Older adults and ageism

Leanne Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


This entry begins with an introduction to criteria and language used to describe older adults and ageism as a form of social injustice. It then reviews how ageism in media, intergenerational communication, and institutional practices and policy shapes the meaning of old age and influences health. Ageism in media encompasses media underrepresentation and stereotyping of older adults that cultivates a biased understanding of aging. Ageism in intergenerational communication has been examined from four theoretical perspectives that provide explanations of out-group discrimination and age-adapted communication styles. Structural and institutional ageism involves inequities in healthcare resource allocation, research participation, and training in geriatrics. This entry ends with a summary of emerging evidence on the short-term and long-term impacts of ageism on older adults' health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe international encyclopedia of health communication
EditorsEvelyn Y Ho, Carma L Bylund, Julia C. M. van Weert
ISBN (Electronic)9781119678816
ISBN (Print)9780470673959
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication

User-Defined Keywords

  • age stereotypes
  • discrimination
  • institutional ageism
  • intergenerational communication
  • media representation


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