Childhood Relationship with Mother as a Precursor to Ageism in Young Adults

  • Shelia M. Kennison
  • Jennifer Byrd-Craven


Separate lines of research have shown that a) relationships with parents in early life influence attachment and b) there is a relationship between attachment and levels of ageism in adulthood. We tested the hypothesis that parent-child relationships during childhood would be related to ageism in young adults either directly or mediated by attachment. We further hypothesized that the predictors of ageism would be similar for men and women. The results of multiple regression analyses indicated that avoidant attachment and negative mother relationship during childhood were significant predictors of ageism. Further, the relationship between negative mother relationship during childhood and ageism was partially mediated by avoidant attachment. The relationship between anxious attachment and ageism was not significant when controlling for avoidant attachment. These results indicate that social development processes occurring in early childhood predict ageism later in life.


Parent-child relationships Ageism Young adults Adult attachment 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to report in relation to the research in this report.

Supplementary material

12144_2018_9838_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (260 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 259 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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