Objectives: This analysis examines ethnoracial group differences in the transition from health to disability. Methods: Using data from the AHEAD study, the authors examine the relative influence of each stage in the disablement process in the evolution of ethnoracial group differences in basic and instrumental disability. Results: Predisposing factors account for disability differences between Whites and other Latinos, whereas excess disability among African Americans stems from their higher level of cognitive limitation. The excess disability of Mexican Americans arises from their higher level of physical limitations. The data also reveal a larger impact of medical conditions and physical limitations on acquisition of disability among African Americans and Mexican Americans. This article demonstrates the importance of cognitive status in the disablement process, especially in ethnoracial group differences. Discussion: The authors discuss the practical implications for health care delivery to non-White elders and the theoretical implications for understanding the complexities of disablement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies