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Age-Typing Across Occupations: When, Where, and Why Occupational Age-Typing Exists

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Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
The present study sought to determine the direction and degree to which occupations representative of all major occupational categories are viewed as age-typed (i.e., more appropriate for older or younger workers). The 60 occupations examined were the 12 most common and familiar occupations in each of five occupational categories used by the U.S. Census Bureau. I randomly assigned 365 participants to one of three survey conditions. Participants rated the feature centrality, proportional representation, normative age, and optimal performance age of 20 of the 60 occupations and the age-type of 20 different occupations. Results showed that participants reliably rated the occupations on a continuum from highly young-typed to highly old-typed. Occupations viewed as most appropriate for older workers included psychologists (clinical), bus drivers, and librarians, whereas those viewed as most appropriate for younger workers included recreation and fitness workers, bartenders, and hosts/hostesses. Interestingly, despite commonly held stereotypes that older workers are less competent than younger workers (Kite, Stockdale, Whitley, (&) Johnson, 2005), old-typed occupations were viewed as requiring higher competence than those viewed as young-typed. Additionally, roughly three times as many workers are needed to fill the most young-typed jobs compared to the most old-typed jobs (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Both of these findings suggest problems for an increasingly aging workforce (Administration of Aging, 2010). I also found that perceived proportional representation accounted for 79% of the variance in predicting the age-type of occupations. This suggests that people rely on general impressions of current worker ages, which supports career timetables theory's approach to the formation of occupational age-type. Implications for theory and research are discussed.
Title: Age-Typing Across Occupations: When, Where, and Why Occupational Age-Typing Exists.
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Name(s): Reeves, Michael, Author
Fritzsche, Barbara, Committee Chair
Dipboye, Robert, Committee Member
Smither, Janan, Committee Member
Matusitz, Jonahan, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The present study sought to determine the direction and degree to which occupations representative of all major occupational categories are viewed as age-typed (i.e., more appropriate for older or younger workers). The 60 occupations examined were the 12 most common and familiar occupations in each of five occupational categories used by the U.S. Census Bureau. I randomly assigned 365 participants to one of three survey conditions. Participants rated the feature centrality, proportional representation, normative age, and optimal performance age of 20 of the 60 occupations and the age-type of 20 different occupations. Results showed that participants reliably rated the occupations on a continuum from highly young-typed to highly old-typed. Occupations viewed as most appropriate for older workers included psychologists (clinical), bus drivers, and librarians, whereas those viewed as most appropriate for younger workers included recreation and fitness workers, bartenders, and hosts/hostesses. Interestingly, despite commonly held stereotypes that older workers are less competent than younger workers (Kite, Stockdale, Whitley, (&) Johnson, 2005), old-typed occupations were viewed as requiring higher competence than those viewed as young-typed. Additionally, roughly three times as many workers are needed to fill the most young-typed jobs compared to the most old-typed jobs (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Both of these findings suggest problems for an increasingly aging workforce (Administration of Aging, 2010). I also found that perceived proportional representation accounted for 79% of the variance in predicting the age-type of occupations. This suggests that people rely on general impressions of current worker ages, which supports career timetables theory's approach to the formation of occupational age-type. Implications for theory and research are discussed.
Identifier: CFE0004156 (IID), ucf:49046 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-12-01
M.S.
Sciences, Psychology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): age-type -- age -- ageism -- age stereotypes -- job stereotypes -- discrimination -- age discrimination -- ADEA
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004156
Restrictions on Access: campus 2016-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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