Patronizing Speech to Older Adults

  • Hehman J
  • Corpuz R
  • Bugental D
  • 15


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 2


    Citations of this article.


We measured the use of patronizing speech among young adults who were instructed to provide directions (via an internet connection) to a newcomer to campus described as 21 or 65 years old. As predicted, the acoustic properties used with older adults were moderated by the speakers' history with older unrelated adults (no comparable effects were found for speakers' history with grandparents). Participants with relatively low contact with unrelated older adults were more likely than those with high contact to be judged as sounding "patronizing" and to display acoustical properties associated with patronization (high vocal intensity, high pitch) with older newcomers. However, participants showed a shared tendency to speak more slowly to older than young adults. Findings inform our understanding of the circumstances under which ageist speech is amplified or attenuated. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Acoustic analysis
  • Ageist speech
  • Patronizing speech

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Jessica A. Hehman

  • Randy Corpuz

  • Daphne Bugental

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free