[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study focuses on the identification of multiple latent trajectories of pain intensity, and it examines how religiousness is related to different classes of pain trajectory. Participants were 720 community-dwelling older adults who were interviewed at four time points over a 3-year period. Overall, intensity of pain decreased over 3 years. Analysis using latent growth mixture modeling (GMM) identified three classes of pain: (1) increasing (n = 47); (2) consistently unchanging (n = 292); and (3) decreasing (n = 381). Higher levels of intrinsic religiousness (IR) at baseline were associated with higher levels of pain at baseline, although it attenuated the slope of pain trajectories in the increasing pain group. Higher service attendance at baseline was associated with a higher probability of being in the decreasing pain group. The increasing pain group and the consistently unchanging group reported more negative physical and mental health outcomes than the decreasing pain group.
Research on Aging 11/2013; 35(6). DOI:10.1177/0164027512456402 · 1.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: African American and Hispanic older adults are underrepresented in assisted living communities, so little is known about how they experience social relationships in these settings. The purpose of the study was to explore resident-to-resident and resident-to-staff relationships experienced and perceived by African American and Hispanic older residents in assisted living settings. In-depth interviews with 15 African American and 15 Hispanic older adults were conducted in seven assisted living communities in Central Florida. Three salient themes emerged using a grounded theory approach: formation of relationships: emotional vs. instrumental support; language as a facilitator or barrier; and avoidance of inter-racial relationships. Implications for providing culturally competent services in assisted living communities with diverse populations are discussed.
Journal of Housing for the Elderly 10/2013; 27(4):369-391. DOI:10.1080/02763893.2013.813427
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to develop empirically based typologies of religiousness/spirituality (R/S) and to determine whether the typologies were related to health and well-being. The study used a nationally representative sample of adults (N = 1,431). Using latent profile analysis, typologies were derived based on religious service attendance, prayer, positive religious coping, and daily spiritual experiences. Multivariate statistical tests were used to examine cluster differences in health and well-being. A four-class model was identified: highly religious, moderately religious, somewhat religious, and minimally religious or non-religious. The four classes were distinctively different in psychological well-being, in that the highly religious class was most likely to be happy and satisfied with finances and least likely to be psychologically distressed.
Journal of Religion and Health 09/2013; 52(3):828-839. DOI:10.1007/s10943-011-9520-6 · 1.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of religiosity on the trajectories of depressive symptoms in a sample of community-dwelling older adults over a four-year period in a Southern state in the U.S.
Data from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Study of Aging were analyzed using a hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) method. This study involved 1000 participants aged 65 and above (M age = 75 at baseline, SD = 5.97) and data were collected annually from 1999 to 2003. The Geriatric Depression Scale measured depressive symptoms; the Duke University Religion Index measured religious service attendance, prayer, and intrinsic religiosity; and control variables included sociodemographics, health, and social and economic factors.
The HLM analysis indicated a curvilinear trajectory of depressive symptoms over time. At baseline, participants who attended religious services more frequently tended to report fewer depressive symptoms. Participants with the highest levels of intrinsic religiosity at baseline experienced a steady decline in the number of depressive symptoms over the four-year period, while those with lower levels of intrinsic religiosity experienced a short-term decline followed by an increase in the number of depressive symptoms.
In addition to facilitating access to health, social support and financial resources for older adults, service professionals might consider culturally appropriate, patient-centered interventions that boost the salutary effects of intrinsic religiosity on depressive symptoms.
Aging and Mental Health 03/2012; 16(2):189-98. DOI:10.1080/13607863.2011.602959 · 1.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to assess the dimensionality and reliability of a frequently used scale for predicting the desire to institutionalize among White, African American, and Hispanic caregivers of persons with dementia.
Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and reliability analyses were performed on a slightly modified version of Morycz's (1985) Desire to Institutionalize (DTI) scale separately for each racial group using data from the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH) II study (Belle et al., 2006).
The EFA revealed a one-factor structure that was equivalent across all racial groups. The scale demonstrated moderate reliability with KR-20 alpha of .694 for Whites, .742 for African Americans, and .767 for Hispanics.
Findings suggest that Morycz's DTI scale is a consistently reliable measure for assessing the desire to institutionalize across White, African American, and Hispanic dementia caregivers.
Journal of Aging and Health 02/2011; 23(1):195-202. DOI:10.1177/0898264310381275 · 1.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The positive effects of religiousness on coping with transitions and other challenges in life are well documented. However, little is known about specific roles that religious beliefs and activities provide for residents who are becoming integrated into assisted living (AL) settings. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences and meanings associated with religiousness among AL residents. Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with 29 residents in four AL settings in a Southern state. Findings revealed four key themes: the opportunity for interactions, coping mechanisms, sense of self, and privacy. Practice implications for the AL community were suggested.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While it is known that social engagement is important for the well-being of older people, its role among residents in assisted living (AL) residences has not been well explored. The purposes of this study were to explore the experiences of social engagement among AL residents and explain its components and processes as unique to this setting. Qualitative data were collected via semistructured, in-depth interviews with 29 residents in four AL residences in a Southern state. Salient themes were derived using the grounded theory approach. Findings revealed the complexity of social engagement and were organized around five themes related to characteristics of desired social relationships, the perspective of time and loss, barriers to and resources for social engagement, and strategies to develop or modify relationships. AL providers could make concerted efforts to develop practices to provide residents with more social and emotional resources and help them engage in meaningful social interactions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to understand self-reported transportation difficulty among rural older adults. We used data from the UAB Study of Aging (255 Black and 259 White), community-dwelling participants residing in rural areas. We examined the relationship of predisposing characteristics, enabling resources, and measures of need for care with self-reports of transportation difficulty. Blacks reported having more transportation difficulty than Whites (24.7% vs. 11.6%; p ≤ .05). When we introduced other variables, race differences disappeared, but there was a race by income interaction with transportation difficulty. Whites with lower incomes were more likely to have transportation difficulty than Whites with higher incomes. When data from Blacks and Whites were analyzed separately, income was the only variable associated with transportation difficulty among Whites. Among Blacks, income was not related to transportation difficulty but several variables other than income (age, gender, marital status, MMSE scores and depression) were.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article examined the differences between rural/urban older adults in their trajectories of activities of daily living (ADL) over a 4-year period. The sample included 2,490 community dwelling older adults who completed three waves (1998, 2000, and 2002) of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. Among them, 63.5% were from rural areas. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was run for the whole sample and separately for rural and urban samples. For both rural and urban samples, older age and involvement in fewer activities predicted increases in ADL difficulties over time. In addition, being female and routinely smoking predicted increases in ADL difficulties for the rural sample. Implications for interventions to slow down ADL decline were discussed.
The International Journal of Aging and Human Development 10/2009; 69(3):181-99. DOI:10.2190/AG.69.3.b · 0.62 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This qualitative study used data from interviews with 18 African American breast cancer survivors in the southeast regarding the women’s live experiences of spiritual support during the process of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Through a thematic content analysis, four primary sources of spiritual support were identified: God, members of religious communities, family members and friends, and health care professionals. Some participants reported negative experiences associated with the reactions of religious community members to their breast cancer. Those who received spiritual support from their health care providers reported welcoming such support.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose
Social engagement plays an important role in the health and psychological well-being of older people. Its role among residents in assisted living (AL) settings has not been well explored, however, and it may be that how it is experienced and affects well-being differs in this setting than for those who live in private residences or nursing homes. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of social engagement among residents in AL. The study aimed further to explain the process of social engagement and its relationship to residents' psychological well-being.
Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured interviews with 29 residents in four AL settings in a Southern state. Interviews included questions concerning social ties to family and friends, relationship building within the AL community, sources of emotional support, and psychological well-being. Salient themes were derived using a grounded theory approach.
Findings revealed the complexity of social engagement and were organized around six key themes.
Meaning of time and loss:
Time appears to work against building solid relationships in AL, where people observe other residents deteriorating rapidly in mental and physical capacities while experiencing their own health declines.
The most frequently mentioned barriers in interacting with other residents involved others' inability to communicate due to cognitive impairment and hearing difficulties. In contrast, participants identified their physical illness and mobility problems as barriers to interaction.
AL rules and policies governing residents' everyday lives affected their social interactions with others. Participants mentioned the monotonic life in the facility (e.g., sameness in routines and people) and wanted a wider variety of activities and contact with people from the outside.
Making emotional connections with people within the AL community may be difficult to achieve. However, living in AL seems to help resolve social isolation/loneliness to some extent.
Desire for high quality social relations:
Even residents who engaged with other residents in numerous ways admitted they did not have many close friends in the AL setting. Nevertheless, participants were interested in having high quality social experiences with others.
Participants adopted different strategies in an effort to achieve psychological well-being when relationships within the AL community were not satisfactory. For example, participants reported making efforts to build or maintain relationships. Often, they resorted to solitary activities to divert their attention from unpleasant emotions associated with interacting with residents who were unable to communicate. Participants also focused on present-oriented goals and were selective in choosing their social partners.
Conclusions and Implications
Although participants desired high quality social relations, their social world and choices in social partners were bounded by AL policies and features of the social environment. It is not likely that close friendships will be made in this setting, and so to promote social engagement, AL providers might actively provide social opportunities tailored to individuals' physical and mental capacities and preferences. One way to do this is to promote collaborations with other community organizations, such as high schools, colleges, and religious organizations.
Research that Promotes Sustainability and (re)Builds Strengths; 01/2009
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a scarcity of knowledge on the mentoring experiences of Black women in social work academia. Using a survey methodology, this pilot study examines the mentoring experiences of 10 Black, female leaders in social work education as protégées. It also examines how they describe their current mentoring behavior toward recent protégés. The results indicate participants provide more psychosocial and career mentoring than they received as doctoral students or as faculty members. Additionally, participants received the least help from their own mentors in balancing career and family and currently give little assistance of this kind to their own protégés.
Journal of social work education 12/2008; 44(1):9-22. DOI:10.5175/JSWE.2008.200600081 · 0.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the rapid growth in the older inmate population, emerging issues regarding physical and mental health require greater research and clinical attention. We examined the relation of religiousness/spirituality; demographic characteristics such as age, race, and type of crime; and physical and mental health among 73 older male inmates in the state of Alabama.
Inmates older than age 50 who passed a cognitive screening completed face-to-face interviews lasting between 30 and 60 min. Due to the low literacy rates of the participants, we administered all measures orally with response cards to facilitate understanding.
Nearly 70% of the inmates were incarcerated for murder or sexual crimes. There were no racial/ethnic differences in reported religiousness/spirituality, demographic characteristics, or mental health. We found an association between self-reported years of incarceration and experienced forgiveness. Three regression models examined whether inmates' self-reported religiousness/spirituality influenced anxiety, depression, and desire for hastened death. We found that having a greater number of daily spiritual experiences and not feeling abandoned by God were associated with better emotional health.
Future studies, perhaps using longitudinal or case-control methodology, should examine whether increased daily spiritual experiences and decreased feelings of abandonment by God foster better mental health among older inmates.
The Gerontologist 11/2008; 48(5):692-7. DOI:10.1093/geront/48.5.692 · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. This study explored how male and female family caregivers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients differ in their use of formal services and informal support and how religiousness may affect such differences. Methods. Data were from a sample of 720 family caregivers of AD patients who participated in the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Heath (REACH I) study sites in Birmingham, Boston, Memphis, and Philadelphia. Results. Female caregivers were less likely to use in-home services than males (M = 0.83 vs. M = 1.06, p < .01) but reported more use of transportation services (21.6% vs. 12.7%, p < .01) and more use of informal support (M = 13.9 vs. M = 10.7, p < .01). Mediation tests suggested that three measures of religiousness helped explain the relationship between gender and use of formal services and informal support. Discussion. These findings highlight the necessity to assess AD caregivers' religiousness to better understand their circumstances.
Journal of Aging and Health 10/2008; 20(8):937-53. DOI:10.1177/0898264308324652 · 1.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of religiousness on the trajectories of difficulties with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental ADLs (IADLs) in community-dwelling older adults over a three-year period. Seven waves of data from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging were analyzed using a hierarchical linear modeling method. The study was based on the 784 participants who completed interviews every six months between December 1999 and February 2004. Frequent religious service attendance was associated with fewer ADL difficulties and IADL difficulties at baseline. Furthermore, religious service attendance predicted slower increases for frequent churchgoers and steeper increases for less frequent churchgoers in IADL difficulties, controlling for variables related to demographics and resources. Religious service attendance was independently associated with ADL and IADL difficulties cross-sectionally. However, significant protective effects of religious service attendance were identified longitudinally only for the IADL trajectory.
Research on Aging 02/2008; 30(3):279-298. DOI:10.1177/0164027507313001 · 1.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing numbers of middle-aged adults provide long-distance care for their parents, yet relatively few studies have addressed their experiences. Particularly neglected themes include siblings' communication and division of labor when one or more live at a distance from the parent. The researchers interviewed 22 adult children (10 women and 12 men) aged 37 to 65. Participants were members of sibling groups numbering two to seven. Using open-ended questions, the researchers addressed aspects of caregiving including: coordination of care, division of labor, distant siblings' views of caregiving activities, and caregiving and sibling relationships. The researchers used QSR Nu*dist software to assist with coding and analysis of the qualitative data. The study showed different experiences and expectations of hometown siblings compared with long distance siblings. Participants' perceptions of their siblings' caregiving competencies, willingness to care, financial ability to help, and personal relationships with the parent affected caregiving decision making and division of labor.
Qualitative Social Work 09/2007; 6(3):315-334. DOI:10.1177/1473325007080404
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The well-being of older, widowed persons is of concern to aging practitioners, including those in faith-based organizations. Some have suggested that engaging in religious/spiritual activities may mitigate the negative effects of widowhood for older adults. This cross-sectional study examined predictors of self-assessed well-being of widowed and married elders. The aim of this study was to determine whether participation in religious/spiritual activities mediated the relationship between marital status and well-being after controls were instituted.Method: This study is a secondary analysis of data collected for the National Opinion Research Center's 1998 General Social Survey. Analyses are based on 150 married and 120 widowed persons aged 60 or older. We regressed married/widowed status, demographic characteristics, self-reported health, and four measures of religious/spiritual activity on a fouritem index of self-assessed well-being.Results: Widowed elders reported lower levels of well-being than married elders, even after we controlled for sociodemographic characteristics, self-perceived health, and measures of religious/spiritual activity. Socioeconomic status (SES) and self-perceived health had positive relationships with well-being, and frequency of prayer had a negative relationship with well-being.Conclusion: Congregations wishing to improve well-being among widowed and married elders should consider focusing on ministries to improve financial well-being and health and advocacy for programs that benefit low income elders. Church-based programs targeting widowed elders should focus on positive religious coping and prayer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study used cluster analysis to identify sets of individuals similar to one another across multiple measures of religiousness and then ascertained if these groups differed by sociodemographic characteristics, health risk behaviors, physical health and functional status, and mental health. The authors identified six clusters using data from 1,000 community-dwelling older adults in a k-means cluster analysis of a modified version of the Duke University Religion Index. Participants in the strongly religious, moderately religious, and minimally religious clusters had the highest scores on the health, functional status, and mental health variables. The privately practicing moderate attender and the privately practicing nonattender groups were similar to each other and generally had poorer health, functional status, and mental health. The typology illustrates the importance of simultaneously considering multiple measures of religiousness and the complexity of the relationships among religiousness, sociodemographic characteristics, and health and well-being.
Research on Aging 02/2007; 29(2):63-83. DOI:10.1177/0164027506296757 · 1.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Church attendance is associated with improved health and well-being among older adults, but older adults with functional limitations may have difficulty attending church services. This article examines differences in the association between functional limitations and church attendance in a sample of 987 elderly African American and white individuals. African American and white elderly people without limitations attended church at virtually the same rate (69 percent). Despite their higher scores on religiousness measures, elderly African Americans with one or more limitations were significantly less likely to attend church regularly than were white counterparts. Health status measures did not help explain older African Americans' lower attendance rates. Differences in attendance were associated primarily with educational attainment and cognitive functioning. The article recommends social work intervention to reduce barriers to church attendance for older adults who want to attend services.
Health & social work 12/2006; 31(4):246-55. DOI:10.1093/hsw/31.4.246 · 0.94 Impact Factor