College students' trait ratings of three age groups around the Pacific Rim

Jake Harwood, Howard Giles, Hiroshi Ota, Herbert D. Pierson, Cindy Gallois, Sik Hung Ng, Tae Seop Lim, Lilnabeth Somera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


In this paper, the traits which younger adults associate with younger, middle-aged, and older adults in a number of Pacific Rim nations were assessed. Two dependent variables ('personal vitality' and 'benevolence') emerged from factor analyses of a series of trait adjectives. Cross cultural trends emerged which replicated patterns found in the US context. Main effects indicated declines in ratings of personal vitality and increases in ratings of benevolence with increasing target-age. However, interesting variations on this pattern emerged in different cultures. In particular, very negative evaluations of aging in Hong Kong, and a lack of differentiation between middle-aged and older adults in the Philippines and New Zealand were found. Little evidence emerged supporting the notion of particular positive evaluations of older adults in Asian cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-317
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of cross-cultural gerontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • Age stereotypes
  • Asia
  • College students
  • Elderly
  • Filial piety
  • North America
  • Pacific Rim

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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