Identifier

etd-0519103-152012

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Speech Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Young adults' stereotypes of older adults has been well-documented in communication literature, however, there has been a lack of research on the impact of message strategy on intergenerational interactions. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among three factors that previous research suggests should influence the activation of stereotypes toward a target: age, relational level, and message strategy. This study examines the role that message strategy, in this case, verbal aggressiveness, plays in activating young adults' (n = 186) negative stereotypes of older adults. The young adults' self-reported levels of trait verbal aggressiveness was positively correlated with negative stereotype activation. Verbally aggressive messages, also, consistently activated more negative stereotypes than did the corresponding neutral message strategy. Although all three factors (age, relational level, and message strategy) accounted for differences in stereotype activation, message strategy had the largest effect on negative stereotype activation. Implications of the findings on intergenerational interactions are discussed.

Date

2003

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Loretta L. Pecchioni

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