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Stereotypes of the Elderly and Patronizing Speech
Stereotypes of the elderly and patronizing speech
MaryLeeHummert

Although elderly adults vary widely in their communication skills, with many exhibiting no significant receptive or expressive impairments (Albert, 1980; Cooper, 1990; Kemper, 1988; Kemper & Anagnopoulos, 1990; Ryan, 1991; Salthouse, 1982), they are sometimes the targets of patronizing speech (Caporael, 1981; Coupland, Coupland, Giles, & Henwood, 1988; Rubin & Brown, 1975). According to Ryan, Giles, Bartolucci, and Henwood (1986), this speech is identified by the presence of simplification strategies (e.g., slow speech, low grammatical complexity, and a concrete and familiar vocabulary), clarification strategies (e.g., careful articulation and simple sentences), a demeaning emotional tone (e.g., directive, overbearing, or, alternatively, overly familiar), and a low quality of talk (i.e., superficial conversation). An extreme ...

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