National stereotypes of older people's competence are related to older adults' participation in paid and volunteer work

Bowen CE & Skirbekk V (2013). National stereotypes of older people's competence are related to older adults' participation in paid and volunteer work. Journals of Gerontology, Series B 68 (6): 974-983. DOI:10.1093/geronb/gbt101.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Why are older people perceived as more competent in some countries relative to others? In the current study, we investigate the extent to which national variation in perceptions of older people's competence is systematically related to national variation in the extent to which older people participate in paid and volunteer work.

METHOD: We used multilevel regression to analyze data from the European Social Survey and test the relationship between perceptions of older people's competence and older people's participation in paid and volunteer work across 28 countries. We controlled for a number of potentially confounding variables, including life expectancy as well as the gender ratio and average education of the older population in each country. We controlled for the average objective cognitive abilities of the older population in a subsample of 11 countries.

RESULTS: Older people were perceived as more competent in countries in which more older people participated in paid or volunteer work, independent of life expectancy and the average education, gender makeup, and average cognitive abilities of the older population.

DISCUSSION: The results suggest that older people's participation in paid and volunteer work is related to perceptions of older people's competence independent of older people's actual competence.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Images of aging; Old age stereotypes; Older people's social participation; Social role theory
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Bibliographic Reference: The Journals of Gerontology B: Psychological Sciences; 68(6):974-983 (November 2013)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:48
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 13:55
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10329

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