Race, aging, and care: Can differences in family and household structure account for race variations in informal care?

M. Kristen Peek, Raymond T. Coward, Chuck W. Peek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations


There are substantial uncertainties about key dimensions of the caregiving process as it is experienced by older adults from different racial groups. This investigation explores the care received from family members among a stratified random sample of community-dwelling older (65+) African Americans and Whites who reported difficulties performing daily living tasks. Findings support past research indicating that older African Americans are more likely to receive help from family members than are Whites when in need of assistance. However, this advantage does not extend across all types of family members but, rather, is only statistically significant in the final models with regard to the care received from grandchildren. Evidence is presented that indicates that the observed race differences in the receipt of care from children can be attributed to variations between racial groups in family and household structure. The findings suggest that coresidence may be a form of family caregiving among older African Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-142
Number of pages26
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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