The prematurity stereotype in Israeli health care providers

Marilyn Stern, Sara K. Moritzen, Sara Carmel, Michelle Olexa-Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Research on the prematurity stereotype was extended by randomly assigning 158 Israeli medical and nursing students to view full-term infants labelled either 'full-term' (FTL) or 'premature' (PL). One-half of the students were additionally assigned to a goal condition in which they were informed that their judgements would be evaluated for their accuracy. Overall, students were found to show strong stereotyping effects, rating PL infants more negatively than FTL infants when asked questions about their expectations for the infants' growth and development as well as their expectations for how mothers of these infants might behave during a medically related contact concerning her infant. However, the content of the stereotype varied across type of health care provider when general perceptions of the infants' status characteristics were elicited, with pre-clinical medical students showing greater levels of stereotyping than upper level students. Only limited effects involving the goal condition were found. When communicating with mothers, upper level students reported that they would respond more time-expediently and pre-clinical students reported that they would show more empathy. The findings emphasize the important role stereotypes play in interpersonal processes, including caregiver-patient interactions. Implications for medical education and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2001


  • Education, medical
  • Education, medical, undergraduate
  • Health care providers, psychology
  • Israel, stereotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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