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Brave Old World? The Role of Old Age Diversity in Ageism

Funded by FCT
IF/00346/2014/CP1250/CT0002; 30/06/2015 to 31/05/2021

The increasing ageing population inspires many to paint a gloomy picture of the future, with ageism being the main socio-psychological concern. Yet, this segment of the population is also becoming more diverse which provides both challenges and opportunities. More efforts need to be directed towards understanding old age diversity in ageism, i.e. the specific health risks of subgroups in the ageing population as well as the social psychological perception of old age subgroups in order to achieve better intergenerational relations.
To fill this gap, two questions will be addressed: What is the role of ageism in successful ageing among a highly diverse older population? What kinds of old age subgroups do people perceive and how are they related to ageism? Study 1 and 2 respond to RQ1 with the aim to examine two steadily increasing old age subgroups in the population (older migrants). Studies 3 to 5 respond to RQ2 with the objective to scrutinize common lay beliefs about old age subgroups and to understand how specific subgroups (including the ones from Study 1, 2) are stereotyped taking into account contextual factors. The insight gained will be used in Study 6 in order to design a theory-guided and evidence-driven intervention programme aimed at emphasizing old age diversity and positive images about ageing.
This project makes an important contribution by linking Health & Social psychology and including cultural, sociological and socioeconomic aspects of old age diversity and ageism.
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