Does intergenerational contact reduce Ageism: When and How Contact Interventions Actually Work?


  • Julie Christian University of Birmingham
  • Rhiannon Turner Queen's University of Belfast
  • Natasha Holt University of Birmingham
  • Michael Larkin University of Birmingham
  • Joseph Howard Cotler University of Birmingham, England



Ageism, Contact, Intergenerational Contact, Ageism Interventions


Although the past two decades have seen concrete attempts to reduce ethnic and racial prejudice, relatively little has been done to diminish age related prejudice.  In this paper, we review intergenerational contact interventions have been applied in a real world setting, the results are mixed. While contact interventions are not a panacea, they do constitute a main plank in efforts to redress ageism. We, therefore, examine the types of interventions that are effective, the processes underlying their enhanced impact, and clarifying when and how intergenerational contact can predict more positive attitudes towards the elderly.  Finally, we highlight ways in which findings might be applied to the development of more effective interventions aimed at combating a pervasive stereotype of aging, drawing out lessons for theory and implications for practice.





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