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The two faces of age identity


Weiss, David; Lang, Frieder R (2012). The two faces of age identity. GeroPsych, 25(1):5-14.

Abstract

As people grow older they develop a sense of a dual age identity, referring to their age group and generation (Weiss & Lang, 2009). Two studies (N₁ = 37, 60–85 years and N₂ = 104, 65–88 years of age) compared and contrasted older adults’ cognitive representations of two types of age cohort groups (age group vs. generation). Analyses reveal that age-group identity was more frequently associated with loss and decline, whereas generation identity was more frequently associated with positive characteristics and increased levels of agency. Findings also show that generation identity may—especially in later adulthood—serve as a means to compensate for loss. The self-protective function of the dual age identity and the dynamic and flexible nature of identification are further discussed.

Abstract

As people grow older they develop a sense of a dual age identity, referring to their age group and generation (Weiss & Lang, 2009). Two studies (N₁ = 37, 60–85 years and N₂ = 104, 65–88 years of age) compared and contrasted older adults’ cognitive representations of two types of age cohort groups (age group vs. generation). Analyses reveal that age-group identity was more frequently associated with loss and decline, whereas generation identity was more frequently associated with positive characteristics and increased levels of agency. Findings also show that generation identity may—especially in later adulthood—serve as a means to compensate for loss. The self-protective function of the dual age identity and the dynamic and flexible nature of identification are further discussed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:28 Feb 2014 08:00
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 21:42
Publisher:Hogrefe & Huber
ISSN:1662-9647
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1024/1662-9647/a000050

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