Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 59-60

Age Bias

  • Thomas G. ReioJr.Affiliated withDepartment of Leadership and Policy Studies, College of Education, Florida International University


Age attribution; Age prejudice; Ageism; Ageist stereotype; Older worker discrimination


Age bias is the result of prejudicial, evaluative judgments being made toward an individual or individuals merely because of their age [1]. In general, age bias is negative and directed toward those who are older, although age bias is possible toward those who are younger as well [2].


Age bias occurs when age-related stereotyping and prejudice causes one to treat another person or persons with partiality because of their age [3]. Preconceived notions about age then direct biased actions toward that person within the context of the age group in question. For example, age bias tempered by notions of older adults being incurious, resistant to change, technically outdated, and susceptible to physical ailments, might lead a manager to hire a younger job applicant over an equally qualified older applicant. Likewise, possible preconceptions of younger ...

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