Stereotyping and Prejudice against Older Persons

Edited by Todd D. Nelson

A Bradford Book





Along with race and gender, people commonly use age to categorize—and form stereotypes about—others. Of the three categories, age is the only one in which the members of the in-group (the young) will eventually join the out-group (the old). Although ageism is found cross-culturally, it is especially prevalent in the United States, where most people regard growing older with depression, fear, and anxiety. Older people in the United States are stigmatized and marginalized, with often devastating consequences.

Although researchers have paid a great deal of attention to racism and sexism, there has been a dearth of research on ageism. A major reason for this neglect is that age prejudice is still considered socially acceptable. As baby boomers approach retirement age, however, there has been increased academic and popular interest in aging. This volume presents the current thinking on age stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination by researchers in gerontology, psychology, sociology, and communication. The book presents theoretical and empirical findings on the origins and effects of ageism, as well as suggestions on how to reduce ageism for the approaching "graying of America."


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262140775 388 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 5 illus.


$40.00 X ISBN: 9780262640572 388 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 5 illus.


Todd D. Nelson

Todd D. Nelson is Professor of Psychology at California State University, Stanislaus.


  • The strength of the volume lies in the authors' various interpretations of how ageism develops.

    Joan T. Erber

    APA Review of Books

  • This book certainly provides an overwhelming amount of evidence of the phenomenon from social science research... a cure for skeptics.

    Rosalie A. Kane, Ph.D

    New England Journal of Medicine


  • Timely and relevant, this book brings basic and applied scientific perspectives to examine ageism, its origins and its consequences.

    Mark Snyder

    McKnight Presidential Chair in Psychology, University of Minnesota

  • For researchers and policy makers seeking to understand the psychology of ageism, this book defines the state of the art. Broad-ranging in scope and featuring contributions from an impressive and diverse set of leading scholars, this is an indispensable volume for anyone interested in age-related prejudice.

    Galen V. Bodenhausen

    Department of Psychology, Northwestern University