The Defense of My Aging Self: A Report From the Field

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Abstract

This article offers a field report—experiences, thoughts, and anecdotes—of my personal passage into older adulthood and my attempts to maintain a healthy sense of personhood in the context of the normative ageism in my world. Specifically, I illustrate how my career-long engagement with the scientific base of gerontology—particularly life-span developmental and social psychology—has been a key ally in informing my aging and in assisting my defense against internalization of negative stereotypes. Also, I offer some thoughts drawn from personal life experience that may inform research and application efforts designed to modify some of the psychological motives that sustain ageism in our shared environment.

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