SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF COMMUNICATION AND AGING Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Language plays an important role in defining identities in older adulthood. Both self-perception and others' perceptions of older adults are reflected through language used by older and younger adults (see recent texts: de Bot & Makoni, 2005; Harwood, 2007; Hummert & Nussbaum, 2001; Nussbaum & Coupland, 2004). In this review, we outline key theoretical perspectives on the study of communication with older adults and provide evidence supporting these perspectives within the context of age stereotypes, intergenerational communication, cross-cultural communication, and health care encounters. Given that communication is an interactive process, we discuss how older adults use language and communication to respond to age stereotypes and adaptively cope with age-related losses. We also discuss communication interventions aimed at improving interactions between care providers and older adults, and opportunities that technology brings to enhance communication within and across generations.

publication date

  • March 2008