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The Challenges of Young-Typed Jobs and How Older Workers Adapt

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Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
This study sought to explore the challenges faced by older workers who do not fit the age-type of their jobs and how older workers adapt to overcome those challenges. Specifically, I surveyed a national sample of 227 workers 50 years of age and older, in a wide variety of jobs, on measures of perceived age discrimination and adaptation behaviors. I found that fit, as determined by career timetables theory, but not prototype matching theory, successfully predicted perceived age discrimination. Specifically, more age discrimination was perceived when fewer older workers occupied a job. Additionally, multiple regression analysis showed that career timetables theory, prototype matching theory, and measures of perceived discrimination interacted to predict adaptation behaviors. That is, older workers made more efforts appear younger at work when they perceived age discrimination in jobs occupied by fewer older workers and older women expressed greater desires to appear younger at work when they perceived age discrimination in jobs viewed as more appropriate for younger workers. Although older workers made a wide variety of efforts to appear younger at work, from changing the way they dressed to undergoing surgical procedures, the adaptation efforts believed to be the most effective against age discrimination were more oriented toward enhancing job performance than one's appearance. It is especially troubling that greater perceived age discrimination was found in young-typed jobs (than in old-typed jobs) given that the number of older workers occupying young-typed jobs is expected to rapidly grow in the near future and perceived discrimination is associated with mental and physical consequences for older adults. Understanding effective adaptations to age discrimination is a valuable first step in helping older workers overcome the disadvantages they may face in the workplace, especially when they occupy young-typed jobs. Implications for theory and research are discussed.
Title: The Challenges of Young-Typed Jobs and How Older Workers Adapt.
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Name(s): Reeves, Michael, Author
Fritzsche, Barbara, Committee Chair
Dipboye, Robert, Committee Member
Matusitz, Jonathan, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study sought to explore the challenges faced by older workers who do not fit the age-type of their jobs and how older workers adapt to overcome those challenges. Specifically, I surveyed a national sample of 227 workers 50 years of age and older, in a wide variety of jobs, on measures of perceived age discrimination and adaptation behaviors. I found that fit, as determined by career timetables theory, but not prototype matching theory, successfully predicted perceived age discrimination. Specifically, more age discrimination was perceived when fewer older workers occupied a job. Additionally, multiple regression analysis showed that career timetables theory, prototype matching theory, and measures of perceived discrimination interacted to predict adaptation behaviors. That is, older workers made more efforts appear younger at work when they perceived age discrimination in jobs occupied by fewer older workers and older women expressed greater desires to appear younger at work when they perceived age discrimination in jobs viewed as more appropriate for younger workers. Although older workers made a wide variety of efforts to appear younger at work, from changing the way they dressed to undergoing surgical procedures, the adaptation efforts believed to be the most effective against age discrimination were more oriented toward enhancing job performance than one's appearance. It is especially troubling that greater perceived age discrimination was found in young-typed jobs (than in old-typed jobs) given that the number of older workers occupying young-typed jobs is expected to rapidly grow in the near future and perceived discrimination is associated with mental and physical consequences for older adults. Understanding effective adaptations to age discrimination is a valuable first step in helping older workers overcome the disadvantages they may face in the workplace, especially when they occupy young-typed jobs. Implications for theory and research are discussed.
Identifier: CFE0005050 (IID), ucf:49947 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-12-01
Ph.D.
Sciences, Psychology
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): age discrimination -- discrimination -- ageism -- age-type -- age type -- stereotypes -- age stereotypes -- prototype matching -- prototyping -- career timetables -- cosmetic surgery -- older workers -- older worker -- job stereotypes -- job type -- adaptation -- adaptations -- hiding age -- age concealment -- concealing age -- old-type -- old typed -- young-type -- young-typed
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0005050
Restrictions on Access: campus 2016-12-15
Host Institution: UCF

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