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1 REFERENTIAL AND AGEIST SPEECH ACROSS ADULTHOOD By ASHLEY MAE STRIPLING A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF TH E REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Ashley Mae Stripling
3 To being old regardless of age
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my chair Dr Martin Heesacker for his intellectual guidance and constant mentoring; my supervisory committee members for their time and recommendations; the Acceptable Bias Lab for their support, Taylor Locker, Kim Jones, and Ken Swan; and my parents, Richard and Rozann Stripling for their unconditional l ove and unvarying support through my entire educational process.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 11 Ageism in Society ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 Cost of Ageism ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 14 Aging and Language ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 16 Self referential Speech ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 18 2 PURPOSE AND SPECIFIC AIMS ................................ ................................ ........................ 20 Specific Aim 1: Explore the Organization of Old Ta lk ................................ .......................... 20 Specific Aim 2: Explore Whether Speaker Differences and Listener Differences are Associated with Differences in the Number of Old Talk Incident, Old Talk Phrase Categories, and Old Talk Motivational Categories. ................................ ............................ 20 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 22 Participants and Procedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 22 Measures ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 26 The Critical Incident Technique (Flanagan, 1954). ................................ ......................... 26 Categorizing old talk. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 26 Listener Characteristics. ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 27 Categorizing Old Talk Motivation ................................ ................................ .................. 28 Knowledge of Aging Questionna ire ................................ ................................ ................ 29 Demographics. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 29 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 30 Specific Aim 1: Explore th e Organization of Old Talk ................................ ......................... 30 80 report that they engage in old talk? If so, how many participants report engaging old talk and how many events are reported per individual? ................................ ................................ ......................... 30 Research Question 1b: What phrase categories emerge from the old talk incidents? ..... 31 Research Questi ons 1c: What motivation categories emerge from the provided old talk incidents? ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 35
6 Specific aim 2: Explore Whether Speaker Differences and Listener Differences are Associated with Differences in the Number of Old Talk Incident, Old Talk Phrase Categories, and Old Talk Motivational Categories. ................................ ............................ 43 Research Question 2a. Are the speaker differences of age, gender, aging knowledge, and race/ethnicity related to number of old talk incidents, phrase incident categories and motivational incident categories? ................................ ........... 44 Research Question 2b. Are listener age, gender, number of listeners, and the categories and motivational incident categories? ................................ ........................ 46 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 57 Review of Study Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 57 Limitations of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 62 Future Directions ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 62 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 63 APPENDIX A COPY OF OLD TALK PROTOCOL. ................................ ................................ .................... 65 B KNOWLEDGE OF AGING QUESTION NAIRE. ................................ ................................ 66 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 67 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 75
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Physical phrase subcategories and incident examples. ................................ ...................... 49 4 2 Mental phrase subcategories and incident examples ................................ ......................... 50 4 3 Social phrase subcategories and incident examples. ................................ .......................... 50 4 4 Phrase Categories Chi Squared Test. ................................ ................................ ................. 51 4 5 Ipsative motivation subcategories and incident examples. ................................ ................ 51 4 6 Justification motivation subcategories and incident examples. ................................ ......... 52 4 7 Motivation to Describe Personal Experience subcategories and incident examples. ........ 52 4 8 Self Stereotyping motivation subcategories and incident examples. ................................ 52 4 9 Remaining Motivation categories and incident examples. ................................ ................ 53 4 10 Motivation Categories Chi Squared Test. ................................ ................................ .......... 53 4 11 Descriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 53 4 12 Racial/Ethnic comparison between the current sample and 2008 US census information ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 55 4 13 Listener Age Differences in Justification Motivation ................................ ........................ 55
8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Visual representat ion of the linear and curvilinear relationship between age and number of old talk incidents. ................................ ................................ ............................. 56
9 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment o f the Requirements for the Degree Doctorate of Philophy REFERENTIAL AND AGEIST SPEECH ACROSS ADULTHOOD By Ashley Mae Stripling August 2011 Chair: Martin Heesacker Major: Counseling Psychology As Berger c learly noted, society shapes the individual and individuals shape society. Regarding aging, complexity is flattened into a few positive ste reotypes (e.g., older is wiser ) and even more negative stereotypes (e.g., old adults are senile, inflexible, and phys ically frail). These stereotypes manifest themselves in American culture as rampant ageism which has been associated with shorter life spans and decr eased quality of life. This dissertation examined how individuals internalized ageism through self referen Incident Technique was employed to examine phrases where individuals self identified as old, from individuals aged 19 80 (n=293). Of those sampled, 58% reported remembering at least one specific Content analysis of these self statements produced three categories: (1) physical old talk (64% of the incidents ) (2) mental ol d talk (22.2% of the incidents ) and (3) social old talk (13.8% of the incidents ). A content analysis of old talk motivation produced seven categories (1) justifica tion (2) ipsative (3) to describe personal experience, (4) self stereotyping, (5) to compare with others, (6) to state a f act, and (7) to Minimize Ag ing Age significantly predicted number of incidents both linearly ( p < .001) acc ounting for 6.4% of the variance and curvilinear ly (p < .001) accounting for 6.2% of the variance. Those in the mental
10 category had a significantly older mean age (p < .01) and were more knowledgeable about aging than other categories (p < .05). In the physical category participants had a significantly younger mean age (p < .05) and were 2.53 times more likely to be male ( p < .05). There was a signi ficant ( p < .05). No other differences in motivations were discovered. This study documents the ubiquity of old talk among adults of all ages, provides a method for measur ing old talk, identified correlates of old which should help pave the way for future investigation.
11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This dissertation study examin any self self of a nd insights regarding the degree to which negative aging stereotypes are being internalized by people. As Berger (1963) clearly noted, society shapes the individual and individuals shape society. Since this assertion, researchers have arrived at a fuller u identity and social surroundings are intertwined. Social constructionists primarily focus on the (Stam, 1998, p. 199). In other wor ds, they focus on how individuals are identified, treated, and l argely on language, which is in itself dependent on the linguistic and nonlinguistic fluctuations cted to the prevailing notions of As Berger (1963) has argued, these opinions and messages are then internalized. One important referential verbal behavior. Self referential verbal than acceptable, because these responses provide insight regarding the degree to which people have internalized negative societal messages about them. Growing old is one of the many
12 categories of observable features that society values negatively (Levy, 20 01). The nature and literature. A geism in Society individual or a group due to their age, specifically older adults. Ageism as discussed by Butler was later expanded to contain both positive and negative ageism (Palmore, 1999). Some of these negative stereotypes include: older people are forgetful, physically challenged, and w ould have a stereotypes about older adults such as the idea that all old people are kind or wise due to their life experience. This pattern is similar to that hostile sexism proposed by Peter Glick and Susan Fiske (1996). Just as with benevolent and hostile sexism, positive and negative ageism is widespread, acts through different mechanisms, and holds adverse con sequences for older adults. In regard to prevalence, research has demonstrated a high level of ageism in American society, not only at an explicit level (Levy, 2001; Palmore, 2004) but also at an implicit. In one study 84% of American and 91% of Canadian older adults reported experiencing at least one incident of ageism during their lifetime (Palmore, 2004). This level of explicit ageism is indeed striking, but does not tell the whole story of how ageism affects society. Implicit ageism covers both implici t age stereotypes and prejudice. It is defined as the feelings and thoughts about the implicit ageism underlies most interactions with older adults. Research using the Implicit Association Test (IAT) has demonstrated that implicit ageism is rampant in our current culture across an array of ages, is
13 endorsed to a greater extent than explici t ageism, and is endorsed more strongly than any other examined ism (Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2002a). Other methodology assessing implicit more available but also increases the likelihood of their use in evaluations of the individual (Perdue & Gurtman, 1990). Examples of ageism within current American culture abound. One example involves the 2008 presidential election, during which candidate John McCain faced a great deal of discrimination based on his age. For example, the author of the website http://www.thingsyoungerthanmccain.com/ not. The world is a pr ye ar olds do you know who can work a 60 projected into the public sphere. Researchers studying ageism in the television media have found that older adults are significantly underrepresented (Robinson & Skill, 1995), with less than 5% representation in television during prime time, daily network programming, game shows, Saturday morning programming and cart oons, and evening network programming (Robinson, Skill, & Turner, 2004). In their review of the literature, Robinson and colleagues (2004) also found that on the few occasions when older adults are portrayed they are predominately male, white, widowers, an d supporting, rather than central, characters. On the even fewer occasions when female older adult were portrayed, they represented characters that were lower in socioeconomic status, not serious, lacking in common sense, eccentric, and not treated
14 respect fully. Researchers have also determined that the pattern in television media is comparable to that in print media, with older adults, particularly women, being dramatically underrepresented, portrayed in a negative light, cast in minor or supporting roles, and subject to age stereotyping (Vasil & Wass, 1993). The trends in media described above can also be found in an unavoidable part of media underrepresented in both print and television advertisements and when they are represented they have served mostly as minor characters (Zhang et al., 2006). In their examination of the literature, Zhang and colleagues (2006) also found that although older adults are for the most part portrayed in line with positive stereotypes, they are portrayed less positively than individuals of any other age and they frequently appear in ads for health related products or which reference illness. At the conclusion of their review, Zhang and co lleagues provide an interpretation for these findings: underrepresentation and stereotypical views of older adults in advertising convey that older adults contribute little to society and are not important. It has been estimated that individuals are expose d to approximately 500 advertisements a day, 182,000 per year, and millions during a lifetime (Wilson & Wilson, 1998). Given the frequency of exposure to advertisements, stereotypes and the lack proportional representation of older adults in advertising ar e very likely to have a powerful effect on average viewers. Cost of Ageism The media portrayals just described demonstrate the presence of ageism in current American culture. This ageist climate has many adverse consequences, which affect people through t he life span, not just in old age. A recent study found that approximately 90 million Americans have taken steps to hide the physical signs of aging, such as undergoing cosmetic
15 surgery or purchasing skin care products designed to make one look younger (Na tional Consumers League, 2004). In examining the effects of negative ageism, the cultural climate holds even graver consequences for older adults. Researchers have found that upon encountering positive age stereotypes, the older adults who were studied inc reased their walking speed, balance, memory, memory self efficacy, their positive views of aging, and reported an increased likelihood of choosing life prolonging medical interventions (Hausdorff, Levy, & Wei, 1999; Levy, 1996; Levy, Ashman, & Dror, 2000a) On the other hand, upon encountering negative age stereotypes, the stress in the older adults studied increased, and their walking speed decreased, as did their memory performance, memory self efficacy and their likelihood of choosing life prolonging med ical interventions (Bargh, Chen, & Burrows 1996, Levy, 1996; Levy, Ashman, & Dror, 2000a; Levy, Hausdorff, Hencke, & Wei, 2000b). These findings are consistent with the self stereotyping and stereotype threat literatures. Self stereotyping has been defined as viewing consistent with this identity (Turner, 1987). Age self stereotyping falls under this classification; e results in the effects just detailed. However, age self stereotyping is also unique, given the fluidity of age classification, compared to categories such as race and sex. The detrimental effects of negative age stereotypes may best be described by stere which one belongs becoming self relevant, usually as a plausible interpretation for something one is doing, for an experience one is having, or for a situation one is in that has relevance to behaviors for many groups, such as math performance in women, standardized test performance
16 in African Americans, and memory in older adu lts (Steele & Aronson, 1995; Spencer, Steele, & Quinn, 1999; Hess, Auman, Colcombe, & Rahhal, 2003). The effects of stereotype threat appear when one is aware of the stereotype and when one views oneself as a member of the stereotyped group. Stereotype thr eat requires awareness of the groups, in this case the age group, to which one belongs. Despite publication of research indicating the prevalence and the cost of age prejudice, it continues to be widespread in society. In fact, prejudice based on age is so ingrained that it has been discussed as the most socially condoned and institutionalized prejudice, and thus tends to be an overlooked area of study (Nelson, 2005). This lack of research is especially unfortunate given the unique aspects of this ism. Spe cifically, unlike other isms, the social sanctions against acceptable (Williams & Giles, 1998). Additionally, everyone is aging, thus at some point nearly all people will experience ageism. Thus it is especially important to understand behaviors related to ageism, such as ageist self referential speech, because they provide important understanding of and insights regarding the degree to which negative aging ste reotypes stereotypes that have the potential to harm nearly everyone, eventually, are being internalized by people. Aging and Language As just discussed, ageism pervades society, with clearly adverse consequences for individuals. Given that the focus of th is dissertation is ageist language, this next section will attitudes. Researchers exploring the effects of language on aging have investigated two areas, language directed toward ag ing adults and the impact of language on older adults. The first, the way language is used toward older adults, includes over accommodation and baby talk, with the focus on the disparity actual comprehension.
17 Over accommodation has been described as modifications in speech when addressing older adults to resemble the address of a language learning child (Brown & Draper, 2003). Speech marked by over accommodation may include but is not limi ted to the following: simplified vocabulary, slowed speech, increase in the tone of voice, exaggeration of certain words, assumed use of a first name, diminutive terms of endearment, and an increase in the use of repetition, questions, and imperatives. Res earchers have also found that over accommodation tends to include speech that is more abrupt, reflects disrespect, exclusion, and a lack of interest, (Adelman, Greene, & Charon, 1991; Hallberg, Holst, Nordmark, & Edberg, 1995). These patterns of speech hav e also been referred to as baby talk and comfort talk (Caporael, 1981; Proctor, Morse, & Khonsari, 1996). Explanations for this phenomenon come from speech evalua tion of others (Coupland, Coupland Giles, & Henwood, 1988; Ryan, Hamilton, & See, 1994). So in the case of older adults, negative modification such as overaccommodation, occurs sical, and mental deficiencies. Overaccommodation and similar speech patterns thus provide information about attitudes toward the intended listener regarding competence and social status. For example, a study that presented speech marked by overaccommodati on to community dwelling older adults found that the majority of the group found it to be patronizing and irritating, but an accurate representation of how older adults were spoken too and a type of speech they had experienced personally (Giles, Fox, & Smi th, 1993). These reactions demonstrate some of the effects of hearing age related language. The following paragraph will explore this issue more thoroughly. The second aspect of language, namely the impact of language on older adults, focuses on the effec ts of hearing age related language, specifically negative language that perpetuates aging
18 because they depict the elderly as possessing largely undesirable traits and 273) and warned that ageist terms promote acceptance of aging stereotypes. Research has negative consequences. For example, automatic ne gative constructs were found to be more found that the underlying mechanism of negative evaluation is unconsciously perpetuated. So not only does mention of the wo they perpetuate this anti aging bias, though probably unwittingly. This dissertation study i s an attempt to understand the frequency and nature of these self generated ageist self references. The relatively unexplored aspect of human behavior that is the focus of this dissertation is speech that is produced by, rather than directed toward, the in dividual. Self referential Speech As already mentioned briefly, one of the tools that can be used by researchers to examine ageism, particularly internalized ageism, is self referential speech. A study by Emlet (2006) focused on older adults with HIV b eing doubly stigmatized, a part of which included assessment of internalized ageism, including self referential speech, such as self referential jokes and statements about memory loss or other age related physical decline. Emlet (2006) reported that approx imately one third of his sample reported engaging in this ageist, self referential talk. Research on anti fat attitudes has assessed self referential anti examine internalized weight ism. Fat talk, defined as self deprec ating self disclosures about adolescent females (Nitcher & Vuckovic, 1994). Through these interviews Nitcher and Vuckovic
19 (1994) documented the nature of fat talk. Fur ther research has found evidence for a social norm to engage in fat talk (Britton, Martz, Bazzini, Curtin, & LeaShomb, 2006) as well as a high subtypes and therefore her approach has been adopted and appropriately altered to explore age based self referential behaviors. The current dissertation will examine the phenome non of old talk, which includes self sertation examines the prevalence, motivations for, and possible sequellae of ageist self talk. It is important to note that this dichotomization between old and young does not require the assumption that age specific categories exists. Bytheway (2005) has recommended that researchers focus on personal, subjective experiences of aging rather than strictly adhering to self classifications, based on their old ta lk or their lack of old talk, in addition to an objective
20 CHAPTER 2 PURPOSE AND SPECIFIC AIMS In accordance with critical incident technique, the first step is to describe the general aims, which allows participants to understand the objective and the expected outcome of the activity. to center around some simple phrase or catchword which is slogan like in chara This dissertation was designed to fulfill two specific aims, which, alon g with the related second step, namely setting plans and specifications: Specific Aim 1: Explore the Organization of Old Talk Research Question1a: Do individu 80 report that they engage in old talk? If so, how many participants report engaging old talk and how many events are reported per individual? Research Question 1b : What phrase categories emerge from the old talk incidents? Research Question 1c: What motivation categories emerge from the provided old talk incidents? Specific Aim 2: Explore Whether Speaker Differences and Listener Differences are Associated with Differences in the Number of Old Talk Incident, Old Talk Phrase Categories, and Ol d Talk Motivational Categories. Research Question 2a Are the speaker differences of age, gender, aging knowledge, and race/ethnicity related to number of old talk incidents, phrase incident categories and motivational incident categories?
21 Research Questi on 2b. Are listener age, gender, number of listeners, and the relationship incident categories?
22 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Participants and Procedure The dissertat ion study examined 293 (71 male, 216 female) individuals (mean age= 38.7 year s, SD= 15.8) recruited through on line community bulletin boards, and peer to peer social networking sites Two participants were dropped for not meeting the age requirement (below the cut off of 18) and five additional participants were dropped for missing or incomplete data. The sample included the entire adult age range (18 years and older) because t he author observed old talk by young adults both in person and on social networking sites. These observations suggested clearly that engaging in old talk is not exclusive to older adults and therefore made the study of adults of all ages important. The c social networking sites. In fact, 35% of recently polled adult internet users reported having a profile on a social networking site (Lenhart, 2009). Males and females re ported using social networking sites at similar rates. The proportion of people in different age ranges who use social networking has been reported as follows: 18 24 (75%), 25 34 (57%), 35 44 (30%), 45 54 (19%), 55 to 64 (10%) and over 65 (7%; Lenhart, 200 9). The same study found that African Americans (43%) and Latino/a Americans (48%) were more likely to have a profile on a social networking site than white or European Americans (33%). Regarding education, 43% of those with a high school education, but n ot a high school diploma reported having social network profiles; 31% of high school graduates reported having one; 41% of those who reported currently attending college or having attended college also reported that they have a social network profile, and 33% of college graduates reported having a social network profile (Lenhart, 2009). The same study found varying percentages of people reporting that they had a social network profile, as a
23 function of differences in annual household income: less than $30,0 00 (45%), $30,000 $49,999 (38%), $50,000 $74,999 (30%), and $75,000 (31%). So the reported use of social networking sites is widespread and similar across levels of education and income, which increases the desirability of these sites as sources for acces sing participants. based data collection, research on internet data collection will be summarized in the following section. Research has found that internet based studies are comparable to traditional paper and pencil questionnaires across many areas (e.g., personality, alcohol use, emotional functioning and attachment, and athletic burnout) and with measures (Buchanan & Smith, 1999; Fouladi, McCarthy, & Moller, 2002; Lonsdale, Hodge & Rose, 2006; Miller, Neal, Roberts, Baer, Cressler, Metrik, & Marlatt, 2002 ) Internet assessment also holds certain advantages over in person assessment, such as a lower likelihood of miss ing data, lower cost, greater individual response rate, greater disclosure of personal information, faster response time, dynamic provision of statistical results, and avoidance of interviewer effects ( Duffy, Smith, Terhaniam, & Bremer, 2005; Locke & Gilbe rt, 1995; Schmidt, 1997; Stanton, 1998; Swobada, Muehlberger, Weitkunat, & Schneeweiss, 1997; Walsh, 1992; Watt, 1999; Yun & Trumbo, 2000; ) requires participants to describe their ol d talk experience through open ended questions. Research comparing online responses to mail responses found that responses produced online were more self disclosing and length of answers were either similar or longer than mail responses ( Bachmann & Elfrink 1996; Kiesler & Sproull, 1986; Locke & Gilbert, 1995; Mehta & Sivadas, 1995; Schaefer & Dillman, 1998; Schonlau & Fricker, Elliott, 2002; Sproull, 1986; Walsh, 1992). Other hypothesized advantages of online surveys for open ended questions
24 include the f act that many people type faster than they write and that typing eliminates the ability to identify participants based on handwriting, thus increasing participant anonymity and decrease their motivation to respond in socially desirable ways (Thompson, Surf ace, Martin & Sanders, 2003). Yet another advantage of online recruitment for the current study is the ability for the participants to complete the study at their convenience, which will facilitate getting information from busy, midlife adults ( Duffy, Smit h, Terhaniam, & Bremer, 2005; Kellner, 2004). Although use of the internet as a data collection tool holds many advantages, there are drawbacks to use of this method as well. One of the primary drawbacks is the potential to reach different respondent demog raphics than in other recruitment techniques. For example Yun and Trumbo (2000) found that electronic survey respondents tended to use communication technology at a higher rate, had higher levels of electronically facilitated social contact, and had higher educational achievement than those who responded by mail. Other researchers have found that web users are more likely to be young, and to have above average education levels and socio economic status (Schmidt, 1997). To reduce these digital divide differe nces, the current study used social networking sites, which, as described earlier, tend to be accessed at similar levels by men and women, by people of varying education levels, and by people of varying annual household incomes. The author also intentional ly chose social networking sites that cater to middle aged and older adults, to recruit participants from those parts of the adult age range. These accommodations do not allow participation of individuals who do not have access to the internet. The second major disadvantage of on line data collection is the unreliability of technology (e.g., malfunctioning Internet connections, computer or server crashes, program errors, and power outages; Nosek, Banaji & Greenwald, 2002b). In order to manage this disadvant age,
25 participants were allowed to restart the survey if they experienced technological errors. The following measures outlined by researchers who collected data online (Granello, & Wheaton, 2004; Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2002b) were also taken in order to improve the quality of the navigate though the study. To detect both technological and participant error in this anonymous online survey the following v ariables were examined: internet protocol (IP) addresses, and time and date information. Comparison of IP addresses was used to detect or prevent more than one submission from a single participant. Examination of time and date information was used to scree n out those who completed the study in less than five minutes. Pilot testing suggested that even the most rapid conscientious completion of the survey took longer than 5 minutes. All participants read and signed an informed consent form approved by the Uni versity of Florida Institutional Review Board. Participants were also informed that a monetary donation was made to the Red Cross, based on the number of participants. Afterward, participants were administered the following : a critical incidence questionna ire based on instructions by Flanagan (1954), the Knowledge of Aging Questionnaire ( KAE; Kline, Scialfa, Stier, & Babbitt, 1990), and a demographic questionnaire. During the 1950s, John Flanagan and his collaborators developed the Critical Incident Techniq current d issertation, the observer type is defined as retrospective self report and the situation is that you felt as though you are getting old. Have you ever used one o
26 l may be found in Appendix A). Measures The Critical Incident Technique (Flanagan, 1954). ident Technique requires five major steps: (1) description of the general aims to understand, in this case, old talk (2) setting plans and specifications; (3) data collection (4) data analysis; and (5) data interpretation and results reporting. From people following information: (a) did they and if so (b) how many old talk incidents did they engage in, (c) what phrases they used in their reported old talk, and (d) why did they report using these phrase. Th ese phrases were coded by the following process: C ategorizing old talk. Parts c, and d of the second question of the questionnaire produced the responses to be situat Based on procedures outlined by Flanagan (1954), these incidents were coded into categories by first examining 5 incidents out of the initial 225 incidents and sorting these incidents into tentative categories to serve a frame of reference. After the se tentative categories were established, defining characteristics of these categories were discussed and eventually agreed upon by two independent raters (one of whom was the author). The subsequent incidents were categorized accordingly. Raters were inst ructed to remain open to redefining and establishing new categories as the need arises until all incidents had been categorized. During this process, Flanagan (1954) recommends that incidents describing the same type of behavior be placed together and larg er categories become subdivided as categories increase in complexity.
27 reexamined to ensure that they meet the following requirements: (a) discernible, easily remembe red, and logical structure, (b) meaningful titles, without explanation or definition, (c) homogenous groupings of statements, (d) equal magnitude of headings, regardless of category size, (e) applicable and helpful headings, and (f) headings reflective of a comprehensive list of categories for the given sample. Following these guidelines, two raters conferred during the points: first during establish tentative cate gories, then again mid way through categorization to assess the need to redefine and establish new categories, and finally after categorization had been completed, to reexamine definitions and major headings to ensure they meet the requirements just outlin ed. Any discrepancy between the two raters was discussed and resolved. The goal of producing a K inter rater reliability coefficient of >= 0.8 (Landis & Koch, 1977) was attained (K=0.87). Listener C haracteristics. Listener characteristics were ascertained from part e of the second questionnaire question listeners, gender of the list eners (male, female, mixed group), relationship of listeners to the speaker (e.g., significant others, family, friends and family, friends, professional/work colleagues, and acquaintances), and relative age of listeners (e.g., younger than the speaker, abo ut the same age as the speaker, or older than the speaker, or mixed group). Each of these listener characteristics was calculated for each incident phrase (up to 4 phrases).
28 Categorizing O ld T alk M otivation Part f of the second question of the questionna ire produced the responses to be categorized. This incident subsection was also coded into motivational categories based on procedures outlined by Flanagan (1954). Fi much larger number of 225 total incidents and sorted into tentative motivational categories to serve as a frame of reference. After these tentative motivational categories were establ ished, defining characteristics were discussed and eventually agreed upon by two independent raters (one of whom was the author). The subsequent incident subsections were categorized accordingly. Raters were instructed to remain open to redefining existing situational categories and to establishing new categories as the need arose, until all incident subsections had been categorized. During this process, Flanagan (1954) recommends that incident subsections describing the same type of behavior be placed toge ther and that larger situational categories become subdivided as categories increase in complexity. After all of the incident subsections had the criteria. Follo wing these guidelines, the two raters conferred during the motivational points: first, during establishment of tentative situational categories; again, midway thr ough categorization, to assess the need to redefine and establish new situational categories; and finally, after categorization had been completed. These comparisons were conducted to reexamine definitions and major headings, to ensure they met the require ments just outlined. As before, any discrepancy between the two raters was discussed and resolved, again with the goal of producing a K inter rater reliability coefficient of >= 0.8 (Landis & Koch, 1977), which was achieved K=0.85.
29 Knowledge of Aging Ques tionnaire ( KAE; Kline et al., 1990) This was used in the current study as a measure of culture knowledge about aging. It consists of 25 self report items. Each item has three response ucted to respond to the questionnaire to the best of their ability. The KAE contains 8 items with a positive valence, 7 items with a neutral valence, and 10 items with a negative valance. Total scores can be calculated to produce a measure of knowledge of aging, with scores ranging from 0 25. An example of a positively Retirement is not a very difficult experience for almost all old An example of a negatively Old people, especially old men, ha An example of a neutrally (scored false; the complete questionnaire is in Appendix B Demographics. T his thr ee item questionnaire inquired about gender, race/ethnicity, and age. Age was examined as a continuous variable .
30 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The main objective of this study was to examine the prevalence and nature of ageist self presented below : Specific Aim 1: Explore the Organization of Old Talk 80 report that they engage in old talk? If so, how many participan ts report engaging old talk and how many events are reported per individual? The first goal of the study was to explore the prevalence and organization of old talk. t Technique have resulted in recommendations for improving validity, including recommendations about measuring participation rates and about independent coding (Butterfield, Borgen, Amundson, & Maglio, 2005). These recommendations were applied to the achie vement of this randomly selected for independent extraction (as suggested by Butterfield et al., citing work by Andersson & Nilsson, 1964). Andersson and Nilsson (19 64) discussed independent extraction as a process for determining whether a participant response is or is not a critical incident. Independent extraction involves both the researcher and a second, independent, rater judging the potential critical incidents to determine if each qualifies for inclusion. As a result of independent extraction, one incident was removed because it was judged not to be a critical incident of old talk. During the course of coding, another incident was also judged not to be a criti cal incident of old talk and dropped as well. The following examination was conducted based on the remaining 225 incidents.
31 Exploring the first specific aim, regarding the prevalence and organization of old talk in a community dwelling sample of adults, 58% of the participants recalled at least one incident of old talk. Research Question 1b: What phrase categories emerge from the old talk incidents? Furthermore, three phrase categories emerged from the old talk incidents Specifically, the three old tal k categories that emerged were (a) specific illnesses, pains, or physical limitations as indicators of getting old (37.2% of the sample), (b) mental indicators (12.3% of the sample), and (c) social indicators (8.2% of the sample). Examining all 225 of the old talk incidents phrases regardless of the order in which they were recalled, 144 incidents or 64% were coded as physical, 50 incidents or 22.2% were coded as mental and 31 incidents or 13.8% were coded as se three categories were further divided into sub categories. Within the physical category, the most represented subcategory was experiences of pain (51 incidents; 35.4% of the physical category) followed by stamina (31 incidents; 21.5% of the physical cat egory). Within the mental category, the most represented subcategory was memory loss or recall difficulties (43 incidents; 86% of the mental category). Finally within the social category, the most represented subcategories were social comparison (12 incide nts; 38.7% of the social category) and decrease in social stamina (12 incidents; 38.7% of the social category). For verbatim examples of incidents judged to belong to phrase categories and subcategories of physical, mental, and social please see Tables 1, 2 and 3. In order to assess whether the order in which participants recalled an incident influences the category of incident recalled, a 2 test was run on a 3 (Recalled Incident Position: first, second, or third) X 3 (Phrase Category: Mental, Physical, or Social) see Table 4 There were insufficient occurrences of four incidents recalled to warrant inclusion. There was no statistically
32 significant association between phrase category and recalled incident order 2 ( 4 N = 22 2 ) = 1 41 p = 84 An additional 2 test was run on a 2 (Number of Incidents: one or more than one) X 3 (Phrase Category: Mental, Physical, or Social). There was no statistically significant association between phrase category and whether a participant recalled only one or multiple incid ents, 2 ( 2 N = 22 4 ) = 47 p = 79 Despite the two nonsignificant 2 s, because this is an exploratory investigation, what follows is a description of the number of old talk phrases in each category and subcategory as a function of whether they recalled as a first, second, third, or fourth incident. Examining the first incident, the phase categories in order of prevalence were (a) specific illnesses, pains, or physical limitations as indicators of getting old (37.2% of the sample and 64. 9 % of the first i ncidents), (b) mental indicators (12.3% of the sample and 2 0.8 % of the first incidents), and (c) social indicators (8.2% of the sample and 14. 3 % of the first incidents). For the first statements, the most prevalent incidents within the illnesses, pains, or physical limitations category involved experiencing pain The s econd most prevalent physical category involved experiencing a decrease in stamina (7.8% 2% of the first physical accounted for fewer than 10 incidents in the first statements and included: experiences of stiffness or loss of flexibility (3.1% of the sample and 8.3% of the first physical incidents; e.g.,
33 sa For the first statements, most prevalent subcategory in the mental category involved accounted for fewer than 5 incidents in the first statements and are as follows: reminiscing (0.7%/ of the sample and 5.4% of the first mental incidents; e.g., d of social category frequently identified decreases person is hal
34 events without comparing to others or previous stamina in social situations (2.0% o f the sample Further examination of critical incidents revealed that 15.7% of the sample reported remembering a second incident. These second incidents generally followed th e pattern of the first incidents, with the majority of incidents being categorized as specific illnesses, pains, or physical limitations as indicators (9.9% of the sample), followed by mental indicators (3.8% of the sample), and finally social indicators ( 2.4% of the sample). Again within the second incidents, the majority of the physical category incidents were subcategorized as involving pain (3.1% of the sample and 32.1% of the second physical incidents) followed by decreased stamina (2.4% of the sampl e and 25.0% of the second physical incidents). The remaining physical categories contained five or fewer incidents and included: experiences of stiffness or loss of flexibility (1.7% of the sample and 17.9% of the second physical incidents), decline in on e of the senses (1.4% of the sample and 14.3% of the second physical incidents), decrease in speed (0.7% of the sample and 7.1% of the second physical incidents) and general physical decline (0.3% of the sample and 3.6% of the second physical incidents). Of note when examining the second incidents, there were no incidents that fit into the following physical subcategories: changes in appearance, loss of strength, and experiences of fragility. The second subcategories of mental also followed the trend of t he first incidents with the majority of the sample describing memory loss or recall difficulties (2.7% of the sample and 72.7% of the second mental incidents) followed by reminiscing (0.7% of the sample and 18.2% of the second mental incidents). As with the first statements, those in the second social sub categories frequently recalled making social comparisons that drew attention to their age (1.0% of the sample and 33.3% of the second
35 social incidents) as well as identifying decreases in stamina as affec life (0.7% of the sample and 22.2% of the second social incidents) and incidents were generally related to social events (1.0% of the sample and 33.3% of the second social incidents). Only 2.4% of the participants reported re membering a third critical incident. The two categories of physical (1.7% of the sample) and mental (0.7% of the sample) were represented in thirdly recalled incidents. All of the represented subcategories of both physical and mental categories included on e incident and thus represented 0.3% of the sample. The mental subcategories represented in these thirdly recalled incidents included memory loss or recall difficulties and reminiscing. The physical sub categories represented included pain, changes in ap pearance, and decreases in the senses, speed, and stamina. Although participants were provided up to five opportunities to record old talk incidents the most reported by any participant was four incidents. Two participants reported four incidents of old t alk or 0.7% of the sample. recalled old talk was coded in the mental category as demonstrating recalled old talk incident was coded in the physical category as rela ting to a decrease in one of the senses. Research Questions 1c: What motivation categories emerge from the provided old talk incidents? The Third Research Question from the First Aim focuses on motivation for old talk. Motivational responses were categor ized into seven categories. A lthough initially there were 225 explanations participants provided for why they engaged in old talk, nine of these explanations were dropped from analysis because they did not provide enough information for coding, when separa ted from the coded as reflecting a justification motivation for engaging in old talk engag ement, 70 responses
36 or 32.4% were coded as reflecting an ipsative motivation, that is motivated by the desire to compare oneself with oneself from a previous time, 31 motivational responses or 14.4% were coded as motivation to describe a personal experienc e, 15 motivational responses or 6.9% were coded as motivated by self stereotyping, based on stereotypical assumptions about age, 17 motivational responses or 7.9% were coded as motivation to compare oneself with others, similar to a contrast effect, 7 moti vational responses or 3.2% were coded as motivation to state a fact, 2 motivational responses or 0.9% were coded as motivated by a desire to minimize aging, and 14 responses were coded as reflecting more than one motivational category. These motivational categories were also sub divided. Within the justification category, which spanned first second third and four recalled incidents, the most represented subcategory was classified as physical decline (20 incidents; 32.8% of the justification category) followed by pain (16 incidents; 26.2% of the justification category). Within the ipsative category, which spanned first second and third recalled incidents, the most frequently reported subcategory involved comparisons with previous physical performan ces (37 incidents; 52.9% of the ipsative category). Within the personal experiences sub categories, which also spanned first second and third recalled incidents, the most represented descriptions were of pain (8 incidents; 25.8% of the personal experie nces category). The self stereotype category also spanned first second third and four recalled incidents and was most strongly represented by the physical decline and pain subcategory (9 incidents; 60% of the self stereotype category). The remaining motivational response categories, namely to state a fact, to compare with others, and to minimize ageing, were uniform categories and contained few incidents. Thus these three categories were not further classified into subcategories. For verbatim inciden t examples of incidents judged to belong to motivational categories and subcategories please see Tables 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Another
37 2 test was run, this time to assess the possible relationship between recall order and motivational responses see Table 10 There was no statistically significant association between motivational category and incident order 2 ( 14 N = 21 4 ) = 1 1 19 p = 6 7 A final 2 test was run to assess the possible relationship between number of incidents and motivational responses. There was no statistically significant association between motivational category and whether a participant recalled only one or more th an one incident, 2 ( 7 N = 216 ) = 9 53 p = 22 Again, given the exploratory nature of this investigation, the following section will detail motivational category and subcategory frequencies and percents as a function of the order in which incidents wer e recalled, first, second, third, or fourth. T he seven motivational categories participants used during the first recalled statements to describe why they engaged in old talk were (a) ipsative, comparing themselves with previous performance (18.1% of the s ample and 31.7% of the first incidents), (b) justification serving as justification for old talk engagement (14% of the sample and 24.6% of the first incidents), (c) to describe personal experiences (9.6% of the sample and 16.8% of the first incidents), (d ) to compare oneself with others in line with the contrast effect (4.4% of the sample and 7.8.% of the first incidents), (e) self stereotyping based on stereotypical assumptions about age (4.1% of the sample and 7.2% of the first incidents), (f) to state a fact (2.4% of the sample and 4.2% of the first incidents), and (g) to minimize aging (0.7% of the sample and 1.2% of the first incidents). The remainder of the classified incidents (3.8% of the sample and 6.6% of the first incidents) contained information classified within multiple categories and is included in the following subcategories. For the first motivational statements, the most prevalent motivational subcategory within the ipsative category was physical (11.3% of the sample and 55% of the first i psative category;
38 most prevalent first statement ipsative motivation al subcategory was general comparison to self (4.1% of the sample and 20.0% of the first ipsative subcategories contained fewer than five motivation incidents and included: statement of age (1.7% of the sample and 8.3% of the first ipsative social/partying/staying out late (1.7% of the sample and 8.3% of the first ipsative category; e.g., ill feel energetic decline (1.0% of the sample and 5.0% of the first ipsative good as it used to be. I have to write more stuff dow self (0.3% of the sample and 1.7% of the first ipsative I was worried about how and use of mu ltiple ipsative subcategories (0.3% of the sample and 1.7% of the first ipsative are different I have lost memory and due to arthritus I haven't been able t o move the way that I Within the second major category of justification motivation the most prevalent subcategory involved physical decline (4.8% of the sample and 27.5% of the first justification prevalent subcategory involved pain (4.4% of the sample and 25.5% of the first justification
39 my knees and hips prevented me from springing up off the than 10 motivation incidents and were : memory decline (2.7% of the sample and 15.7% of the first justific ation (1.4.% of the sample and 7.8% of the first justification justif ication category; e.g., the first justification slow processing (0.3.% of the sample and 2.0% of the first justification withdrawal (0.3.% of the sample and 2.0% of the first justification er (0.3.% of the sample and 2.0% of the first justification and general justification (1.0% of the sample and 5.9% of the first justification The final justification subcategor y clearly points at the extrinsic motivation unde rlying this category, the subcategory of help seeking (0.7.% of the sample and 3.9% of the first justification Examining the third major category in which participants used old talk to describe personal experience the most prevalent motivational subcategory for the first statements involved pain (2.4% of the sample and 26.9% of the first desc ribe personal experience
40 than five motivation incidents and were as follows : general physical sensations (1.4% of the sample and 15.4% of the first describe personal experience describe personal experience and 7.7% of the first describe personal experience sensation (0.7% of the sample and 7.7% of the first describe personal experience category e.g., neral emotional sensation (1.0% of the sample and 11.5% of the first describe personal experience personal experience In the fourth major motivational category self stereotyping based on stereotypical assumptions about age the most prevalent subcategory by far described pain or physical decline (2.4% of the sample and 63.6% of the first stereotyping self stereotyping conditions subcategories only contained one incident each and included: fatigue and sleep issues (.3% of the sample and 9.1% of the first stereotyping and 9.1% of the first stereotyping modeling (.3% of the sample and 9.1% of the first stereotyping first stereotyping dge that the memory is weaker with
41 As described above, t hree categories were not broken down into subcategories, as they appeared to be unified E xamples and further explanation of these categories will be provided in this section The largest uni fied category was the use of old talk to compare oneself with others or when this to minimize aging since there are only two motivation incidents in this category during the first incident coding I will share them in here in that these were not also incidents, which did not describe old talk, the phrases were reexamined, however both incidents met the set criteria for classification as old ta lk Further examining the motivational incidents, 14% of the sample reported remembering a second incident. These second incidents appeared to follow the roughly the same trend with the justification category (5.5% of the sample and 39.0% of the second in cidents) slightly more prominent than the ipsative category (5.1% of the sample and 36.6% of the second incidents). The remaining motivational categories used were less represented in the second motivational incidents e.g. to describe a personal experienc es (1.0% of the sample and 7.3% of the second incidents), self stereotyping (0.7% of the sample and 4.9% of the second incidents), to compare oneself with others in line with the contrast effect (1.0% of the sample and 7.3% of the second incidents) and mot ivation incidents coded in multiple subcategories (1.0% of the sample and 7.3% of the second incidents). Two categories, motivation to state a fact and motivation to
42 minimize aging were not present in the second motivational incidents. Of the represente d categories physical decline (1.4% of the sample and 23.5% of the second justification category) remained one of the most prevalent subcategories within justification Other subcategories within justification category included memory (1.4% of the sample and 23.5% of the second justification category) and pain (0.7% of the sample and 11.8% of the second justification category). The remaining subcategories of fatigue, slow processing, social withdrawal, help seeking and other all included one incident (each 0.3% of the sample and 5.9% of the second justification category). Within the ipsative category the general subcategory (2.0% of the sample and 37.5% of the second ipsative category) o ccurred more frequently than the physical subcategory (1.4% of the sam ple and 25% of the second ipsative category). The following ipsative subcategories were also present : memory (1.0% of the sample and 18.8% of the second ipsative category), statement of age (0.7% of the sample and 12.5% of the second ipsative category) and partying/social/staying out late (0.3% of the sample and 6.3% of the second ipsative category). Only three incidents of the motivation category to describe personal experience (each 0.3% of the sample and 33.3% of the second personal experience category) existed in the second motivational incident falling in to the subcategories of pain, general physical sensation, and other. Finally, within the second self stereotype category pain and physical decline remain the most dominant (0.7% of the sample and 50 % of the second self stereotype category) with the sub categories of sense decline and fatigue and sleep issues also being represented (each 0.3% of the sample and 33.3% of the second self stereotype category). Only 2.4% of the participants reported rememb ering a third motivational incident. The four categories of justification (1.0% of the sample), ipsative (0.7% of the sample) motivation to compare oneself with others (0.3% of the sample), and multiple category (0.3% of the sample)
43 remained present. All o f the represented subcategories in the four categories included one incident and thus represented 0.3% of the sample, with the exception of the justification subcategory of physical decline, which had two incidents (0.7% of the sample). The justification subcategories included physical decline, pain and memory. The represented ipsative subcategories included physical and partying/social/staying out late. Finally the represented multiple category could be coded within both the self stereotype category (sl ow subtype) and the motivation to describe personal experience category (general physical sensation subtype). Two talk motivation was coded in the memory subca tegory of the justification category. The other stereotyping category, as relating to sensory decline. Specific aim 2: Explore Whether Speaker Differences and Listener Differences are Associated with D ifferences in the Number of Old Talk Incident, Old Talk Phrase Categories, and Old Talk Motivational Categories. Prior to exploring the S econd A im regarding the relationship between speaker differences and listener differences and old talk statistical as sumptions were checked for each variable to be included in the analysis. A table containing the variables used in R esearch Q uestion Two may be found in Table 1 1 These include speaker age, gender, aging knowledge, race/ethnicity, number of old talk incide nts listener age, listen gender, number of listeners, relationship of listeners, mental phrase category, physical phrase category, social phrase category, justification motivation category, ipsative motivation category, motivation to compare with others c ategory, motivation to state a fact category, self stereotype motivation category and minimizing aging category All of these variables were normal ly distribut ed (skewness or kurtosis under +/ 2.0 as outlined by Field 2005) y and number of listeners Although skewed the current study roughly mirrors the United States
44 population estimate in the year data w ere collected (please see T able 4 1 2 f or a comparison based on 2008 US census information). A reciprocal transformation was performed on the number of listeners as recommended in Field (2005) for positively skewed data This transformation resulted in skewness and kurtosis values lower than +/ 2.0. Four of the dichotomous motivation variable cat egories (motivation to compare with others, motivation to state a fact, self stereotype motivation and motivation to minimizing aging) and one of the phrase variable categories (social category) were unacceptabl y skewed, and/or kurtotic, and/or produced a n extremely uneven split (greater than 90 10) and thus were not used in subsequent analysis ( see Tabachnick & Fidell, 1996). Research Question 2a. Are the speaker differences of age, gender, aging knowledge, and race/ethnicity related to number of old t alk incidents, phrase incident categories and motivational incident categories? Given the exploratory nature of this dissertation, a stepwise multiple regression was used (Wright 1997, p. 181) to explore the S econd A F irst R esearch Q uestion regarding the effects of speaker differences ( age, gender, race, and aging knowledge ) on the number of incidents participants report. Homoscedasticity and multicollinearity assumptions were tested and found not to have been violated Age was the only significant pr edictor of number of incidents ( F (1,282) =19.14, p < .001) and accounted for 6.4% of the variance. Hierarchal and forced entry regressions were also conducted but did not improve upon the model resulting from stepwise regression. Follow up analysis also r evealed a curvilinear relationship in wh ich age predicted the n umber of old talk incidents (F (3,282) = 9.38 p < .001) account ing for 9.1 % of the variance. The l inear effect was statistically significant and revealed that younger adults reported less old talk than older adults. Th is linear effect is qualified by a statistically significant curvilinear effect (Figure 1) This curvilinear effect can be understood as compris ing two upward
45 linear trends, one from teens to adults under 40 and another from adu oldest sampled adults. Given the nonsignificant 2 regarding order of incidents, outlined above, only the first phrase was used when examining speaker and listener characteristics on both phrase and motivational categories. I nde pendent t test s were used to examin e speaker differences (age and ageing knowledge) in the remaining phrase categories (mental and physical) and motivational categories ( justification, personal experience and ipsative ). Comparing mental to other phrases r evealed a significant difference in age ( t (1, 160 ) = 3. 42 p < .01) with those in the mental category ( M =4 8 75 S D = 15.54 ) older than the other categories ( M = 38 .7 0 S D =1 5 15 ) There was also a significant difference in aging knowledge ( t (1, 161) = 2.43 p < 05 ) with those in the mental category ( M =31 97 S D = 3.66 ) more knowledgeable than in other categories ( M =30 09 S D = 4.14). Comparing the physical category to the other phrase categorie s revealed a significant difference in age ( t (1, 160 ) = 2. 51 p < .0 5) with t hose in the physical categories younger ( M = 38 5 3, S D =1 4 92 ) than other categories ( M =4 4 89 S D = 16 46 ) However there were no significant differences in aging knowledge when comparing the physical category to the others ( t (1, 161 ) = 1.87 p = 06 ) When examining speaker differences in the motive categories, there were no differences between the justification motivational category and the others concerning age ( t (1, 158 ) = 1.67 p = 10 ), or aging knowledge ( t (1, 159 ) = 1 08 p = 28 ). There wer e no significant speaker age differences in either ipsative ( t (1, 158 ) = 44 p = 66) or personal experience motivations ( t (1, 158 ) = 82 p = 41). T here were also no significant speaker aging knowledge differences in either ipsative ( t (1, 159 ) = 77 p = 45) or personal experience motivations ( t (1, 159 ) = 14 p = 89). A series of 2 test w as used to examin e the relationship between the remaining speaker differences of gender and race, phrase categories (mental and
46 physical) and motivational cate gories ( justification, personal experience and ipsative ). An examination of the expected frequency counts revealed that the speaker difference of race failed to meet the assumption that expected frequency counts would be above 5 (Field, 2005). In order to include racial information in the current dissertation race was transformed into a dichotomous variable (People of Color vs. white/European American). For a fuller explanation please see the limitations section. There was only one significant association between dichotomized race and justification motivation category 2 ( 1 N = 159 ) = 3 93 p < 05. Based on the odds ratio this seems to represent that those in the justification motivation category are 3.35 time more likely to be white rather than people of color. Race was not found to be significantly associated with the mental category, 2 ( 1 N = 161 ) = 11 p = 74, physical category 2 ( 1 N = 161 ) = 12 p = 73, personal experience motivation category 2 ( 1 N = 159 ) = 03 p = 88, or the ipsative motiva tion category 2 ( 1 N = 159 ) = 26 p = .61. There was only one significant association between gender and the physical phrase category 2 ( 1 N = 162 ) = 5 10 p < 05. This seems to represent the fact that based on the odds ratio when compared to the othe r categories, those in the physical category are 2.53 times more likely to be male than female. Gender was not found to be significantly associated with the mental category, 2 ( 1 N = 162 ) = 64 p = 42, justification motivation category 2 ( 1 N = 160 ) = 1 34 p = 25, personal experience motivation category 2 ( 1 N = 160 ) = 1 62 p = 21, or the ipsative motivation category 2 ( 1 N = 160 ) = 02 p = 1.00. Research Question 2b. Are listener age, gender, number of listeners, and the relationship of listen motivational incident categories? A series of 2 test s were used to explore the S econd A S econd R esearch question involving the relationship between three of the acteristics (age, gender, and
47 relationship to the participant), phrase categories (mental and physical) and motivational categories ( justification, personal experience, and ipsative ). Upon examination of the expected frequency counts it was found that som e analyses failed to meet the assumption that expected frequency counts would be above 5 (Field, 2005). For this reason none of the analysis examining experience categories will be reported. There was only a significant association between the 2 ( 3 N = 132 ) = 9 20 p < 05. What Table 13 reveals is that participants reported using the justification category frequently whe n the audience was comprised of younger people and infrequently when the audience was exclusively comprised of people their own age or included people their own age. Exclusively older audiences apparently justification. There was no significant association found between listener age and the physical phrase category 2 ( 3 N = 133 ) = 1.75 p = 63, or with the ipsative motivational category 2 ( 3 N = 132 ) = 1 41 p = 70 Examining the listener characteristic of gender revealed that there were no significant gender differences in the mental category of 2 ( 2 N = 140 ) = 1 20 p = 55 the physical category 2 ( 2 N = 140 ) = 2 12 p = 35 the justification motivation category 2 ( 2 N = 139 ) = 03 p = 99 the personal experience motivation category 2 ( 2 N = 139 ) = 56 p = 76 or the ipsative motivational category 2 ( 2 N = 139 ) = 3 58 p = 17 The 2 analyses were followed by a series of independent t tests to explore the relationship between the last listener characteristic of number of listeners, phrase categories (mental and physical) and motivational categories ( justification, personal experience, and ipsative There were no significant difference in number of people reported to have been listening to the participant with regard to phrase categories: mental ( t (1, 143 ) = 0. 91 p = 36; physical ( t (1, 143 ) = 0. 6 8 p = 50 ) Nor did the motivational categories; personal experience ( t
48 (1, 142 ) = 0. 65 p = 70 ) ; justification ( t (1, 142 ) = 0. 82 p = 41 ) ; ipsative ( t (1, 142 ) = 1 67 p = 10).
49 Table 4 1. Physical phrase subcategories and incident examples. Su bcategory Phrase Situation Experiencing Pain My knees hurt I've been training for a marathon, and I guess I overtrained and am suffering injuries in my knees. I was talking to a friend, and I said the above phrase. Decrease in Stamina used to. speaking with my younger cousin about his 5k runing times. Experiences of Fatigue getting old. i was very tired from waking up early and went to sleep early that evening Experiences of Stiffn ess/ Loss of Flexibility i was at work and dropped some paper on the floor Changes in Appearance Look at my gray hair. I am getting old! My students were pointing out that I have a lot of gray hair and I had to admit that my hair is different than it used to be. Loss of Strength I used to, I must be getting old. I was trying to clean the carport and some of the boxes seemed much heavier and more bulky than when I put them there a year ago. Th ere was a lot of moaning and groaning, taking time outs, holding my back or hips while I straightened out. Decline in One of the Senses eyes are getting worse. I am old. I was doing a crossword puzzle and realized I couldn' t read the fine print very well in the poor lighting. Decrease in Speed walking from one location to another and I told the student that so we could walk Experiences of Fragility I said, "Oh, my bones just aren't what they used to be," I stated this as I bent to pick up my neice. She had fallen, and as I rushed to pick her up I heard a bone or something in my knee pop, and the same happened in my back as I bent General Physical Decline It is a bitch getting ol d, old age is not a blessing sex but if i take a few tokes off a joint i am like a young man again, or i will sit around all day doing nothing as i use to walk alot and go boating but if i take a few tokes i can walk the golf course come back and swim in the pool and listen to music and enjoy it as if
50 Table 4 2 Mental phrase subcategories and incident examples Table 4 3 Social phrase subcategories and incident examples. Subcategory Phrase Situation Memory and Recall remember this...I am having a senior moment. Tr ying to describe a story where I cannot remember the names... Reminiscing I remember the good old I work with children in their homes. Their schedules are not like they were in the good old days. Every moment is filled and there is not free time. Slow Processing an old lady. fellow working explaining a new process Lack of Motivation I could do this when I was younger I was helping a branch manager load upgrade some computer software and we ran into a lot of hardware gli tches. When I was younger, I thrived on that kind of challenge. Now, it just seems more trouble than it is worth. I don't have that kind of drive. My mind is not as sharp and I feel a bit more nervous that I won't be able to solve the problem. I felt du mb. I have never been that. Subcategory Phrase Situation Decreases in Stamina when I was young. in a bar with my girlfriend and her sister. Social Compariso n Being surrounded by younger energetic people made me feel old. My friend and I were talking while drving on a long car trip. We were talking about going to concerts. We were saying that we feel very old when we go to see certain bands and see all the y oung energetic people there. It reminds us of what we used to be like. We each described a specific concert we were at that made us feel old. General that. I was going to grab a bite to eat with some friends and the first ch oice place was crowded, with a line out the door w/ college kids. We opted for the nearly empty place just a few buildings down.
51 Table 4 4 Phrase Categories Chi Squared Test. Recalled Incident Position Phrase Category Total Mental Physical Socia l 1 st 35 (15.8%) 109 (49.1%) 24 (10.8%) 16 8 2 nd 11 (5.0%) 29 (13.1%) 7 (3.2%) 47 3 rd 2 (.9%) 5 (2.3%) 0 (.0%) 7 Table 4 5 Ipsative motivation subcategories and incident examples. Subcategory Motivation Physical Because I realized it was my body that could no longer comfortably do something I had been doing for years. General Comparison to Self Because it didn't happen when I ws younger. Statement of Age Because I am 58 with a birthday coming in less than a month and I cannot be lieve how old I feel. Social/Partying/Staying out Late When I was younger, I was able to party lots of nights in a row and I would still feel energetic and healthy. Now, even one night of partying makes me very tired the next day. Memory Decline My mem ory isn't as good as it used to be. I have to write more stuff down now in order to remember. Fear of Future Self I was worried about how long this prosthetic work would last because as I get older I don't think I could handle my fear. Multiple Subcateg ories Since I turned 58 or so I feel that I have noticed several changes in my life that are different I have lost memory and due to arthritus I haven't been able to move the way that I used to in my younger years. I have also had several strokes that hav e affected my memory.
52 Table 4 6 Justification motivation subcategories and incident examples. Subcategory Motivation Physical Decline As an explanation as to why I was hobbling around. Pain Stiffness and pain in my knees and hips prevented me f rom springing up off the rock, rather I groaned and grunted to get up. Memory Decline As justification for not remembering names. Sensory Loss As justification for my weak hearing. Fatigue To account for my lethargy. Socially Inappropriate Behavior That I have earned to speak how I think, off color or not. Slow Processing I could not think of a good retort during conversation. Social Withdrawal home and sleep. Appear ance Because my hair was changing. General Some kind of rationalization the incident. Help Seeking To elicit help inj remembering to retrieve the packages. Table 4 7 Motivation to Describe Personal Experience subcategories and incident examples. Table 4 8 Self Stereotyping motivation subcategories and incident examples. Subcategory Motivation Pain I was in pain General Physical Sensations All my bones go snap, crackle and pop, when I get up. Memory I was forgetful Fatigue I was tired. General Social Sensation We had both been very active with the child all da y. General Emotional Sensation depressed and frustrated Other Due to the way technology has advanced. Subcategory Motivation Pain or Physical Decline because old peop le ache when the pressure changes Fatigue and Sleep Issues i was tired very early in the evening, similar to how older people go to sleep early Frailness Because as you age your bones get brittle. Modeling Because I remembe my parents saying the same thing. Memory It is a common knowledge that the memory is weaker with age.
53 Table 4 9 Remaining Motivation categories and incident examples. C ategory Motivation Compare Oneself with Others ior when this kid was born. To State a Fact Because its true! To Minimize Aging I never refer to being old, just older. And that's in general. Table 4 10. Motivation Categories Chi Squared Test. Incident Position Motivational Category Justifi cation Personal Experience Ipsative To Compare with Others 1 st 40 (18.7%) 28 (13.1%) 53 (24.8%) 13 (6.1%) 2 nd 16 (7.5%) 3 (1.4%) 15 (7.0%) 3 (1.4%) 3 rd 3 (1.4%) 0 (.0%) 2 (.9%) 1 (.5%) Table 4 10. Continued Incident Position Motivational Categ ory Total To State a Fact Self Stereotype To Minimize Aging Multiple Categories 1 st 7 (3.3%) 12 (5.6%) 2 (.9%) 11 (5.1%) 166 2 nd 0 (.0%) 2 (.9%) 0 (.0%) 2 (.9%) 41 3 rd 0 (.0%) 0 (.0%) 0 (.0%) 1 (.5%) 7 Table 4 11 Descriptive Statistics N Mean Std. Deviation Skewness Kurtosis Statistic Statistic Statistic Statistic Std. Error Statistic Std. Error Number of Old Talk Incidents 293 0.77 0.80 0.99 0.14 1.10 0.28 Age 286 38.69 15.78 0.46 0.14 0.96 0.29 Gender 287 1.25 0.43 1.18 0.14 0.62 0.29 Race 284 1.87 1.88 2.28 0.15 4.01 0.29 KASTotal 288 30.24 4.07 0.03 0.14 0.69 0.29 Listener Age 135 2.09 1.14 .56 .21 1.16 .41 Listener Gender 142 2.07 .83 .13 .20 1.54 .40 Number of Listeners 162 15.66 157.11 12.67 .19 161.00 .38
54 Table 4 11 Continued N Mean Std. Deviation Skewness Kurtosis Statistic Statistic Statistic Statistic Std. Error Statistic Std. Error Relationship of Listeners 123 2.96 1.65 .57 .22 .85 .43 Mental Phrase Category 166 1.79 .41 1.45 .19 .10 .37 Phys ical Phrase Category 166 1.35 .48 .63 .19 1.62 .37 Social Phrase Category 166 1.86 .35 2.06 .19 2.27 .37 Justification Motivation Category 166 1.76 .43 1.22 .19 .51 .38 Ipsative Motivation Category 166 1.68 .47 .78 .19 1.41 .38 Motivation to Des cribe Personal Experience 166 1.83 .38 1.79 .19 1.20 .38 Motivation to Compare with others Category 166 1.92 .27 3.17 .19 8.13 .38 Motivation to State a Fact 166 1.96 .20 4.598 .19 19.37 .38 Self Stereotype Motivation Category 166 1.93 .26 3.33 .19 9.22 .38 Minimizing Aging Category 166 1.99 .11 9.03 .19 80.45 .38
55 Table 4 12 Racial/Ethnic comparison between the current sample and 2008 US census information white or European America n b lack or African America n America n Indian and Alaska Native Asian or Asian America n Native Hawaiian And Other Pacific Islander Multi Racial (Two or more Races) Other Latino/a Or Hispanic America n* National 79.8% 12.8% 1% 4.4% 0.2% 1.7% No Data 15.4% Current Sample 75.9% 4.9% 0.7% 3.2% 1.4% 3.9% 3.9% 6 .3% *Note: In the current sample Individual were able to select Latino/a or Hispanic American or another category. In the provided national census data individuals were asked to identify either Latino/a or Hispanic American or Not Latino/a or Hispanic Ame rican then identify a separate racial category. Table 4 13. Listener Age Differences in Justification Motivation Old talk Motivation Category Age Compare to Participant Total Younger Same Age Mixed Age Older Justification 20 (35.7%) 4 (12.9%) 2 ( 9.5%) 8 (33.3%) 34 Other 36 (64.3%) 27 (87.1%) 19 (90.5%) 16 (66.7%) 98
56 Figure 4 1. Visual representation of the linear and curvilinear relationship between age and number of old talk incidents.
57 CHAPTER 6 DISCUSSION Review of Study Findings The main purpose of this dissertation was to explore the prevalence and organization of old talk Previous research (Levy, 2001; Palmore, 2001), has documented high levels of ageism and the repercussions of this ageism (e .g., shorter life spans and decreased quality of life for older adults in American culture (Levy, Ashman, & Dror, 2000a). However, no published research to directed ageist statements or the motivation for engaging in such behavior. The present study f ills this gap in the extant literature by examining self referential ageist verbal behavior or old talk in adults across the lifespan. T he study of old sema ntic representations of ageism and better documentation of old talk may provide enhanced insight regarding this potentially damaging and limiting unconscious internalization of ageism. R egard ing the first specific aim, more than half of the sample reporte d engaging in old talk with participant s reporting as many as four specific incidents. Participants not only engaged in negative, self largely to explain self perceived physical, social, and mental decline. The largest group of participants reporting that they engaged in old talk reported engaging in old talk to explain physical limitations. Within this category of physical limitations, pain and loss of stamina were the largest subcatego ries. Given this finding, future research should further examine the relationship between subjective age and pain perception and other subjective experiences of physical decline The second largest group of old talk users were judged to use old talk to d escribe mental decline, genera lly instances of forgetfulness. Because increased memory loss is believed to be a sign of geriatric depression or disease and not normal aging (Milisen, Braes, Fick & Foreman, 2005),
58 future research should also assess the rel ationship between depression disease, and use of old talk The final category of old talk users engaged in old talk to discuss social decline, with the most frequently represented subcategory being social comparison and social stamina. According to the social withdrawal is also believed to be symptomatic of depression (1994), thus providing further impetus for future research assess ing the relationship between depres sion and the use of old talk. Seven participant generated motivation s for Given that majority of the sample, 60% percent, fell into the ipsative and justification motivations these categories will be described within the follo wing section. The largest group of old talk motivations was ipsative (Latin ipse = he, himself) is suggested as a convenient one for designating scale units relative to other measurements on the p. 294). In the current study ipsative motivation refers to motivation to own prior performance. Given these findings, future research should examine if manipulation of performance over time produces old talk. The second largest group of old talk users identified a justification motivation for their behavior I n the current dissertation those who reported having justification motivation did so to justify or excuse some behavior they were engaging in prom pting them to use old talk. Previous research found that individuals are motivated to make excuses in an effort to maintain a sense of control and positive self image (Snyder & Higgins, 1988). This motivation may have very real benefits such as decreases in anxiety and hostility (Mehlman & Snyder, 1985). Old talk users in the justification category maybe using old talk control others perceptions of them, i.e. labeling themselves as old before others are able to. Additionally along these lines, old talk ser ves a very real and very concrete function. Namely, that as people grow older or experience self perceived,
59 age related changes, engaging in old talk provides a built in schema (or perhaps excuse). The at otherwise occur when people are actively attempting to understand the causes of their current behavior. Old talk provides ready research should examine the effec tiveness of excuses for old talk, as well as the effects of being exposed to old talk as an excuse. With the exception of justification, personal experience and ipsative categories, many of these groups contained too few participants to include in an analy sis future research should further explore these motivational categories. Upon examination of speaker and listener differences in old talk and old talk motivation, speaker age was found to be significantly related to number of old talk incidents. Although this was a linear trend, an interesting point occurred at age 23, when the number of people in the sample who reported engaging in old talk first exceeded those who reported denying old talk engagement. This shift to engage in old talk, at or around age 2 3, corresponds with a self identity shift from adolescence to adulthood discussed by psychologists (see Kroger, 2006 for a literature review). Future research should examine the hypothesis that the start of old talk generally coincides with this life trans ition. Some individuals engaged in old talk as early as age 18), so future research should also examine whether the motives of young old talkers mirrors that of other old talk users. For example, do these young old talk users continue to use old talk at t he same rate throughout their lives, do they have the same motives across time, is their early use of old talk response to different situational factors than their later use of old talk? One potential explanation for younger nutrient experiences to flow through [ones ego boundaries]...The person with a healthy insul ation
60 p. 361). In other words old talk in younger adults, may constitute a protective strategy to insulate against fears of aging and death and could thereby open up younge r people who engage in it to the experience of aging. There was also a curvilinear trend between age and number of old talk incidents This curvilinear trend can be understood as comprising two upward linear trends one from teen to the late thirties and another from the forties to old age. One way to understand this curvilinear relationship between old talk incidents and participant age is to think of the first linear trend a s representing the time participants have lived and the other as representing t heir time left to live. elapsed time to gauging it by expected remaining time reportedly starts around middle age (Carstensen, 2006). With regard to phrase category, the mental category was favored by older speaker s, whereas the physical category was favored by men and younger speaker s One explanation for this finding is that people expect and/or notice physical decline earlier than mental decline. Alternatively, it may be that men and younger adults a re more threatened by and therefore engage in more old talk about physical decline, whereas perhaps older adults are more threatened by and therefore engage in more old talk about mental decline. Paradoxically, those who reported using old talk judged to be in the mental category were significantly more knowledgeable about aging than those reporting old talk judged to represent other categories. At least for the mental category, factors other than ignorance regarding aging are likely to account s use of old talk, such as the fulfillment of cultural expectations. Yet another perspective on this finding is that people who value intellectual pursuits may be both more likely to focus their old talk on mental events, because such events are important to them, and to have
61 attended to information that would better inform them about the facts on aging, again, because gaining knowledge is important to them. It is interesting to note that aging knowledge was significantly related only to mental old talk. Kn owing about aging appeared to have no effect on other forms of old talk, consistent with the valuing of intellectual pursuits explanation for the relationship between mental old talk and aging knowledge. Future research should explore this finding further by directly examining the relationship between old talk and the degree to which participants hold ageist beliefs using a validated measure of ageis t beliefs Analyses also indicate differing motivations for old talk motivations as a function of particip ant race and age of listeners. Those who reported having justification motivations tend ed both to be white and to have younger listeners. This may suggest that those who use the justification motivation feel that they are experiencing more status during th ese interactions which is inline with the status between excuse making and social status found t hat those with higher status were blamed less and further suggests that status becomes more salient at informal encounters (Ungar, 1981). Old talk, which is an informal statement about age, appears motivated by justification when users perceive themselves to be in a place of privilege, with regards to either white or age. Future research is necessary to confirm this finding and to better understand the intersections of identity that inevitably occur with age. Given the unequal motivational categories only justification, personal experience, and ipsative could be analyzed. Future research is warranted to better understand how these motivational categories are related to age and other demographics, which would allow a more complete understanding of this phen omenon.
62 Limitations of the Study Despite the attempts to produce a diverse sample by use of on line sampling, the current studies should examine community bas es samples, including subsamples of individuals who lack computer access. Additionally, despite attempts by the author to recruit older adults only 16 participants in the current study were older adults over the age of 65. Future research should examine ol d talk Although the current study mirrors national racial/ethnic demographics, there w ere i nsufficient numbers of non white participants to compare old talk across each racial/ethnic group. On the other hand, the exploratory nature of the study permits wider latitude in analysis, so that future investigations in this new area may be informed maximally. Therefore, despite misgivings about grouping all non white participants together, and recogniz ing the vast variability both between and within these racial/ethnic groups, I tested whether old talk incidents, categories of old talk phrase, and categories of old talk motivation differed as a function of whether participants were white or non white (w hich included the 25% of participants who identifi ed as African American, Latino/a, Asian American Indians, Pacific Islander, Multiracial and other ) This is not an optimal solution because important racial/ethnic differences are obscured; so the results should be interpreted with caution Likewise, the source of any statistically significant effects will await future research that can analyze racial/ethnic groups separately Therefore, f uture research examining racial/ethnic diversity in old talk through larger and more diverse sample s is strongly encouraged. Future Directions In addition to the future directions already discussed several specific areas for future research will be suggested next below. Given that the current study found that the reported
63 motivation for a lot of old talk was rooted in stereotypes regarding older adults f uture research should further examine the relationships between old talk usage and stereotypical view s of older adults. The focus should be on those who engage in old talk old talk using phrases and motivations that reflect stereotypes about older adults. Another future direction for research could expand on the notion of stereotypes by assessing whether they strengthen ageist beliefs increase death anxiety, and how overhe ard stereotype driven old talk might affect listeners, compared to old talk without stereotypical comments. A lthough there is a documented tendency to focus predominately on the negative aspects ( Palmore, 1999 ) of aging, f uture research should expand the current research to include positive self aging speech. Given research in other cultures on elder respect ( Sung, 2001 ) it is hypothesized that such a positive subset of old talk may be present even if it is culturally constrained. Conclusion statement in which participants labeled themselves as old, regardless of chronological age, was reported by over half of the participants Although participants had up to five opportunities to recall old talk incidents the largest number of incidents reported by any one participant was four. T he phrases used by individuals to engage in old talk appeared to judges to reflect three categories physical, mental and social. The single largest numbe r of participant responses were in the physical category Responses placed in this category typically discussed physical decline and pain, as well as, feeling old. The mental category was the second largest P articipants in this category nearly always desc ribed old talk that re f l ec t ed memory decline. The social category was marked by old talk reflecting social comparison s and concern with decrease d social stamina. Categorization of
64 the self reported motivations for engaging in old talk re sulted in judges d eveloping seven categories ( 1) ipsative motivation, (2) justification motivation, (3) motivation to describe a personal experience, (4) motivation to compare oneself with others, (5) self stereotyp ing motivation, (6) motivation to state a fact, and (7) motivation to minimizing aging. ) The largest two categories of motivation ipsative and justification together accounted for more than half of the total motivations provided by participants S peaker age was found to be significantly related to the numbe r of old talk incidents reported, both linearly and c urvil inear ly Speaker age was also related to types of old talk and the motivations for old talk that participants reported Those whose self reported old talk incidents reflected the mental ph r ase and justification categor ies were older than participants whose reported old talk reflected other categories. Additionally those whose old talk reflected the physical categor y were both younger and more likely to be male than those whose old talk reflected oth er phrase categories. When listener characteristics were examined, those who reported motivations reflecting the justification category were more likely both to be white and to have younger listeners than participants whose responses reflected other motiva tional categories. Overall, the current study serves not only to document th e phenomenon of old talk, but also to initiate exploration regarding how and why individuals engage in the behavior that reflects and reinforces age ist messages.
65 APPENDIX A COPY O F OLD TALK PROTOCOL Please look back and reflect on a situation in which you mentione d the fact that you felt as If so please complete the following: 1. Can you remember specific instances when this occurred? 2. If so, please describe each separate instance that you can recall in detail with the following information : a. Begin with the most recent instance and describe only those in which you remember the situation. b. Provide the date the instance occurred. c. Which phrase did you use? d. Briefly describe the situation. e. How many males and/or females were present ? What was your relationship to them? And what was their approximate age? f. Indicate why you believe you said the phrase for each instance. *If there is more than one instance, please complete as many incident reports as you need.
66 APPENDIX B KNOWLEDG E OF AGING QUESTIONN AIRE 1. There are more old widowed women than old widowed men in the United States. 2. Lung diseases are the number one cause of death among the elderly. 3. Of the elderly who live in the community, a majority of them live with one of their children. 4. Retirement is not a very difficult experience for almost all old people. 5. Among young adults, you find a great many personality types, but there are relatively fe w personality types among old people. 6. The prevalence of vision and hearing impairments increases greatly with age. 7. An older person with a failing memory tends to forget long past events more so than recent ones. 8. Old individuals who are depressed and passive tend to live longer than those who are grouchy and easily upset. 9. Older adults tend to have fewer years of formal education than young adults. 10. Old people are more likely t h an young adults to have a low socio economic status 11. Mental abilities decline steadily after age 20. 12. There is a large decrease with age in the speed at which nerves in the body conduct impulses. 13. Older persons are more likely than younger ones to experience problems with sleeping. 14. Old people, especially old men, have a lower suicide rate than young people. 15. Old people are less alike than are young people 16. Due to the effects of aging and illness, there is an irreplaceable decline in the number of brain cells with age. 17. Old people generally have s lower reaction times (i.e., take longer to respond to stimulus) than younger people. 18. For those receiving it, Social Security by itself provides an adequate income for most older people. 19. Over 10% of al aged persons live in long term health care inst itutions (i.e., nursing homes, homes for the aged, mental hospitals, etc.) 20. People do not get more religious as they age. 21. Older workers are less efficient and have more on the job accidents than younger workers. 22. Modern medical science has subst antially increased both the average number of years a person is likely to live, as well as the maximum upper age limit of human life. 23. Old people pay very little for health care since Medicare covers almost all their medical expenses. 24. Studies indi cate that with increasing adult age there is a decline in sexual interest and activity. 25. One of the leading causes for admission to state ment al hospitals is mental disorder associated with old age
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75 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH story lab at the University of Florida. During her graduate school training she worked hard to become an effect ive researcher, mentor, teacher, and counselor. Her graduate training began under the mentorship of Dr. McCrae in the Sleep Research Laboratory. While research on the sleep of older adults generally fit with her career goals and allowed her to gain invalua ble experience, Ashley still felt as if something was missing. The research she conducted on ageism justice element that more closely fits her career goals. As a result she increased her research productivity, received four travel awards to present a national conference, mentored two students, and worked diligently on four projects. As a result the initial findings of her dissertation were accepted as a poster pre sentation at 2009 Gerontological Society of America (GSA) 3practice. During her graduate training she had the opportunity to not only receive valuable training and grow in her own personal awareness but to help others grow as well. Ashley was able to co facilitate an undergraduate Multiculturalism and Social Justice course which allowed students to use personal voice to have an open dialogue and respect differing perspectives on often difficult diversity topics, including racism, religious oppression, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ableism, and ageism. In closing, although her interests span research, social justice, mentoring, and clinical work, they all focus on aging. Ashley hopes to have to opportunity to continue to explore subjective aging and ageism and to spark these interests in others.