Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Edward Helmes


The percentage of older adults in the Australian population is predicted to increase from about 18 at the end of this century to about 33 per cent by the year 2050. One anticipated consequence of this significant ageing of the population is that increasing numbers of older adults may be required in the workforce. Still, age discrimination in hiring places older adults at a disadvantage. Local measures of actual discrimination are needed in order to formulate appropriate policies and interventions to combat such negative attitudes. Evidence suggest that, contrary to employers perceptions, older adults are willing and able to work The Equal Opportunity Act and the waving of compulsory retirement protect older adults and enable them to file complaints in cases of unlawful discrimination. However, a rejected job applicant is unlikely to be told that he or she were rejected because they are to old thus leaving the person powerless to make a complaint. One method with which to measure actual discrimination is correspondence testing, which was used in the USA to measure actual age discrimination in hiring. It is suggested that the use of similar methodology in Western Australia would yield important information for both policy makers and researchers.