ISSN 2079-6617 (Print)
ISSN 2309-9828 (Online)
Ru | En
Russian Psychological Society
The Faculty of Psychology. Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Main RSS Search


Naumova V.A., Glozman J.M. (2021). Representations of old age in chilhood. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2021, (41)1, 160-174. doi: 10.11621/npj.2021.0113


Background. The relevance of the study is determined by the limited and sometimes contradictory studies of the views of preschoolers about the elderly. Stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination against older people can manifest themselves in children at an early age. However, the nature of the formation and the factors influencing this phenomenon are not well known.

Objective. The aim of the study was to study the features of the image of an old person in a children’s sample, depending on the (in) ability to communicate with their grandparents. Research hypothesis: preschoolers with a lack of communication with the older generation will demonstrate a rather neutral image of an old person, and the presence of an emotional component will be expressed in the constructor of the image of children with a sufficient level of communication with their grandparents.

Design. The research involved 67 child-parent dyads: 67 preschoolers aged 5 to 6.8 years (56.7% girls and 43.3% boys); 67 parents (85.1% of mothers and 14.9% of fathers) aged 23 to 59. As research methods to study the representations (image) of an old person in the childrens sample, the projective method of the drawing test was used. “Directed associative experiment “ method and questioning were used in the parental sample. The questionnaire included questions aimed at studying the relationship of the grandparents with the child and the opinions of parents about the problem and (non) participation of grandparents in raising grandchildren.

Results. In the childrens sample, the image of an old person is rather stereotypically neutral, but at the same time has certain specific features. The importance of the quality of communication between a child and his grandparents was shown, which determines the emotional coloring of the perception of the forming image of old people and old age in general. For children who experienced “lack of communication” with their ancestors, the image of an old person is personalized with “strangers” or “nobody’s old men.” In the parental sample the presented associations demonstrate a view of the “negative and positive” image of an old person through the prism of (non) preservation of vital competence, functional well-being, and a dynamic health / illness system. A neutral image is represented by respondents as a variant of entering the new status of a retiree and grandparent. No mutual influence was found between parental and childish views.

Conclusions. A child of preschool age can demonstrate his own unique view of an old person, which is not at all identical to the views of his parents, those around him and social stereotypes. The experience of a constructive relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can serve as a reliable basis for constructing a positive image of an old person and old age in general by young children. The prospect of further research can be the study of the problem of psychological culture and the readiness of an elderly person to dialogue with a child; problems of organizing effective “combining old and small” programs, mutually enriching the dialogue of generations.

Received: 07/08/2020
Accepted: 08/12/2020
Pages: 160-174
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2021.0113

Sections: Developmental Psychology;


Keywords: image of old age; parents and grandparents; preschoolers; dialogue of generations

Available Online 30.03.2021

Antsyferova L.I. (2001) Psychology of old age: features of the development of personality psychology in late maturity. Psychological journa [Psichologicheski Zhurnal], 22(3), 86-99. (In Russ.)

Armstrong B., Gallant, S.N., Li L., Patel K., & Wong B.I. (2017). Stereotype threat effects on older adults’ episodic and working memory: a meta-analysis. Gerontologist, 57,193-205. doi:10.1093/geront/gnxl70

Babcock R.E., MaloneBeach E.E., Hannighofer J., & Woodworth-Hou B. (2016). Development of a children’s IAT to measure bias against the elderly. J. Intergener. Relatsh,14,167-178. doi: 10.1080/15350770.2016.1195245

Belostotskaya D.I., Zinchenko V.P. (2012). Perception of a literary text by older people and preschoolers: coordination of meanings. Cultural-Historical Psychology [Kulturno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya], 8(3), 49-59. (In Russ.) 

Biggs S., Carstensen L., & Hogan P. (2012). Social Capital, Lifelong Learning and Social Innovation. Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise?Geneva World Economic Forum, 39-41. Retrieved from: (accessed 20.07.2020).

Biggs S., Haapala I. (2016). Long life, mutual understanding and empathy of generations (transl. from English A.A. Ipatova) Monitoring of public opinion: Economic and social changes [Monitoring obshestvennogo mneniya: Economicheskiye i sotsialniye peremeni],2, 46-58. doi: 10.14515 / monitoring.2016.2.03 (In Russ.)

Butler R.N. (1969). Age-ism: another form of bigotry. Gerontologist,9(4), 243-246. doi: 10.1093/geront/9.4_Part_1.243 

Coudin G. (2010). Help me! fm old’: How negative aging stereotypes create dependency among older adults. Aging and Mental Health, 5 (14), 516-523. doi: 10.1080/13607861003713182

Davidson D., Luo Z., & Fulton, B.R. (2008). Stereotyped views of older adults in Children from the Peoples Republic of China and from the United States. J. Intergener. Relatsh, 5, 7-24. doi: 10.1300/J194v05n04_02

Degner J., & Dalege, J. (2013). The apple does not fall far from the tree, or does it? A meta-analysis of parent-child similarity in intergroup attitudes. Psychol Bull.139,1270-1304. doi: 10.1037/a0031436 

Elyutina M.E., Chekanova E.E. (2004). Social gerontology. Moscow: INFRA-M.

Ermolaeva M.V. (2012). Mediation in dialogue through a generation between children and elderly people. Cultural-Historical Psychology [Kulturno-istoricheskaya Psychologiya}], 8(2), 55-59. (In Russ.)

Fernandez-Ballesteros R., & Diez-Nicolas J. (2008). Active aging. Mandatory retirement and a barrier. Releasing the Potentials of Senior Scholars and Scientists Emerging Productivity in a New Era.H.A. Becker & J.F. Schroots (Eds.). Amsterdam: ERGO, European Research Institute on Health and Aging, 81-109.

Fiske S.T., Cuddy A.J.C., Glick P., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82 (6), 878-902. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.878

Flamion A., Missotten P., Jennotte L., Hody N., & Adam S. (2020). Old Age-Related Stereotypes of Preschool Children. Front. Psychol.11:807. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00807

Gilbert, C.N., & Ricketts, K.G. (2008). Childrens attituds toward older adults and aging: a synthesis of research. Educ. Gerontol.34, 570-586. doi: 10.1080/03601270801900420

Glozman J.M., Naumova V.A. (2014). Art-therapy as a method for mobilizing personal resources in elderly. Psychology in Russia: State of the art,3, 82-91 doi: 10.11621/pir.2014.0307

Glozman Zh. M., Naumova V.A. (2018). Life experience as the potential for successful aging. Russian Psychological]ourna [Rossiiski iPsichologicheski Zhurnal],15(3), 25-51. doi: 10.21702 / rpj.2018.3.2. (In Russ.)

Glukhanyuk N.S., Gershkovich T.B. (2003). Late age and strategies for its development. Moscow: Moscovskii Psikhologo-sotsialnii Institut.

Goldman, R.J., & Goldman, J.D.G. (1981). How children view old people and ageing: a developmental study of children in four countries. Aust. J. Psychol,33, 405-418. doi: 10.1080/00049538108254708

Johnson J. (1999). Ageism: Concept and Definition. In J. Johnson, B. Bytheway. Aging and Later Life,London: Sage Publications, 200-206.

Krasnova O.V. (2003). Ageism in work with older people. Psychology of old age and aging. Reader for students of psychological faculties of higher educational institutions, Comp. O.V. Krasnova, A.G. Leaders. Moscow. ACADEMA, 354-362. (In Russ.) 

Krutko V.N., Dontsov V.I., Mamikonova O.A., Parvu V.V., Rosenblit S.I. (2015). Diagnostics of aging and biological age in antiaging medicine. Medical News [Meditsinskiye novosti],2, 25-31. (In Russ.)

Kudrina E.L. (2015). Activation of the creative potential of older people in the new socio-cultural realities of the development of Russia. Professional education in Russia and abroad [Professionalnoye obrazovanoev Rossii i za rubezhom,,2(8), 32 -38. (In Russ.) 

Lebedeva L.D. (2011). Projective technique “Drawing of a family in the form of flowers” in psychological counseling. National psychological journal [Natsionalnii psychologicheskii zhurnal], 1(5), 133-137. (In Russ.)

Levy B.R. (2009). Stereotype embodiment: a psychosocial approach to aging. Current Directions in Psychological Science,18, 332-336. doi: 10.1111/j.l467-8721.2009.01662.x

Lineweaver T.T., Roy A., & Horth M. (2017). Childrens stereotypes of older adults: evaluating contributions of cognitive development and social learning. Educ. Gerontol.43, 300-312. doi: 10.1080/03601277.2017.1296296

Lynott P.P., & Merola P.R. (2007). Improving the attitudes of 4th graders toward older people through a multidimensional intergenerational program. Educ. Gerontol, 33, 63-74. doi: 10.1080/03601270600864041

Mishikha L.P. (2014). Psychological anti-aging: from homeostasis to passionarity. Journal of scientific publications of graduate students and doctoral students [Zhurnal nauchnikh publikatsii aspirantov I doktorantov],5,190-192. (In Russ.)

Mukhina V.S. (1981). The drawing activity of the child as a form of assimilation of social experience. Moscow. Pedagogika.(In Russ.)

Naumova V, & Glozman J. (2019). Art therapy and successful aging. In Book of Abstracts: XVI European Congress of Psychology (ECP 2019,Moscow: Moscow University Press. 1214-1215.

Olshansky S.J., Beard J., & Borsch-Supan A. (2012). The Longevity Dividend: Health as an Investment. Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise?Geneva: World Economic Forum, 57-60.

Poluyanova I.E.( 2017) Anti-aging medicine in the sanatoriums of Belarus. Medical News [Meditsinskiye novosti], 7, 80-84. (In Russ.)

Postavnev V.M. (2009). Phenomenology of the personality of older people in creative professions. Personal development [Razvitiye Lichnosti],2,100-115. (In Russ.)

Serkin V.P. (2009). Solving the problem of randomness / non-randomness of the number of group associations. Psychological diagnostics [Psychologicheskaya diagnostika], 4, 22-31. (In Russ.)

Solovieva Yu.N., Boyko A.V. (2013). The concept of geronto-marketing and its tools in a virtual environment. News of the St. Petersburg State University of Economics [Izvestiya Sankt-Peterburgskogo Economicheskogo Universiteta], 5 (83), 87-88. (In Russ.) 

Strizhitskaya O. Yu. (2020). On the issue of empirical research of gerotranscendence . World of Science [Mir nauki]: scientific Internet journal,5(6). [Electronic resource] Available at: https: 11mir-nauki._com / PDF / HPSMN617.pdf (accessed: 30.05.2020). (In Russ.)

Vauclair C.M., Rodrigues R.B., Marques S., Esteves C.S., Cunha E, & Gerardo F. (2018). Doddering but deareven in the eyes of young children? Age stereotyping and prejudice in childhood and adolescence.Int. J. Psychol, 53, 63-70. doi: 10.1002/ijop.l2430 Venger A.L. (2003). Psychological Drawing Tests: An Illustrated Guide. Moscow: Publishing house VLADOSS-PRESS. (In Russ.) Vovk E. (2005). Old people in the family: features of intergenerational interaction. Otechestvennye zapiski, 3(24). [Electronic resource]. Available at: (accessed: 30.05.2020). (In Russ.)

Zadorova Y.A., Kuftyak E.V. (2020). Translation of attachment patterns in generations of the family. Medical psychology in Russia: electronic scientific journal,9(2), 43,10. [Electronic resource]. Available at: 01.05.2020). (In Russ.) 

Zapunidi A. A. (2013). Features of visual activity in children with different levels of design in drawing. National psychological journal [NatsionaVniipsychologicheskii zhurnal],1(9), 121-126. doi: 2079-6617 / 2013.0116. (In Russ.)

Zinkevich-Evstigneeva T.D., Kudzilov D.B. (2006). Psychodiagnostics through drawing in fairy tale therapy. SPb: Rech,2006. (In Russ.)

For citing this article:

Naumova V.A., Glozman J.M. (2021). Representations of old age in chilhood. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2021, (41)1, 160-174. doi: 10.11621/npj.2021.0113

About Editorial Board Volumes Authors For Authors Indexing Contacts

National Psychological Journal, 2006 - 2022