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gather some data and discuss your results. Interview or survey 10 people and ask each person the first three terms or words that come to mind when they think of each of these age groups (so each interviewee will give you 12 words):

  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Middle-Aged Adults
  • Senior Citizens

After completing your survey, you should then have 30 words for each age group. (Some will be repeats.) Look at each word and determine what kind of connotation it has: Is it positive (P), negative (N), or neutral (O)? Mark each word. Look at the frequency of the most used terms and also the distribution of P, N, & O.

Discuss the results of your survey. Include answers to the following questions:

  • Which words were mentioned most frequently for each age group? Were they mostly P, N, or O?
  • Do the words get more negative as you move from children to senior citizens or more positive? Or is there no change as you move up each age group?
  • Many of these words will be stereotypes to describe each age group. Where do these stereotypes come from? Cite from your readings and/or outside sources (include APA-formatted, in-text citations) to support your statements.
  • How do negative stereotypes affect individuals in each stage of life?

Lifespan Development Rite of Passage