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Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia

Print version ISSN 1809-9823On-line version ISSN 1981-2256


COTRINA, Anita del Rosario Zevallos; HUARCAYA, Sofia Sabina Lavado  and  FERREIRA, Márcia de Assunção. The middle-aged adult and their own old age: a structural approach to social representation. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol. [online]. 2020, vol.23, n.6, e200162.  Epub Oct 05, 2020. ISSN 1981-2256.


characterize and analyze social representations of middle-aged adults over their old age.


Qualitative research supported by the Theory of Social Representation. The field of study was the marginal urban jurisdiction of the Toribia Castro and San Martin Health Centers, in the Lambayeque district, in Peru. Two hundred people between 40 and 59 years old were participants in the study, 50% males and 50% females. Data was collected using the Free Word Association Technique, with the inductor term “my old age”. The data was analyzed with the EVOC 2003 software.


middle-aged adults generated a similar representation of their old age with the use of the following elements: disease, family, uselessness, loneliness. The concepts of protection and fear only appeared in the probable central nucleus of the representation of men, while in that of women, sadness was the one that appeared the most.


The probable central nucleus of old age shows negative representation overall and, depending on how the person copes with it in the course of their life, the meanings assigned to it will vary. Health promotion policies that highlight self-care and communicate a positive and autonomous image of old age can contribute to reconfigure such representations.

Keywords : Adult; Health of the Elderly; Aging; Psychology, Social; Health Police.

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