Images of aging are related to the plasticity of adult development

  • Images of Aging Are Related to the Plasticity of Adult Development Catherine Bowen 150 images of aging, age stereotypes, lifespan psychology, adult development, work and aging Empirical studies have demonstrated that images of aging influence acute functionality as well as long-term development. In this dissertation I (a) contribute to building a more complete theoretical framework for understanding how images of aging affect adults' acute functionality and long-term development and (b) empirically investigate images of aging in the work context and their relationship with developmental and work-related outcomes. In particular, I investigate the construct of older worker meta-stereotypes, that is, what people think other people think about older workers, in a given work context. Drawing on the lifespan framework of development, a broader aim of the dissertation is to demonstrate that images of aging are related to the plasticity of adult development. After a review of the images of aging literature, I present a theoretical framework based on the tenets of lifespan psychology to describe how images of aging affect both acute functionality and long-term development. In a theoretical analysis, I critically discuss the effects of age stereotype activation experiments and the inconsistent results in this literature. I present an integrated model of the mechanisms by which age stereotypes affect functioning and suggest a number of personal factors that may moderate the effects of age stereotype activation. Moreover, I discuss the age-trends of these moderating factors. I present the results of three empirical studies on a sample of working adults (N =337). I demonstrate the meaningfulness of the older worker meta-stereotype construct. Furthermore, I empirically demonstrate that images of aging (in the work context) are related to (a) promotion regulatory focus and (b) turnover intentions. I interpret the results from a developmental as well as an organizational perspective. I conclude with a discussion of the results of the dissertation as a whole as well as whether images of aging can be changed and make suggestions for future research.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Catherine E. Bowen
Referee:Ursula Staudinger, Ulrich K├╝hnen, Klaus Rothermund, Sigrun-Heide Filipp
Advisor:Ursula Staudinger
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:101:1-201305157781
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2010/09/28
Year of Completion:2010
Date of First Publication:2011/12/21
PhD Degree:Psychology
School:JCLL Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development
Library of Congress Classification:H Social Sciences / HQ The family. Marriage. Women / HQ503-1064 The family. Marriage. Home / HQ1060-1064 Aged. Gerontology (Social aspects). Retirement
Call No:Thesis 2010/33

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