Internalization of Age Stereotypes Into the Self-Concept via Future Self-Views: A General Model and Domain-Specific Differences

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Abstract

We investigated a pathway through which age stereotypes (AS) become internalized into the self. Domain-specific AS, as well as future self-views (FS) and current self-views (CS), were assessed in a sample of middle-aged and older adults. AS were positively related to CS and this effect was mediated via FS. These relations were stronger for older persons, indicating that the internalization process depends on a self-categorization as being old. A comparison of life domains revealed that an age-dependent internalization of AS emerged mainly for those domains in which age-related changes are expected to occur during later phases of life.

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