Thursday, March 15, 2012
Warding off The Effects of Ageism
This is another presentation based on information in Todd Nelson’s book[i] about ageism. In the wider community there is a lot more information about the effects of ageism with much less about what we can do about it. It is referred to as The Identity Assimilation Effect. “The IAE is a product of the older individual’s desire to preserve a positive sense of self in the face of increasing threatening images of aging as a negative state of existence” Research has connected the IAE effect with “…identity processes and self-esteem in middle and late adulthood.”
Examples of items in their research are:
1. Have many doubts and questions about myself.
2. Don’t spend much effort reflecting on who I am.
3. Try to keep a steady course in life but am open to new idea.
They then correlated this with people’s responses to Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale[ii] that includes statements like:
1. On the whole I am, satisfied with myself
2. I am able to do things as well as most other people.
3. I certainly feel useless at times.
As they expected a significant relationship was found.
Finally, the authors indicate, “… that it is during the late middle age and retirement age period that the effects of ageism may be strongest and defenses such as denial necessary to counter it’s deleterious effects. If you find this material interesting you will love their book.
[ii] You can see the whole questionnaire just google Rosenberg self-esteem scale