ERIC Number: ED230831
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Age Norms: The Influence of Age, Sex, and Occupational Level.
Zepelin, Harold; And Others
Although informal age norms which influence the timing of major role transitions have been well documented, recent research questions the pervasiveness of this influence. In order to assess the effects of age, sex, and occupational level on perceptions of informal age norms, white-collar and blue-collar men and women (N=462) at two age levels, 18-39 and 40-70, completed a 24-item questionnaire designating approporiate ages for major role transitions and age related characteristics. These data were compared with findings from similar studies in the 1950's and 1960's in order to ascertain the influence of social change. Statistical analyses indicated that there were significant main effects for age, but their direction varied with type of item. Results also showed effects for occupation, with blue collar respondents reporting earlier appropriate ages than white collar workers. Men and women alike adhered to transitional distinctions in sex roles. Both sexes followed a double standard of aging, e.g., women were perceived as aging more rapidly than men. There was some evidence of liberalized attitudes toward aging but just as much evidence for a heightening of America's youth orientation. The Life Events Questionnaire, standard deviations of perceived appropriate ages, and tables comparing men's and women's perceptions during the 1960's and the 1980's are included. (AG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Age Appropriateness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (35th, Boston, MA, November 19-23, 1982).