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Ageism in Belgium and Burundi: a comparative analysis

Authors Marquet M, Missotten P, Schroyen S, Nindaba D, Adam S

Received 29 January 2016

Accepted for publication 5 May 2016

Published 24 August 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1129—1139


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Manon Marquet, Pierre Missotten, Sarah Schroyen, Desiderate Nindaba, Stéphane Adam

Psychology of Aging Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium

Background: Recent cross-cultural comparisons between Asian and Western cultures have shown that ageism arises more from the lack of availability of social and economic resources for older adults than from the culture itself. We tested this assumption by conducting a survey among people living in a least developed country compared with those living in a developed country.
Participants and methods: Twenty-seven Belgians living in Belgium, 29 Burundians living in Belgium, and 32 Burundians living in Burundi were included in this study. Their attitudes toward older adults were assessed using several self-reported measures.
Results: Statistical analyses confirmed that older people are more negatively perceived by Burundians living in Burundi than by Burundians and Belgians living in Belgium, whose attitudes did not differ from each other.
Conclusion: Consistent with our hypothesis, our results suggest that the level of development of a country and more particularly the lack of government spending on older people (pension and health care systems) may contribute to their younger counterparts perceiving them more negatively.

Keywords: attitudes toward older adults, cross-cultural differences, socioeconomic development, intergenerational relations

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