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Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register
Study record
Sutter 2022First Published: 2022 Nov 23Updated Date: 2022 Nov 23

Ageism toward older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: intergenerational conflict and support

  1. Study Type
  2. Observational
  1. Study Aim
  2. Other
  1. Study Design
  2. Cross-sectional
  1. Intervention Assignment
  2. Not Applicable
Reference record

Ageism toward older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic: intergenerational conflict and support

Sutter A, Vaswani M, Denice P, Choi KH, Bouchard J, Esses VM
Journal article
Report Results
A cross-national representative survey in Canada and the U.S. examined ageism toward older individuals during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, including ageist consumption stereotypes and perceptions of older people's competence and warmth. We also investigated predictors of ageism, including economic and health threat, social dominance orientation, individualism and collectivism, social distancing beliefs, and demographics. In both countries, younger adults were more likely to hold ageist consumption stereotypes, demonstrating intergenerational conflict about the resources being used by older people. Similarly, young adults provided older people with the lowest competence and warmth scores, though adults of all ages rated older individuals as more warm than competent. Particularly among younger individuals, beliefs about group-based dominance hierarchies, the importance of competition, and the costs of social distancing predicted greater endorsement, whereas beliefs about interdependence and the importance of sacrificing for the collective good predicted lower endorsement of ageist consumption stereotypes. Support for group-based inequality predicted lower perceived competence and warmth of older individuals, whereas beliefs about interdependence and the importance of sacrificing for the collective good predicted higher perceived competence and warmth of older individuals. Implications for policies and practices to reduce intergenerational conflict and ageist perceptions of older individuals are discussed