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Deriving from scapegoat theory, the linkage between one's self-esteem and perceptions of elderly people is hypothesized. The relationship was tested with a random sample of 240 Hong Kong Chinese. Results show that a person who is higher in self-esteem is more likely to perceive elderly people as socially and psychologically adjusted, but physically incompetent. All the three relationships can be explained by scapegoat theory. Accordingly, one projects both positive and negative images on elderly people in order to defend one's self, or relieve one's own blameworthiness.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-01-01

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