Ageism encompasses beliefs (elderly people are ugly, bad-tempered and ill, etc.) and attitudes (the preference of being young over being old, etc.) which have the potential to turn into discriminative actions. In the present day, it is notable that the majority of those who discriminate against the elderly are young people. For this reason, the study was conducted with a cross-sectional design in order to identify university students’ views on ageism and ageism practices. The sample of the study was comprised of students selected by means of stratified random sampling in proportion with the size. 378 students (203 women, 175 men) participated in the study. The questionnaire form prepared by the researchers was used as a data collection tool. An analysis of the students’ views in terms of gender revealed that the students most frequently identified the statement “addressing the elderly with names like ‘senile’, ‘old chap’, ‘old man”’ (female: 94.1%, male: 88.6%) and the statement “ignoring old people’s experiences” (female: 86.2%, male: 85.7%) as discrimination. The difference between all student views was not found to be significant in terms of gender (p > 0.05). When the students’ state of practicing ageist behaviors was analyzed, it was found out that students in general did not practise “addressing old people with names like ‘senile’, ‘old chap’, ‘old man’” (female: 94.1%, male: 92.0%) and “helping old people with their packages” (female: 92.6%, male: 97.7%). It was determined that students most frequently applied the behavior “teasing old people wearing highly colourful clothes” (female: 87.2%, male: 85.1%). Only the difference in the behavior of “not helping old people with their packages” was found to be significant in terms of gender (p < 0.05). It was discovered that students mostly viewed statements related to ageism as discrimination, and in the same way the majority displayed ageist behavior. It is assumed that the identification of young people’s views on ageism and their practices of ageism will shed light on future practices aiming to equip them with positive attitudes and an egalitarian point of view towards ageism and help them develop their own ideas, behavior and attitudes.
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Yılmaz, D., Kisa, S. & Zeyneloğlu, S. University Students’ Views and Practices of Ageism. Ageing Int 37, 143–154 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12126-010-9097-5
- Perception of the elderly
- Young people