The effect of negative aging self-stereotypes on satisfaction with social support

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Objectives: Previous studies have demonstrated a relationship between negative age self-stereotypes and social support satisfaction. This study examined whether negative age stereotype plays a causal role, and whether health anxiety is a possible mediator, in this relationship.

Methods: A total of 114 Chinese older persons were randomly assigned into three experimental conditions. In two of the conditions, participants were primed with either negative or positive age stereotypes using a sentence unscrambling task, before responding to measures of self-perception of aging, health anxiety, and satisfaction with family and nonfamily support. Those in the control condition responded to the same questions without priming.

Results: Main effects of priming were found across the board except for satisfaction with nonfamily support. In general, participants primed with negative age stereotypes reported more negative self-perception of aging, higher health anxiety, and lower satisfaction with family support, compared with control or those primed with positive age stereotypes. However, the effect on family support satisfaction could not be explained by concomitant experimental effect on health anxiety.

Discussion: The central role of the family as a support provider might be the reason why the activation of negative age stereotypes led to less satisfaction with family, but not nonfamily. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-990
JournalJournals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume75
Issue number5
Early online dateOct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Citation

Cheng, S.-T. (2020). The effect of negative aging self-stereotypes on satisfaction with social support. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 75(5), 981-990. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gby113

Keywords

  • Aging self-stereotypes
  • Health anxiety
  • Older people
  • Self-perception of aging
  • Social support satisfaction

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