The purpose of this study was to examine the images of elegant elderly women and to clarify the differences in such images among three types of respondents : 409 university students (aged 18 to 23), 312 adults (aged 24 to 59), 585 elderly people (aged 65 to 88). The respondents were asked to evaluate, by means of questionnaires, two kinds of elderly women : One who was elegant, and the other who was not elegant. The main results are :
(1) Each group evaluated an elegant elderly woman as being superior to an inelegant one with respect to physical styles, social status, and interpersonal attraction.
(2) The image ratings of elegant elderly women were analyzed by factor analysis, which extraced two image factors : leadership and maturity.
(3) Multiple regression analyzes were conducted to examine the relationship between the images of an elegant elderly woman and her properties. In each group, leadership was shown to be related significantly to make-up skills, and the relationship was revealed between maturity and sophisticated appearance.
Based on these results, a discussion was developed about the fundamental processes involved and some related problems.