Ageism is a widespread phenomenon and constitutes a significant threat to older people's well-being. Identifying the factors contributing to ageism is critical to inform policies that minimise its societal impact. In this systematic review, we gathered and summarised empirical studies exploring the key determinants of ageism against older people for a period of over forty years (1970-2017). A comprehensive search using fourteen databases identified all published records related to the umbrella concept of "ageism". Reviewers independently screened the final pool to identify all papers focusing on determinants, according to a predefined list of inclusion and exclusion criteria. All relevant information was extracted and summarised following a narrative synthesis approach. A total of 199 papers were included in this review. We identified a total of 14 determinants as robustly associated with ageism. Of these, 13 have an effect on other-directed ageism, and one on self-directed ageism. The quality of contact with older people and the positive or negative presentation of older people to others emerged as the most robust determinants of other-directed ageism; self-directed ageism is mostly determined by older adults' health status. Given the correlational nature of most studies included in this review, inferences on causality should be made cautiously.
Keywords: ageism; determinants; systematic review.