Becca Levy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Becca R. Levy is a Professor of Epidemiology (Social and Behavioral Sciences) at Yale School of Public Health and Professor of Psychology at Yale University. She is a leading researcher in the fields of social gerontology and psychology of aging.[1] She is credited with creating the field of how age stereotypes, which are assimilated from the culture, impact the health of older individuals.[2] The Dean of Columbia School of Public Health describes Levy as "a pioneer" in the "growing body of impressive research showing that our attitudes toward aging affect our health, our resilience in the face of adversity, and our very survival."[3]

Career[edit]

Levy was born in Atlanta, GA. She studied psychology and Near Eastern studies at the University of Michigan, where she received a BA with Highest Distinction. Next she received her MA and PhD in Psychology from Harvard University. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in the Division on Aging and Department of Social Medicine. Levy then became Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Public Health. She is now Professor and Director of the Laboratory of Psychosocial Determinants of Aging Health at the Yale School of Public Health. She is also a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University.

Levy has created an area of research that focuses on the extent to which the aging process is a product of society.[4] She has examined this in a series of innovative studies that demonstrate culture-based positive and negative age stereotypes of older persons have beneficial and detrimental influences, respectively, on a wide range of health conditions.[5] Her research has demonstrated that several of the adverse health conditions assumed to be solely and inevitably a result of aging are, in fact, influenced by negative age stereotypes. [2]

The studies in which she was first author have found that age stereotypes contribute to (a) physical outcomes, such as longevity,[3][6][7] Alzheimer's disease biomarkers, [8] physical function, [9] cardiovascular events, [10] and delayed physical recovery; [11] (b) mental-health outcomes, such as stress levels, [12][13] will to live, [14] and psychiatric disorders;[15][16] (c) risky health behaviors, such as rejecting prescribed medications[17] and obesity;[18] and (d) cognitive outcomes, such as dementia incidence[19] and memory.[20][21]

Levy's studies also show that positive age stereotypes can benefit the health of older persons. Her finding that positive age beliefs can increase older persons' longevity has become one of the most cited findings about old age.[22] She has also demonstrated that positive age stereotypes can be enhanced and negative age stereotypes can be diminished through interventions.[7] [23][5]

This body of research has formed the basis for her stereotype embodiment theory (SET), which posits that the age stereotypes of one's culture are internalized from childhood, reinforced throughout the lifespan, eventually become self-relevant, and then influence health in old age through psychological, behavioral, and physiological pathways.[23][24] According to SET, these stereotypes can operate implicitly. Levy and Mahzarin Banaji are credited with coining the term "implicit ageism".[25][26]

Levy's research findings about the impact of age stereotypes on older persons' health have been reproduced by scientists in five continents and supported by numerous meta-analyses. [27][28][29][30][31] Her ground-breaking studies utilize a variety of complementary methodologies, including experimental, [9] longitudinal, [10] and cross-cultural approaches. [32]

Levy has contributed over 130 articles and chapters to psychological, gerontological, and medical journals and books.[1] Her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Science Foundation, Donaghue Medical Research Foundation, and Brookdale Foundation.

Levy's studies have had a real-world impact on improving the well-being of older persons.[33] She conducted the first study to show the economic impact of ageism on the health of older persons. [34] In that study it was found that the financial cost of ageism on health in one year in the United States was $63 billion.[35] She before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging about the harmful impact of ageism in popular media and marketing.[36] Her findings provided the basis for amicus briefs in age-discrimination cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.[37] The American Psychological Association advocated a historic resolution against ageism that used her research as an evidence base, citing 11 of her studies.[24] The practical applications of Levy's research have extended beyond the U.S. For instance, her findings provided the rationale for a World Health Organization Campaign to End Ageism, supported by 194 countries, in which she is a scientific advisor.[38][39][40]

Her studies on health and aging has been featured in national media, such as The New York Times,[41][42][43][5] and NPR,[44][45] CNN Health,[46] The Wall Street Journal,[47] U.S. News & World Report,[48] and Times Magazine,[49] as well as international media, such as The Guardian,[50][51] Der Spiegel,[52] and the BBC.[53]

Awards[edit]

  • Baltes Distinguished Research Achievement Award for Exceptional Theoretical and Empirical Contributions to the Psychological Science of Aging from the American Psychological Association[54]
  • Scholar Award for Research Related to Disadvantaged Older Adults (Gerontological Society of America and Senior Service America)
  • Ewald W. Busse Research Award for Excellence in Social Behavioral Sciences (International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics)[55]
  • Donaghue Investigator Award (Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation)[56]
  • Margret M. Baltes Award for Outstanding Early Career Achievement in Social and Behavioral Gerontology (Margret M. and Paul Baltes Foundation and the Gerontological Society of America)[57]
  • Springer Award for Early Career Achievement in Research on Adult Development and Aging (American Psychological Association)[58]
  • Brookdale National Fellowship for Leadership in Aging (Brookdale Foundation)[59]
  • International Mensa Foundation New Investigator Award for Excellence in Research
  • Gordon W. Allport Award (Harvard University)
  • Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award (Gerontological Society of America)[60]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Levy, B. (1996). Improving memory in old age by implicit self-stereotyping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 1092-1107.
  • Levy, B. R. (2009). Stereotype embodiment: A psychosocial approach to aging. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 332-336.
  • Levy, B. R. (2017). Age-stereotype paradox: A need and opportunity for social change. The Gerontologist, 57, 118-126.
  • Levy, B. R., Ferrucci, L., Zonderman, A. B.; Slade, M. D., Troncoso, J., & Resnick, S. M. (2016). A culture–brain link: Negative age stereotypes predict Alzheimer's disease biomarkers. Psychology and Aging, 31, 82-88.
  • Levy, B. R., Pilver, C., Chung, P. H., & Slade, M. D. (2014). Subliminal strengthening: Improving older individuals' physical function over time with an implicit-age-stereotype intervention. Psychological Science, 25, 2127-2135.
  • Levy, B. R., Slade, M., Kunkel, S., & Kasl, S. (2002). Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions of aging. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 261-270.
  • Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Murphy, T. E., & Gill, T. M. (2012). Association between positive age stereotypes and recovery from disability in older persons. JAMA, 308, 1972-1973.
  • Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Pietrzak, R. H., & Ferrucci, L. (2018). Positive age beliefs protect against dementia even among elders with high-risk gene. PLOS ONE, 13, e191004.
  • Levy, B. R., Zonderman, A., Slade, M. D., Ferrucci, L. (2009). Negative age stereotypes held earlier in life predict cardiovascular events in later life. Psychological Science, 20, 296-8.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Becca Levy". scholar.google.com. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  2. ^ a b Appleby, J. (2019). From the CEO:  Is ageism the “secondhand smoke” of healthy aging? Gerontological News, 47(7), 2.
  3. ^ a b Fried, Linda P. (2014-06-01). "Making Aging Positive". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  4. ^ Butler, R. N. (2010). The longevity revolution: The benefits and challenges of living a long life. New York: PublicAffairs.
  5. ^ a b c Brody, Jane E. (2017-03-27). "A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health (Published 2017)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  6. ^ Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia (October 12, 2011). "How old do you feel inside?". Chicago Tribune.
  7. ^ a b Levy, B., Slade M. D., & Kasl, S. V. (2002). Increased longevity by positive self-perceptions of aging. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 261-270.
  8. ^ Levy, B. R., Ferrucci, L., Zonderman, A. B., Slade, M. D., Troncoso, J., & Resnick, S. M. (2016). A culture–brain link: Negative age stereotypes predict Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers. Psychology and Aging, 31, 82-88.
  9. ^ a b Levy, B. R., Pilver C., Chung, P. H., & Slade, M. D. (2014). Subliminal strengthening: Improving older individuals' physical function over time with an implicit-age-stereotype intervention. Psychological Science, 25, 2127-2135.
  10. ^ a b 13 Levy, B. R., Zonderman, A. B., Slade, M. D., & Ferrucci, L. (2009). Age stereotypes held earlier in life predict cardiovascular events in later life. Psychological Science, 20, 296-8.
  11. ^ Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Murphy, T. E., & Gill, T. M. (2012). Association between positive age stereotypes and recovery from disability in older persons. JAMA, 308, 1972-1973.
  12. ^ Levy, B. R., Hausdorff, J. M., Hencke, R., & Wei, J. Y. (2000). Reducing cardiovascular stress with positive self-stereotypes of aging. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 55, 205-213.
  13. ^ Levy, B. R., Moffat, S., Resnick, S. M., Slade, M. D., & Ferrucci, L. (2016). Buffer against cumulative stress:  Positive age self-stereotypes predict lower cortisol across 30 Years. GeroPsych:  The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry, 29, 141-146.
  14. ^ Levy, B., Ashman, O., & Dror, I. (2000). To be or not to be:  The effects of aging stereotypes on the will to live. Omega:  Journal of Death and Dying, 40, 409-420
  15. ^ Levy, B. R., Chung, P. H., Slade, M .D., Van Ness, P. H., & Pietrzak, R. H. (2019). Active coping shields against negative aging self-stereotypes contributing to psychiatric conditions. Social Science and Medicine, 228, 25-29.
  16. ^ Levy B. R., Pilver, C. E., & Pietrzak, R. H. (2014). Lower prevalence of psychiatric conditions when negative age stereotypes are resisted. Social Science and Medicine, 119, 170-174.
  17. ^ Levy, B. R., & Myers, L. M. (2004). Preventive health behaviors influenced by self-perceptions of aging. Preventive Medicine, 39, 625-629.
  18. ^ Levy, B. R., & Slade, M. D. (2019). Positive views of aging reduce risk of developing later-life obesity. Preventive Medicine Report, 13, 196-198.
  19. ^ Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Pietrzak, R. H., & Ferrucci L. (2018). Positive age beliefs protect against dementia even among elders with high-risk gene. PLOS ONE, 13, e191004
  20. ^ Levy, B. (1996). Improving memory in old age through implicit self-stereotyping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 1092-1107.
  21. ^ Levy, B. R., Zonderman, A. B., Slade, M. D., & Ferrucci, L. (2012). Memory shaped by age stereotypes over time. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67, 432-436.
  22. ^ Carney, G., & Nash, P. (2020). Critical questions for Aging Societies. Bristol University Press.
  23. ^ a b Levy, B. (2009). Stereotype embodiment: A psychological approach to aging. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 332-336.
  24. ^ a b "Resolution on Ageism" (PDF). American Psychological Association. 2020.
  25. ^ Levy, B. R., & Banaji, M. R. (2002). Implicit ageism. In T. D. Nelson (Ed.), Ageism: Stereotypes and prejudice against older persons. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  26. ^ "How To Defy Ageism". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  27. ^ Wang, Shi-Yi; Kannoth, Sneha; Chang, E-Shien; Slade, Martin D.; Levy, Becca R. (2020). "Ageism Amplifies Cost and Prevalence of Health Conditions". The Gerontologist. 60: 174–181. doi:10.1093/geront/gny131. PMC 7182003. PMID 30423119.
  28. ^ Horton S., Baker, J., Pearce, G., Deakin, J.M. (2008). On the malleability of performance- implications for seniors. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 27, 446–465.
  29. ^ Westerhof, G.J, Miche, M., Brothers, A.F., et al. (2014). The influence of subjective aging on health and longevity: A meta-analysis of longitudinal data. Psychological Aging, 29, 793–802.
  30. ^ Lamont, R. A., Swift, H.J., Abrams, D. (2015). A review and meta-analysis of age-based stereotype threat: negative stereotypes, not facts, do the damage. Psychological Aging, 30, 180–93.
  31. ^ Meisner, B.A. (2012). A meta-analysis of positive and negative age stereotype priming effects on behavior among older adults. Journal of Gerontology B: Psychology Sciences and Social Sciences, 67, 13–17.
  32. ^ Levy, B., & Langer, E. (1994). Aging free from negative stereotypes:  Successful memory in China and among the American Deaf. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 989-997.
  33. ^ Lachman, M. (2020, August). Introduction to Baltes Award Address. American Psychological Association Annual Conference.
  34. ^ "Altmetric – Ageism Amplifies Cost and Prevalence of Health Conditions". oxfordjournals.altmetric.com. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  35. ^ Thurrott, Stephanie (February 14, 2019). "How ageism is costing the country $63 billion a year". New York Times.
  36. ^ The Image of Aging in Media and Marketing 2002. Special Committee on Aging United States Senate.
  37. ^ United States Supreme Court. “Smith v. City of Jackson, Mississippi." Oyez, www.oyez.org/cases/2004/03-1160. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.
  38. ^ Park, Alice (January 17, 2020). "How ageism negatively affects older people's health". Times.
  39. ^ Officer, Alana; de la Fuente-Núñez, Vânia (2018). "A global campaign to combat ageism". Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 96 (4): 295–296. doi:10.2471/BLT.17.202424. PMC 5872010. PMID 29695887.
  40. ^ Span, Paula (2019-04-26). "Ageism: A 'Prevalent and Insidious' Health Threat (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  41. ^ Leland, John (October 6, 2008). "In 'Sweetie' and 'Dear', a Hurt for the Elderly". The New York Times.
  42. ^ Bakalar, Nicholas (August 9, 2016). "Read books, live longer?" (PDF). New York Times.
  43. ^ Graham, Judith (December 19, 2012). "Older people become what they think. Study shows" (PDF). New York Times.
  44. ^ Jaffe, Ina (May 28, 2016). "Could thinking positively about aging be the secret to health?". NPR.
  45. ^ Lachs, Mark (April 11, 2011). "Want to live to 100? Try to bounce back from stress". NPR.
  46. ^ Avramova, Nina (December 3, 2019). "The secret to a long, happy, healthy life? Think positive". CNN Health.
  47. ^ Tergesen, Anne (2015-10-19). "To Age Well, Change How You Feel About Aging". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  48. ^ Esposito, Lisa (December 26, 2015). "Ageism, attitude, and health". US News and World Report.
  49. ^ Oaklander, Mandy (September 15, 2016). "How outlook and social ties affect the way you age". Times.
  50. ^ Flood, Alison (August 8, 2016). "Book up for a longer life: readers die later, study finds". The Guardian.
  51. ^ Fleming, Nic (October 31, 2011). "The curse of the Halloween baby: women avoid giving birth on 'evil day'". The Guardian.
  52. ^ Bruhns, A. (2017, June 27) Jung im Kopf!  Gutes vom Alter zu erwarten hält nachweislich jung – besser als jedes Fitnesstraining.
  53. ^ Mosley, M. (2013). BBC Television Documentary. Horizon. The Truth about Personality
  54. ^ Hooker, Karen; Prakash, Ruchika (2019). "Adult Development and Aging News". American Psychological Association.
  55. ^ "Yale scientist is recognized for research in geriatrics". medicine.yale.edu. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  56. ^ "Five New R3 Awards Extend the Benefit of Research". The Donaghue Foundation. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  57. ^ "Yale University's Levy wins The Gerontological Society of America's 2003 Margret M. Baltes Award". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  58. ^ "Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Research on Adult Development and Aging". Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  59. ^ "The Brookdale Foundation Group". brookdalefoundation.net. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
  60. ^ Richard Kalish Innovative Publication Award. 2016. Gerontological Society of America. Gerontological News.

External links[edit]