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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ageism in Canada: Brief Report

Ageism In Canada: Brief Report

      A long time ago while Kwantlen Polytechnic University was still Kwantlen University College a former student of mine Yongjie Yon and I began our journey into the study of Ageism.   Yongjie is now continuing up the ladder to his PhD.  We used Dr. Palmore’s Ageism Survey for research purposes. Those of you who have been following my blog will know who and what I am talking about.
         First we gathered data from senior’s recreation centers in suburban British Columbia. The following 2007 we expanded our research to cover the rest of British Columbia.  One major pattern involving six items appears to reflect attacks on relational self-esteem. Lesser correlations were found involving employment, humor and victimization. The study discussed below is a step toward understanding the prevalence of ageism experiences in Canada.
         Here’s how we did it. 1.  Robert Butler (1969) first coined the word Ageism and defined it as “ another form of bigotry” and “a process of systematic stereotyping and discrimination against people because they are old.”  According to Erdman Palmore ageism is different that other types of “ism” such as racism and sexism because unlike them ageism may effect everyone or at least everyone who lives long enough. Palmore also told us that there are positive and negative manifestations of ageism, in general it has negative consequences to seniors.
         At the time we did the research much less work on the subject had been done in Canada than the United States. In our British Columbia 1study were recruited in two different samples.  In the first sample we gathered 598 Surveys (respondents aged 55+) from local seniors and Community Centers in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.  The Second wider sample recruited 815 (55+) seniors from a wide base ranging from COSCO senior’s organizations, several recreations centers, a senior’s trailer park and a Province-wide Senior’s newspaper, the Seniors Connector.  We used Palmore’s 20 item survey that displayed on other of my blog posts)

 Discussion: Some examples of what we found:

    Item_______Event_____________________________Average %
1.              Told jokes making fun of old people                        68
2.               Birthday card that makes fun of old people            50
12.              Assumed ailment caused by my age                      42
 5.               Patronized and “talked down to” because of age   37
 3.               Ignored and not taken seriously                              36
10.             Treated with less dignity and respect                      29
18.             Told “You’re to old.”                                                 29
17.             Assumed could not understand because of age     27
16.             Assumed deaf because of age                                26
 4.              Called an insulting name because of my age          23
11.             Waiter ignored me because of my age                    19
14.              Denied employment because of my age                18
15.              Denied promotion because of my age                    13
  9               Rejected as unattractive because of my age          12
  7.              Difficulty of getting a loan because of my age          9
  8.              Denial of leadership because of my age                   8                 
13.              Denial of medical treatment because of my age       7
20.              Victimized because of my age                                  4          
19.               Home vandalized because of my age                      4 

 6.                Refused rental housing because of my age             2                 

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