Home Institution

Cornell University

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Argentina: Public Health in Urban Environments


Argentina is a country with that has a growing population of older adults as the life expectancy continues to increase. Because the population of older people continues to grow, ageism is a topic of concern. Ageism, or discrimination against older people because of their age, can affect one’s mental health, one’s auto-perception of identity and abilities, one’s relationship with his or her doctor, and can contribute to maltreatment and abuse. In this present research I explored how older adults in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires perceive stereotypes of older people in society, how these stereotypes can lead to discrimination, and if they perceive discriminatory attitudes in doctors.

In order to explore these concepts, I distributed a brief survey to older adults who attend various senior centers in the City of Buenos Aires, to older adults who participate in the homestay portion of the SIT academic program and to other older adults through word of mouth. Through this survey I collected demographic information (age, gender and level of education) and data on types of health coverage, perceptions of older people and if those perceptions affect treatment, perceptions of doctor’s beliefs, if one has experienced a listed example of discrimination and who was responsible for the discrimination.

The results from the investigation include that more the majority of the participants have not suffered discrimination due to their age. Those who have suffered discrimination describe it as rejection, isolation, lack of respect and trouble in the job market. The person most elected, as the one responsible for an act of discrimination, was family. More women than men believe that generalized concepts about people of old age affect one’s treatment, a greater percentage of the younger group of participants believe that generalized concepts about people of old age affect one’s treatment than the older participants. Lastly, more people that have PAMI health coverage, in comparison to private pre-paid coverage or a social work plan, agree with the statements that describe doctor’s discriminatory beliefs towards older people


Community-Based Research | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Latin American Studies | Medical Humanities | Medicine and Health | Other Public Health | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology of Culture


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