Ageism and the counseling profession: Causes, consequences, and methods for counteraction
Fullen, Matthew C.
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As the number of older adults increases, it is important to understand how attitudes toward aging influence society, the aging process, and the counseling profession. Ageism—defined as social stigma associated with old age or older people—has deleterious effects on older adults’ physical health, psychological wellbeing, and self-perception. In spite of research indicating that the pervasiveness of ageism is growing, there are few studies, whether conceptual or empirical, related to the impact of ageism within the practice of counseling. This article includes an overview of existing literature on the prevalence and impact of ageism, systemic and practitioner-level consequences of ageism, and specific implications for the counseling profession. Discussion of how members of the counseling profession can resist ageism within the contexts of counselor education, gerontological counseling, advocacy, and future research will be addressed.