Patronizing Young and Elderly Adults: Response Strategies in a Community Setting

Jake Harwood, Susan Fox, Ellen Bouchard Ryan, Angie Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Within the context of an elaborated model of the communication predicament of aging, the effects of particular response strategies to patronizing, intergenerational talk were investigated with written vignettes depicting a community situation. Young adults (N = 222) evaluated a patronizing speaker more negatively than a non-patronizing speaker, and they also judged both conversational partners to be more satisfied when patronizing speech was absent. As compared to cooperative responses, assertive responses from the patronizee led to evaluations that she was higher status, more controlling, less nurturing, and less satisfied. Patronizing individuals receiving an assertive response were evaluated as less in control and satisfied than when they received a cooperative response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-226
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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