Implicit and Explicit Attitudes of Korean Children towards Older Adults

한국 어린이의 노인에 대한 태도: 명시적 태도와 암묵적 태도 차이를 중심으로

  • Han, Gyoung-hae (Dept. of Child Development and Family Studies, Seoul National University) ;
  • Seok, Minae (Dept. of Child Development and Family Studies, Seoul National University) ;
  • MaloneBeach, E.E. (Dept. of Human Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University)
  • 한경혜 (서울대학교 아동가족학과) ;
  • 석민애 (서울대학교 아동가족학과 대학원) ;
  • Received : 2017.02.28
  • Accepted : 2017.05.25
  • Published : 2017.05.30


Increasing evidence shows that ageist attitudes towards older adults develop quite early in childhood in Western culture, yet, empirical research on this topic in Korea is lacking. It has been argued that as Korea has become more youth oriented, negative views of aging have emerged and Korean children are increasingly exposured to negative stereotypes of older adults. Nuclearization of family structure and consequent reduction of intergenerational interaction is considered to be another important factor. The purpose of this study is to find out whether Korean children have ageist attitudes. Acknowledging the possibility that children tend to report in socially appropriate ways to the explicit measures of ageism, we included implicit measures of ageism. Data was collected from 570 fourth to sixth grade elementary school children selected by quota sampling. The current study used Child-Age Implicit Association Test and two other explicit measurements. The original versions were modified to be culturally applicable to the Korean context. Results indicated that when measured explicitly, children do not report preferring younger person than older person. However when measured implicitly, it was found that children at this young age already reveal negative biases toward the elderly. Contrast to the fact that the level of explicit ageism is significantly different by demographic characteristics of children, no statistical difference in the level of implicit ageism is detected. Based on the results, implications are discussed.