Negative stereotypes about age may be bad for your health

While this isn't necessarily good news, I'm sure glad it came out. According to a new study by the Yale School of Public Health, we find that feeding into negative age stereotypes - like the perception that all older people are weak - can have detrimental effects on your health. Via USA Today's blog, A Better Life:

More than 400 people, age 18 to 49, were surveyed on their age stereotypes. Thirty years later, 25% of those with more negative age stereotypes - such as the belief that the elderly are feeble or helpless - had suffered a heart problem or stroke, while only 13% of those with more positive age stereotypes experienced a heart problem or stroke. The study appears in the March issue of the journal Psychological Science. Becca R. Levy, associate professor of epidemiology and psychology at Yale is the study's lead author. In earlier studies, Levy and colleagues found that negative ideas about age can increase stress and decrease the likelihood that the person will live healthfully, increasing the risk of poor cardiovascular health.


This isn't too surprising, but can serve as a useful reminder to avoid getting sucked into age-old (no pun intended) stereotypes that do nothing but harm mentally and physically.

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