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Race, aging, and functional health: evidence of selective survival

American Sociological Association paper

Author: Clark, D. O., Maddox, G. L., Steinhauser, K.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1993


Evidence is presented of a black/white crossover in functional health, the existence of which supports the hypothesis, based on selective survival, that older members of socially disadvantaged populations are relatively more physiologically robust & thus exhibit relatively favorable functional capacities. Longitudinal data on 5,150 persons age 70+ shows that, within young-old age groups, blacks are more likely to experience functional status decline over a 6-year period than whites, whereas within the oldest-old age groups, blacks are less likely to experience decline. Confirmation or modification of several hypotheses implicit in the literature on aging, race, & functional health are provided, & support is found for the hypothesis that racial differences in age-related changes in mean levels of functional health (ie, self-care capacity & physical functioning) are age-dependent, but not found for the hypothesis that social class fully accounts for racial differences in functional status change.

Further Details

Publish Dates: 1993
Full Title: American Sociological Association paper
Accession Number: 28.3.03
Keywords: older, health improvement
Reads: 141