Negative stereotypes about older adults are increasing and contributing to a shortage of professionals in gerontology. Building on the PEACE model (Positive Education about Aging and Contact Experiences), two experiments used education to address stereotypes associated with older adults. Participants were randomly assigned to read brief articles that: challenged stereotypes about older adults (condition 1), challenged stereotypes about careers working with older adults (condition 2), challenged both stereotypes (condition 3), or described careers in general (control; condition 4). In Study 1, 399 undergraduates in all 3 experimental conditions (vs. control participants) reported lower levels of ageism, more positive age perceptions, and more aging knowledge in an immediate and delayed (1-2 weeks) post-test. In Study 2, 446 national community participants (ages 18- 25) in all experimental conditions (vs. control participants) reported greater positive age perceptions, aging knowledge, and interest in psychology and social work careers with older adults in an immediate post-test. These findings highlight the promise of using brief online methods to challenge stereotypes, provide more positive and accurate views of aging and older adults, and increase interest in careers working with older adults. Implications are discussed.
- Business of Medicine
- Doctor’s Voice