, and age attitudes. We expect that self-relevant age attitudes will be more positive for individuals who participate in more activities and spend quality time with younger adults. More positive attitudes about old age in general is expected for participants who learned about the “typical” aging process in OLLI classes. Results may inform development of psychosocial interventions to improve aging attitudes and reveal which specific activities are best for healthy aging.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

28-4-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

28-4-2018 12:00 PM

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Apr 28th, 10:00 AM Apr 28th, 12:00 PM

Activities Adjusting Attitudes: The Impact of Lifestyle on Age Stereotype and Beliefs

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Negative stereotypes about old age in general, such as the belief the older people are frail and forgetful or the expectation that declines are inevitable with increased age (Hummert, 2011; Kite & Stockdale, 2005) become self-relevant once individuals identify as old (Levy, 2009). In turn, negative attitudes about one’s own aging is linked to impaired performance, such as poorer memory (Levy, 2000) and slower walking (Levy et al., 2012), and detrimental health outcomes, such as worse physical health (Siebert et al., 2016), slower recovery from illness (Nelson, 2016), and reduced longevity (Levy et al., 2002). Research suggests that increased knowledge and awareness about a social group may reduce reliance on the stereotypes and encourage more realistic beliefs (Hess, 2006). Further, engaged lifestyles, such as participation in social activities are cognitively stimulating or physically active may promote healthier aging (Hertzog et al., 2008). We propose that benefits from these lifestyle activities might transfer to enhanced age attitudes. The purpose of the proposed research is to test whether engaged lifestyles, positive intergenerational contact, and more knowledge about aging relate to more positive age attitudes in general and about one’s own age. Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), aged 50 years and older, will be compensated with $15 gift cards for completing surveys about their general lifestyle activities, engagement in OLLI activities, quality and frequency of contact with younger adults, and age attitudes. We expect that self-relevant age attitudes will be more positive for individuals who participate in more activities and spend quality time with younger adults. More positive attitudes about old age in general is expected for participants who learned about the “typical” aging process in OLLI classes. Results may inform development of psychosocial interventions to improve aging attitudes and reveal which specific activities are best for healthy aging.