Research reported in this manuscript was funded by Grant R29 AG09433 from the National Institute on Aging. Belief data were presented in a paper at the 1995 meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. Message type data were presented in a paper at the 1996 meeting of the Speech Communication Association (Top Paper in Communication and Aging).
Communication With Older Adults The Influence of Age Stereotypes, Context, and Communicator Age
Version of Record online: 17 MAR 2006
Human Communication Research
Volume 25, Issue 1, pages 124–151, September 1998
How to Cite
HUMMERT, M. L., SHANER, J. L., GARSTKA, T. A. and HENRY, C. (1998), Communication With Older Adults The Influence of Age Stereotypes, Context, and Communicator Age. Human Communication Research, 25: 124–151. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1998.tb00439.x
- Issue online: 17 MAR 2006
- Version of Record online: 17 MAR 2006
Forty young, 40 middle-aged, and 40 older adults rated their beliefs about the vocal style that they would use in addressing two older targets—one fitting a negative (Despondent) and one a positive (Golden Ager) stereotype. Participants also gave oral messages to the two targets in either a hospital or community context. Supporting a stereotype-sensitive model of the communication and aging process, participants' beliefs and messages revealed a greater tendency to use patronizing talk with the Despondent target than with the Golden Ager. In addition, the extent and type of patronizing talk (overly nurturing or directive) to the targets was affected by the context in which the target was presented and the age of the communicator. In particular, the number of directive/patronizing messages to Golden Ager targets increased significantly in the hospital context. Finally, older participants were less likely to give patronizing messages to all targets than were younger participants.