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ROPE: Relating to Older People Evaluation

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Ageism is the stereotyping of older adults based on chronological age. It is a form of prejudice and discriminationsimilar to racism and sexism, which allows younger generations to view older adults as separate from mainstream society.

Ageist language and imagery often leads to stereotypes of older adults as weak, frail and disabled. In contrast, there are also positive stereotypes of aging, when people assume that all older adults are wise or caring. Ageism includes prejudice (stereotypes and attitudes), personal discrimination (behaviours), and institutional discrimination (policies and practices). The Relating to Older People Evaluation (ROPE) is a self-report measure of the frequency and type of ageist behaviors. ROPE is a 20-item questionnaire that measures personal discrimination through 14 statements that reflect negative types of ageism, and 6 statements that reflect positive types of ageism.

Ageism Measure

Ageism is the stereotyping of older adults based on chronological age. It is a form of prejudice and discrimination similar to racism and sexism, which allows younger generations to view older adults as separate from mainstream society.  Ageist language and imagery often leads to stereotypes of older adults as weak, frail and disabled. In contrast, there are also positive stereotypes of aging, when people assume that all older adults are wise or caring. Ageism includes prejudice (stereotypes and attitudes), personal discrimination (behaviours), and institutional discrimination (policies and practices). The Relating to Older People Evaluation (ROPE) is a self-report measure of the frequency and type of ageist behaviors. ROPE is a 20-item questionnaire that measures personal discrimination through 14 statements that reflect negative types of ageism, and 6 statements that reflect positive types of ageism.

Scoring the ROPE

Respondents choose one of three responses to each question.  A Never response is scored as 0, Sometimes is scored as 1, and Often is scored as 2. Total score may be summed within each dimension and expressed as a proportion of the highest score possible for that dimension; or the number of items in a dimension with a Sometimes or Often response is divided by the number of items in that dimension (6 or 14) to result in the proportion of positive or negative behaviours reported. The first score is based on both the number and frequency of reported behaviours; the second score measures just the number of different reported behaviours.

Please put a check in the box that indicates how often you relate to old people (those over age 60) in these ways:

1.  Compliment old people on how well they look, despite their age.

_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

2.  Send birthday cards to old people that joke about their age.

_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

3.  Enjoy conversations with old people because of their age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

4.  Tell old people jokes about old age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

5.  Hold doors open for old people because of their age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

6.  Tell an old person, “You’re too old for that.”
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

7.  Offer to help an old person across the street because of their age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

8.  When I find out an old person’s age, I may say, “You don’t look that old.”
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

9.  Ask an old person for advice because of their age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often


10.  When an old person has an ailment, I may say, “That’s normal at your age.”
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

11.  When an old person can’t remember something, I may say, “That’s what they call a ‘Senior Moment’”.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

12.  Talk louder or slower to old people because of their age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

13.  Use simple words when talking to old people.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

14.  Ignore old people because of their age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

15.  Vote for an old person because of their age.  
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

16.  Vote against an old person because of their age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

17.  Avoid old people because of their age.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

18.  Avoid old people because they are cranky.
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

19.  When a slow driver is in front of me, I may think, “It must be an old person.”
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

20.  Call an old woman, “young lady,” or call an old man, “young man.”
_____ Never     _____Sometimes    _____ Often

What is your age? ___________


What is your gender?  ____________

How many years of education? ____________

Any comments?

© Copyright by Palmore & Cherry, 2004.

1 Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, 2010. 2 Cherry, Katie E. and Palmore, Erdman. (2008). “Relating to  Older People Evaluation (ROPE): A Measure of Self-Reported  Ageism”, Educational Gerontology, 34:10, 849-861.  Reprinted with permission.

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