Aging and communication in the workplace

Patrick Ollinger, Purdue University


This study explored intergenerational interactions in the workplace from the perspective of the older workers. Contextualized in the field of education, older teachers were interviewed about their experience with intergenerational communication within their school. Based on thematic analysis of fifteen one-on-one interviews with teachers over the age of fifty-five, nine themes emerged. Teachers in the study described intergenerational interactions in their workplace as satisfactory and with potential rewards. However, they did not report the same sense of closeness with younger colleagues that they felt with their same-aged peers. They reported instances of patronization in the workplace. Interestingly, participants did not attribute such treatment to their age. Given the growing age range of American workers and the growing number of older adults in the workforce, future researchers should further investigate intergenerational communication in the workplace. ^




Melanie Morgan, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Gerontology|Speech Communication

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