Reference : Internalization or Dissociation? Negative age stereotypes make you feel younger now b...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Internalization or Dissociation? Negative age stereotypes make you feel younger now but make you feel older later
Kornadt, Anna Elena mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS) >]
Weiss, David mailto []
De Paula Couto, Clara mailto []
Rothermund, klaus mailto []
In press
Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Oxford University Press
United States - North Carolina
[en] Objectives. Negative age stereotypes have negative, assimilative effects on the subjective aging experience due to internalization processes, but sometimes positive contrast effects are reported as well, reflecting dissociation and downward comparisons. Our aim was thus to compare short-term and long-term consequences of age stereotypes on the subjective aging experience, to test the hypothesis that contrast effects are visible cross-sectionally, whereas internalization processes are observed when considering long-term changes.
Method. We assessed age stereotypes and subjective age in a core sample of N=459 participants (initial age range 30 – 80 years) from the Ageing as Future project (Lang et al., 2022) across three consecutive measurement occasions spanning a longitudinal interval of 10 years. Short-term and long-term effects were estimated with latent growth models by assessing effects of age stereotypes on the intercepts (cross-sectional) and on the slopes (longitudinal) of subjective age, respectively, while controlling for current self-views.
Results. Age stereotypes had opposite effects on subjective age depending on the time frame. A cross-sectional contrast effect was found, whereas longitudinal effects were assimilative in nature.
Discussion. Our findings support the time-dependent nature of effects of age stereotypes on the subjective aging experience. Negative age stereotypes temporarily lead to a significantly younger subjective age, indicating dissociation from one’s age group and downward comparison. In the long run, however, negative (positive) age stereotypes become internalized into the self-views of older people and are linked to a relatively older (younger) subjective age.

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