Disrupt Ageism

The VCU Department of Gerontology is committed to educating students, staff, faculty, and the public about the pervasive, invisible nature of ageism within our society and within ourselves. In fact, Disrupting Ageism is now a foundational aspect of everything that we do in the VCU Department of Gerontology, including the bedrock of our research, teaching and community engagement efforts.

Disrupting Ageism in Research

Disrupting ageism means raising awareness of inequity and discrimination and recognizing and understanding how language and actions impact the larger cultural narrative. Our departmental research agenda is focused on learning more about the communication and transmission of ageism in order to develop evidence-based mechanisms to disrupt the cycle and achieve optimal health and wellness outcomes. 

Read our work here: 

How Old Do You Feel?

A Theory of Relational Ageism

The language of ageism

Should we talk about Aging Anxiety in relation to Body Image?

Challenging Ageism and Stereotypes of Older Adults

Disrupting Ageism in Teaching 

Disrupting Ageism and Developing Elderhood are foundational aspects of our core curriculum. We teach extensively about ageism and elderhood using the biopsychosocial spiritual model of aging within our educational framework. Being immersed in the concepts of Disrupting Ageism and Developing Elderhood are unique features of training in the field of gerontological study.

Disrupting Ageism in Community Engagement

Disrupting ageism is the beginning of changing the script. The next step in the journey is to reframe aging as a time of continued growth, development and evolution – to promote Elderhood as a way to value aging and older age.  One goal of our Disrupt Ageism movement is to provide education for the larger community to break down the barriers to Elderhood that have been built upon negative biases and narrow cultural messages of ageism and a single story of aging as decline.


Being trained at the VCU Department of Gerontology means that you have the knowledge to challenge the single story of aging as decline and to promote a culture of aging as development.

Challenge Yourself. Change the Culture. Be a VCU Gerontologist.

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