Age segregation is the separation of people based on their age, and may be observed in many aspects of some societies. Examples of institutionalized age segregation include age segregation in schools, and age-segregated housing. There are studies of informal age segregation among adolescents. Age segregation in schools, age grading, or graded education is the separation of students into years of education (grades, forms) by approximately the same age.
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In the United States, graded education was introduced during 1848 to 1870. Age segregation in the U.S. was a product of industrialization, Western formal schooling, child labor laws, social services agencies, and the rise of disciplines such as psychology and education. A combination of these caused a shift from family working as a unit to separation of economic activities and childcare emerged. Some communities have different cultural practices and integrate children into mature activities of the family and community. This is common among Indigenous American communities.
Age segregation is seen by some like Peter Uhlenberg and Jenny Gierveld to benefit individuals by bringing like-minded individuals together to share similar facilities, network and information. The elderly are however disadvantaged by segregation in that they risk being excluded from economic and social developments.