Race differences in cognitive functioning among older adults

B. A. Zsembik, Mary Peek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. Explaining race differences in cognitive functioning in later life continues to challenge researchers. This study was an attempt to incorporate the clinical literature, emphasizing biological correlates of cognitive functioning, and the social research literature, emphasizing social inequalities and consequent health outcomes, in the examination of sources of race differences in cognitive functioning in older adults. Methods. With data from Wave I of the Assets and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old survey, the authors used structural equation models (LISREL 8.30) to estimate the direct effects of race on cognitive functioning and indirect effects through social and biological risk factors for the total sample (N = 5,955). Results. Race had a direct association with cognitive functioning. Race also had indirect effects on cognitive functioning through social risk factors - education and health insurance. There did not appear to be indirect effects of race through biological risk factors. Discussion. The direct and indirect effects of race through social risk factors attest to the importance of examining different ways through which race can influence cognitive functioning of older adults. This research also emphasizes the need for researchers to investigate more closely race differences in dimensions of cognitive functioning and cognitive functioning over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume56
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Biological Factors
Research Personnel
Structural Models
Health
Health Insurance
social inequality
health
social research
structural model
Research
health insurance
assets
Education
examination
education
literature
Surveys and Questionnaires
time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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