Women’s identities and the third age - A feminist review of psychological knowledge | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437


We explore how psychologists have incorporated gender and power into their explorations of third age women’s identities. Our systematic search revealed that only a few studies explicitly referred to the third age as a distinct phase of late adulthood. However, taking the chronological age of 56-75 years as a proxy for the third age, we identified relevant studies, adopting either a senescing, life-span development, socialpsychological or social-constructionist approach. Consistent with the third age as an employment and family free phase of life, many women in late adulthood resist the traditional interlocking discourses of femininity and aging as decline and take up new activities (frequently volunteer work). In most studies gender was reduced to sex (differences). Power was mostly implicit in analyses of micro and macro level processes, with a focus on variations in (dis)advantages. We recommend an intersectional approach for future studies.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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