Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 237–256 | Cite as

Juvenile ageism: Unrecognized prejudice and discrimination against the young

  • Jack C. Westman


Ageism is a form of prejudice and discrimination as virulent as racism and as pervasive as sexism. It has been described as it affects the elderly but has not been sufficiently recognized as it affects the young. Institutional juvenile ageism exists when social systems ignore the interests of children. Individual juvenile ageism exists when the developmental interests of a child are not respected. This article describes the dynamics, manifestations, and approaches to the amelioration of juvenile ageism.

Key words

Ageism prejudice discrimination child advocacy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Palmore, EB & Manton, K: Ageism compared to racism and sexism.J of Geront, 28, 363–369, 1973.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rexford, EN: Children, child psychiatry and our brave new world.Arch of Gen Psychiatry, 30, 25–37, 1969.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rothenberg, MB: Is there an unconscious national conspiracy against children in the United States?Clin Ped, 19, 15–24, 1980.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Butler, RN: Age-Ism: Another form of bigotry.The Gerontol, 9, 243–246, 1969.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry:The aged and community mental health: A guide to program development, Volume 8. New York: Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, 1971.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Select Committee on Aging, House of Representatives:Elder abuse: A Decade of Shame and Inaction. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, Comm. Pub. No. 101-752, 1990.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pollock, LA:Forgotten children: Parent-child relations from 1500 to 1900. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Montessori, M:Childhood education. Chicago, IL: Regnery, 1974.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pierce, CM & Allen, GB: Childism.Psychiatric Ann, 5, 266–270, 1975.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Westman, JC:Child Advocacy. New York: Free Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kastenbaum, RJ: Editorial: Reverse ageism: A temptation.Int J of Aging and Hum Devel, 4, 283–284, 1973.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kimmel, DC: Ageism, psychology and public policy.Am Psychol, 43, 175–178, 1988.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families:U. S. Children and Their Families: Current Conditions and Recent Trends, 1989. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1989.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    National Committee on Children:Opening doors for America's children. Washington, D.C.: National Committee on Children, 1990.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Preston, SH: Children and the elderly in the U.S.Scient Am, 251, 44–49, 1984.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Children's Defense Fund:A Vision for America's Future. Washington. DC. Children's Defense Fund, 1989.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hanley, P, Jr.: 4 cents for protecting children.The Milwaukee J, January 28, p. 23A, 1990.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Weitzman, LJ:The Divorce Revolution. New York: Free Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Danielson, R: Looking for a landmark decision: Woman waits for support to decide support case.St. Petersburg Times, January 7, p. B-1, 1990.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Genevie, L & Margolies, E:The motherhood report: How women feel about being mothers. New York: Macmillan, 1987.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mead, M: Society's problem with children. In Westman, JC (Ed.)Proceedings of the University of Wisconsin Conference on Child Advocacy. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Extension, 1976.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rhodes, WC:Behavior Threat and Community Response. New York: Behavioral Publications, 1972.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Polier, JW:Juvenile justice in double jeopardy. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, p. 159, 1989.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wiehls, L: When a child takes the witness stand: Bill proposes federal guidelines to govern testimony of children.St. Petersburg Times, January 12, 1990.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hanson R (Ed.):Institutional abuse of children and youth. New York: Haworth Press, p. 3, 1982.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rothman, BK:Recreating motherhood: Ideology and technology. New York: Norton, 1989.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Caplan, A: Imperiled newborns: Conclusion.Hastings Cent Rep, 17 (6), 30–31, 1987.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    LaFollette, H: Licensing parents.Philo & Pub Affairs, 9, 182–185, 195–196, 1980.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse:Child abuse fatalities continue to rise: The results of the 1988 Fifty States survey. Chicago, IL: National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, 1989.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Waller, AE, Baker, SP & Szocka, A: Childhood injury deaths: National analysis and geographic variations.Am J of Pub Health, 79, 310–315, 1989.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Jacoby, T: Is sterilization the answer?Newsweek, August 8, p. 59, 1988.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Clark, A: Prostitute gets seven years in death of 20-month-old son.Wis St J, November 4, 1982.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Young, EWD:Alpha and Omega. Stanford, CA: Stanford Alumni Association, 1988.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. 109 S.Ct. 3040, 1989.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Gest, T: The pregnancy police on patrol.U. S. News & World Rep, February 6, p. 50, 1989.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lewin, T: Mother vs. fetus.New York Times, January 9, 1989.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Dixon, SD: Effects of transplacental exposure to cocaine and methamphetamine on the neonate.West J of Med, 150, 436–442, 1989.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    In the Interest of J.L.W. 102 Wis Zd 118, 1981.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Associated Press: Baby-swap dad: Ordeal hurt his girl.Wi St J, November 23, pp. 4–5A, 1989.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Bremner, RH:Children & youth in America: A documentary history, Volume II, 1866–1932, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 666–725, 1971.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    U.S. Department of Labor: Department of Labor Operation Childwatch uncovers child-labor violations. Press Release, March 15, 1990.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Bremmer, op cit,Children & youth in America: A documentary history, Volume II, 1866–1932, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 1420–1429, 1971.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    U.S. Department of Education:Youth indicators-1988. Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, pp. 67–69, 1988.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Bremmer, op cit, U.S. Department of Education:Youth indicators-1988. Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, p. 189, 1988.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Bremmer, op cit, U.S. Department of Education:Youth indicators-1988. Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, p. 216–219, 1988.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Schene, PA: Interventions in child abuse and neglect. In Westman, JC (Ed.)Who speaks for the children? Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Exchange, 1991.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Prince v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts 321 US 158 (170), 1944.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Walker v. Superior Court. 253 CA Reporter 1, 19, 1988.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Cates, W. Jr., & Toomey, KE: Sexually transmitted diseases.Prim Care, 17, 1–27, 1990.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Gershon, AA: Immunization practices in children.Hosp Pract, September 15, 69–84, 1990.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Osborne v. Ohio. U.S. Supreme Ct. No. 88-5986, April 18, 1990.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Hawkins, & Zimring, FE:Pornography in a free society. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Horn, M (1991): Salvaging Saturday Morning Prime Time.U.S. News & World Report, March 4, p. 54.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    United Auto Workers v. Johnson Controls, U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit. 886 F.2d 871, 1989.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Defense for Children International, P.O. Box 88, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Freeman, MDA:The Rights and Wrongs of Children. London: Frances Printer, p. 57, 1983.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Smeeding, TM & Torrey, BB: Poor children in rich countries.Science, 242, 873–877, 1988.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Westman, JC: Individual child advocacy. In Westman, JC (Ed.)Who speaks for the children? Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Exchange, 1991.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack C. Westman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Wisconsin, Medical SchoolMadison

Personalised recommendations