Perceived Age Discrimination in the Second Half of Life: An Examination of Age, Period, and Cohort Effects

Liat Ayalon, Octavio Bramajo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Ageism is defined as stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination based on age. Perceived age discrimination (e.g., the behavioral component of ageism) is highly prevalent in society, as reported by 1 in 3 people in Europe. The present study examined variations in perceived age discrimination in the second half of life. We adopt a comprehensive approach that examines whether perceived age discrimination varies by age (chronological time from birth), period (the context when data were collected), or cohort (a group of people with shared life events experienced at a similar age) across gender and ethnic origin. Research Design and Methods: We relied on psychosocial data from the Health and Retirement Survey between 2006 and 2018. We ran a set of age–period–cohort models to determine the separate effects of aging (age) factors, contextual (period) factors, and generational (cohort) factors on perceived age discrimination. Results: Our findings show that perceived age discrimination increases with age but reaches a plateau around the age of 75. There also were some cohort effects, but they appeared minimal and inconsistent. No period effects were found. Discussion and Implications: The findings attest to the consistent nature of perceived age discrimination, which is less likely to be affected by external contextual events. It also is less likely to be affected by gender or ethnicity. The findings also suggest that it is older persons who are more likely to report age discrimination, thus, interventions should address ageism in this age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberigad094
JournalInnovation in Aging
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageism
  • Age–period–cohort
  • Discrimination
  • Subjective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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