Greater Perceived Age Discrimination in England than the United States: Results from HRS and ELSA

TitleGreater Perceived Age Discrimination in England than the United States: Results from HRS and ELSA
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRippon, I, Zaninotto, P, Steptoe, A
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
KeywordsCross-National, Demographics, Employment and Labor Force, Health Conditions and Status, Methodology

We examined cross-national differences in perceptions of age discrimination in England and the United States. Under the premise that the United States has had age discrimination legislation in place for considerably longer than England, we hypothesized that perceptions of age discrimination would be lower in the United States. We analyzed data from two nationally representative studies of aging, the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (n = 4,818) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (n = 7,478). Respondents aged 52 years and older who attributed any experiences of discrimination to their age were treated as cases of perceived age discrimination. We used multivariable logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios of experiencing perceived age discrimination in relation to selected sociodemographic factors. Perceptions of age discrimination were significantly higher in England than the United States, with 34.8 of men and women in England reporting age discrimination compared with 29.1 in the United States. Associations between perceived age discrimination and older age and lower levels of household wealth were observed in both countries, but we found differences between England and the United States in the relationship between perceived age discrimination and education. Our study revealed that levels of perceived age discrimination are lower in the United States than England and are less socially patterned. This suggests that differing social and political circumstances in the two countries may have an important role to play.

Endnote Keywords

Ageism/Older adults/Cross-National Studies/Age discrimination/mental Health/International comparisons/Demographics/ELSA_

Endnote ID


Citation Key8225
PubMed ID26224759
PubMed Central IDPMC4600302