Young adults’ contact experiences and attitudes toward aging: age salience and intergroup anxiety in South Korea*

Yan Bing Zhang, Soojeong Paik, Chong Xing, James T Harwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

From the theoretical perspectives of communication accommodation and intergroup contact, this study examined South Korean young adults’ (N = 301) perceptions of their communication experiences with a frequently-contacted grandparent, as well as attitudes toward older adults and own aging. Findings from structural equation modeling indicated that the participants’ attitudes towards older adults were positively predicted by contact frequency with the grandparent and negatively predicted by perceptions of the grandparent’s non-accommodative communication. Analyses of indirect effects revealed that young adults’ intergroup anxiety explained these associations. Although the direct effects of contact frequency and the grandparent’s non-accommodation on attitudes toward own aging were nonsignificant, the indirect effects through intergroup anxiety were significant. Moderation analysis indicated that these direct and indirect associations between non-accommodation and aging attitudes were significant only when age salience was low – a finding contrary to existing theory and research. Results are discussed in terms of intergenerational communication and culture, and theories of intergroup contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 21 2018

Keywords

  • age salience
  • aging attitudes
  • grandparent-grandchild communication
  • intergroup anxiety
  • non-accommodation
  • South Korea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Education

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