Madrigal C, Fick D, Mogle J, Hill NL, Bratlee-Whitaker E, Belser A. Disrupting younger adults' age-based stereotypes: The impact of an intergenerational artistic installation. J Inter Relation. 2020 Jan 21;18(4):399-416. doi: 10.1080/15350770.2020.1713960

Younger adults often endorse age-based stereotypes which have repercussions on the health and well-being of younger and older adults. The purpose of this study was to measure and describe the influence of an intergenerational, artistic installation on younger adults' attitudes toward aging and older adults. A convergent parallel mixed method design was employed. Participants (n = 34; M = 19.37 years old; 94% female; 82% Caucasian) completed surveys about their attitudes toward aging and older adults pre-viewing, post-viewing, and one-month post-viewing the installation. Data were analyzed using mixed modeling for survey data and thematic analysis for semi-structured interviews conducted post-viewing. Both quantitative and qualitative results suggested that the installation improved younger adults' attitudes toward older adults immediately post-viewing and one-month post-viewing. Thematic analysis revealed this improvement might be due to anticipated changes in behavior, reinforcement of positive views of older adults, and transformation of negative views of older adults to positive views. Younger adults' attitudes toward aging did not change post-viewing or one-month post-viewing. Qualitative results suggest this might be due to preexisting positive attitudes, increased self-awareness of eventual aging, and the affirmation of aging-related fears. Future research is needed to establish whether the installation supports sustained changes in attitudes.

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