Although it has been shown that White elders are vulnerable to the influence of age stereotypes, it was not known whether this effect applied to African American elders. In the present study, African American elders were randomly assigned to negative or positive implicit-age-stereotype groups. Compared to participants in the positive age-stereotype group, those in the negative age-stereotype group demonstrated significantly more elevated cardiovascular response to stress, as measured by blood pressure and heart rate following mental challenges. These results suggest that negative age stereotypes generate a susceptibility to stress among African American elders, whereas positive age may provide them with a defense against this stress.
- African American
- Age stereotypes
- Cardiovascular response to stress