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The Structure of Health Status Among Hispanic, African American, and White Older Adults

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Stump, Timothy E., Daniel O. Clark, Robert J. Johnson, and Frederic D. Wolinsky. 1997. "The Structure of Health Status Among Hispanic, African American, and White Older Adults." Journals of Gerontology, 52B(SpecialIssue): 49-60.

Archives of daily living (ADLs), instrumental ADLs, and disability markers have traditionally been the most common indicators of functional status. The study on Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) is used to replicate a five-dimensional measurement model composed of these observable indicators among the older adult self-respondents. The items available to measure upper body disability were found wanting, but the lower body disability, and the basic, household, and advanced ADL constructs were confirmed. Analyses of the measurement model separately among subgroups of women, men, Hispanics, Mexican Americans, African Americans, and Whites found no meaningful differences. Two structural models linking the lower body disability, and the basic, household, and advanced ADL constructs to perceived health and depression were also replicated among the older adult self-respondents, as were as separately among African Americans and among Whites. These models reaffirmed the dominant role of lower body disability on the everyday activities of older adults, and on their perceived health and depression.

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